Some ticket buyers to the Baltimore Orioles' official opener in the new downtown park are upset that the team scheduled a home exhibition two days earlier against the New York Mets. In the opinion of Dave Lautenberger, a season subscriber, and numerous others, it's a way for the club to make more money while unfortunately taking the edge off the grand opening.
A seasonal team touchdown passing record set by Baltimore's Bob Williams in 1949 at Notre Dame and tied by two others, John Huarte and Joe Theismann, has finally been surpassed by present Irish QB Rick Mirer . . . Ex-Colt Art Donovan is home from Johns Hopkins Hospital and tests showed, despite his unusually high fat diet, he's free of cholesterol . . . Kirk Maggio, who set punting marks at Calvert Hall and UCLA, has a younger brother with athletic ability and a name that's intriguing -- Joe D. Maggio.
The French-Bray Printing Co., along with editor Bob Brown of the Orioles, produced such an outstanding final day game program for the Orioles at Memorial Stadium, that another press run was needed to cope with ongoing demands . . . The New York City Sports Commission named retiring Mets general manager Frank Cashen its "sportsman of the year" and will salute him at a luncheon April 14 . . . Twenty-nine AM radio stations and one on the FM band have followed New York's WFAN with an all-sports broadcast format, which may give some struggling Baltimore outlet similar inspiration to try the same caper.
The Los Angeles Lakers boosted a game ticket to $47.11 and the NBA average is now up to $22.52 . . . Wilt Chamberlain says he grew a goatee because it "was a statement of the times and looked 'half-cool' " . . . Prodigy Services, based in White Plains, N.Y., allows home computer owners to get sports news as it happens for a start-up fee of $49.95 and a monthly rate of $12.95 . . . Gary Hurt, assistant golf pro at the Baltimore Country Club, is a hometown friend (Nelson, Neb.) of ex-Oriole Russ Snyder.
Mobile, Ala., changed the name of Carver Park to Henry "Hank" Aaron Park and Central Falls, R.I., now has a facility called Roland Hemond Park but Baltimore, thanks to Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Orioles owner Eli Jacobs, stiffed the greatest of them all -- Babe Ruth . . . Look for Eric Anderson,
Michigan footballer and grandson of former Colts great Bob Nowaskey, to draw strong All-America support . . . Howard Zeiden, who left Channel 2, says he'll continue to support the Ed Block Courage Award festivities here even though he's the newly successful sales and marketing director of Pittsburgh's WPXI-TV.
fTC Odd, isn't it, that the Ben Hogan Corp., markets golf gloves when the Hall of Famer played without one? . . . Baltimoreans Al Fitch and Steve Yoncheski may want to compare notes in that they are related to two Fordham football greats, namely Lenny Eshmont and Steve Filipowicz, both of whom went on to play in the pros . . . Penn State's Tony Sacca, who faces Maryland on Saturday at Memorial Stadium, turned his back on Notre Dame when he was the highest-rated high school quarterback in the nation.
Caves Valley Golf Club believes if it hosts a major tournament it would switch the front and back nines because No. 9 is a better finishing hole, for TV purposes, than No. 18 . . . After ex-Colts coach Howard Schnellenberger posted a 10-1-1 record last year, including victory in the Fiesta Bowl, his Louisville team has only a 2-7 showing in 1991 . . . The Houston Oilers allowed Raul Allegre to kick only one extra point in training camp before releasing him, but he would have been close to "money in the bank" if they had him kicking against the Washington Redskins in yesterday's pressure situation.
The NFL will receive first verbal presentations from expansion applicants, the cities not the would-be owners, in mid-December . . . Middle Atlantic Section of the PGA has conferred its "golf writer of the year" award on John Stewart of The Sun . . . Baltimoreans Tom Curran and Duane Suter were on an Alaskan cruise when they thought one of their tablemates looked exactly like Billy Vessels, the ex-Heisman Trophy halfback and former Colt, and that's exactly who he was.
Sports Illustrated's fine tribute to Jerry Richardson, another ex-Colt, included much about his college, pro and business careers but failed to mention he had overcome polio as a child, which left him with little strength in one shoulder . . . You'd be hard-pressed to find a Saturday in the past when neither Maryland nor Navy scored a single point, as happened over the weekend . . . Joe Croghan and Benny "The Fan" Levin switched their talk show to WITH, where they are holding forth five afternoons instead of their only-on-Sundays show at WCBM . . . You're getting to be a "young old-timer" if you remember the Hagerstown Hubs of the Blue Ridge League.