Orioles Are Winners

Readers write

March 18, 1992

From: Joseph "Zastrow" Simms

Community Relations

Annapolis Housing Authority

The new Pete Rose, his name (District 40 Del.) Howard Pete Rawlings, deserved to be in the Hall of Shame for his blast at the Orioles. Pete Rawlings thinks the Baltimore Orioles baseball team neglects blacks.

When the delegate told the Orioles to include more blacks in the celebration of the opening of thenew Camden Yards stadium, (Orioles President Larry) Lucchino rose, like cream, to the top, and responded, "Can we talk?"

How nice of Mr. Lucchino.

Rawlings is the delegate who introduced a bill to theGeneral Assembly to require that blacks in Maryland be called African-Americans. He is the chair of the committee that oversees the construction of our new $105 million ballpark. If he is so concerned aboutwhat blacks are called and about how many play baseball, where was he when contractors of color were bidding for jobs on the stadium?

The Orioles serve blacks in many more ways than by providing a few gifted athletes with opportunities to play ball. They sponsor a "Read Like A Pro" program for children, and bring those who do read to theirgames. They adopt city schools. (Oriole coach) Elrod Hendricks speaks all over the state about the dangers of substance abuse. Calvin Hill of Redskins and Cowboys fame serves on the Oriole's board and provides valuable service in the community. The team adopted a field in Cherry Hill for the kids there.

The delegate suggested the Orioles do more outreach. The Orioles should give 5,000 tickets to their opening to students who have good school attendance records. Mr. Rawlings suggested the Morgan State Choir be invited to sing at games. The Orioles need no prodding to ask them to sing, and that is one choir whose reputation stands on its own and needs no help from Mr. Rawlings.

Where was Mr. Rawlings when this little-known Annapolitan received over 30,000 tickets over a period of 20 years to Orioles ballgames for the kids of Annapolis? He said he was upset that he could get no response when he called the team office.

Little ol' me, who has beenso low that getting up was not on my mind, could call the Oriole's president's office and get right through. The staff was always gracious to us little people in Annapolis -- and we were asking for free tickets!

Mr. Rawlings, come out of your ivory tower. Take a busload of kids to a ballgame. The Orioles are always into helping the little man. Where were you when they were handing out tickets, food and T-shirts to children? Where were you when Coach Earl Banks of Morgan, Capt. Smith of the Recreation Department, and the principal of Lake Clifton School took thousands of kids through Operation Birdland?

Del.Rawlings was not there. I guess he did not know about it. I guess hedoes not know about the four black coaches on the team -- the most in league history. His whole agenda is about blacks being called African-Americans. He is more concerned about what we are called than about reading, school attendance, contracts for jobs and prevention of drug abuse.

Black people are satisfied being called black. The Orioles sure have not been neglecting blacks.

I am 250 pounds of unadulterated black, and I know that the Rainbow Coalition of blacks, whites, browns, and yellows are welcomed by the Orioles. Mr. Rawlings thinks blacks do not attend games, but I know black kids who know who CalRipken is and that he started a literacy program. They know who Eddie Murray is and that he donated $500,000 to Upward Bound. They know about newly acquired Glenn Davis and that he supports programs for inner-city kids.

Articles have been written by Ken Rosenthal defending the Orioles. They need no defending. Pete Rawlings should spend more time finding out how to serve our youth. He should work for them with parents and ministers instead of bashing the Orioles. They have won the hearts of urban blacks even if they are not winning pennants.


From: Elsie Brown


This letter is being written to publicly thank Vincent O. Leggett, 39, for the many contributions he has made since arriving in Annapolis 10 years ago.

By way of background, Mr. Leggett was educated at the University ofMaryland Baltimore County and received a bachelor's degree specializing in urban planning and community development from Morgan State University in Baltimore. He is currently completing a master's degree inpublic administration at Central Michigan University.

He has over15 years of experience as a professional planner working with Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County public school systems. Based on his current dual role as vice president of the Anne Arundel County Board of Education and a member of the professional staff of Anne Arundel Community College, Mr. Leggett is respectfully known as "Mr. Education."

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