Dear Stadium Doctor:I attended Opening Day and was...

Stadium Doctor

April 19, 1992

Dear Stadium Doctor:

I attended Opening Day and was overwhelmed with the new Oriole Park. However, I noticed the carts selling the programs were labeled "Program's." Shouldn't the apostrophe be eliminated?

Lisa Meyer

Catonsville

Dear Lisa Meyer:

I think you have put your finger on something very important here, and that something is ballpark grammar. People should be more careful about how they speak at the games. I know this because recently I had the unenviable experience of sitting beside a fan who spoke only in the passive voice.

Your sign comment is correct. The company that prepared the movable stands made an honest, if annoying, error, according to Jay Boyle, ARA general manager. The lettering on some carts already has been corrected. All will be fixed soon.

Dear Stadium Doctor:

Recently, I have become addicted to a drink called Fresca. I've begun to feel anxious over the thought that Fresca might not be available at the new stadium. Please rush the answer to me so that I can relax and enjoy the game.

Stephen Hirt

Baltimore

Dear Stephen Hirt:

Thank you for sharing your story of addiction, despair and sparkling citrus refreshment. I have your answer, although it's probably not what you'd hoped for.

Fresca is not sold inside the ballpark and probably won't be any time soon. There is at least one reason for optimism, though. The soda is produced by Coca-Cola, the sole supplier of soft drinks at the stadium. That means if thousands of people started asking, ARA could start pouring.

Dear Stadium Doctor:

A question I've asked myself over and over is, how do Orioles uniforms stay so white and clean? My husband and our two grown sons play company baseball and I have a terrible time getting out grass stains and, occasionally, blood. What's the secret?

V.L. McKay

Baltimore

Dear V.L. McKay:

Before I received your letter, I didn't know a lot about ballpark laundering techniques. I kind of liked that.

After an exclusive interview with Jim Tyler, longtime Orioles clubhouse attendant, I now know the following: Orioles uniforms are not laundered at the ballpark but are sent to a local cleaners; stubborn stains are attacked with one of several commercial-strength cleaning solutions; for the toughest stains, the cleaners resort to their ultimate weapon -- a high-pressure steamer that blasts the uniforms clean.

I asked Jim if he could single out one Orioles player who is headed for the ground-in dirt Hall of Fame. He said he couldn't, but that in his years next to the Orioles laundry basket he has seen some of the game's great blemishes. "Every night, you get a stain in here that really needs a kick in the butt," he said.

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