An astonished fan says thanks to BaltimoreHere's a...

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April 29, 1992

An astonished fan says thanks to Baltimore

Here's a different perspective on Opening Day at Oriole Park.

A Baltimore native and lifelong Oriole fan, I moved to California in 1975 and returned to Baltimore for the first time to attend the Orioles opener -- without having a ticket in hand.

People said I was crazy. The odds against purchasing a ticket in front of the stadium only hours before the game seemed literally astronomical; there were scores of hopefuls willing to pay $200 and up for a ticket.

I was approached by someone asking $300 for a ticket. I responded I wouldn't pay that even to see "the Babe" himself play. Half an hour before game time I was again asked if I would like to see the game. Knowing my dream was quickly fading in the harsh pragmaticism of demand economics I offered $120, "take it or leave it."

"How about $30?" he said, explaining that all he wanted to do was recover his costs and allow someone to see the game. I was so astonished I insisted he take $40. The Baltimore baseball gods had smiled on a returning native.

I want to publicly thank this gentlemen, known only to me as Dan, for his kindness and his generosity.

Baltimore has made momentous progress since I graduated from the University of Maryland in 1975. You deservedly have the best stadium in baseball. Thank you, Dan, and thanks to the friendly people of Baltimore for an incredible opening day.

Steven Bustin

Vallejo, Calif.

Goodbye, Harry

How sad it was to read of Harry McGuirk's death. I had the honor to work with Harry while I was on the governor's staff. Harry was as first-class as one can get. He had a certain way with people that is hard to explain, but if you met him and talked to him longer than five minutes you loved him.

I recall the time I took a minister from the Brooklyn area to meet him. This minister had a problem with the stance the governor was taking on a bill. Yet within minutes of being greeted by Harry, that minister had become a great supporter of the bill.

Harry was a good friend to everyone. Though I hadn't seen him in some time, I feel like a close personal relative has died. That describes Harry: what a great guy. How deeply saddened I am that I will never be able to greet him again.

OC I can just see those "soft shoes" dancing around St. Peter now.

William H. Jones


'Harassed' officers

As a citizen of Maryland and the sister of a suspended police officer, I have a lot to say, much of which I can't truly put into words. I have talked to a lot of people who are outraged with the treatment the five police officers have received in regard to their handling of a procedure to get a search warrant for drug dealing.

These officers put their lives on the line every day. They were suspended, fingerprinted, photographed and spent five humiliating hours in jail, which is probably more than most drug dealers.

They were put on trial, cleared of all charges, had judges testify in their behalf, and still Mayor Schmoke and State's Attorney Stuart O. Simms are harassing these men. Their fellow officers can't understand why they are being singled out and can't speak up on their behalf because of politics.

What is Mayor Schmoke protecting? I'm sure it is his political aspirations. He promotes Baltimore as the "City that Reads." Can't he read the court's verdict?

The citizens of Baltimore should be made aware that Mayor Schmoke and Mr. Simms have spent nine months investigating this case when the city is short of funds and police personnel. This whole procedure should have been handled by the Police Department's internal affairs officers. That is the normal procedure in most cases, but not when the Mayor's relatives are involved.

These officers were dealing with drug dealers. They did what they thought was necessary to do their jobs. The judges who testified in their behalf knew they were doing their jobs.

D8 They should not have to submit to any more scrutiny.

Lona Petri


Political fruit

Like George Washington, I can't tell a lie. I cut down the apple tree. It never produced edible apples anyway. In their search for sunlight, the branches snuggled on telephone wires and produced an Indianapolis 500 runway for squirrels, while the leaves were loaded with worms and dangling caterpillars. After the tree was cut down, its branches produced a beautiful backdrop for hanging artificial Easter eggs.

But now op-ed pieces by John Kelly and Bill Tammeus have brought comic relief (April 22). The best part of Bill Tammeus' piece in the paper was put on a bold print, "I'll be reading and napping and thinking about what an excellent person I've become since I quit gardening." If I just could give up politics -- it's equally non-productive.

Kauko H. Kokkonen


Uncommon cents

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