SEVERAL dozen names have been proposed, in response to Salmagundi's call, for the 19th century batsman sketched in the Orioles' new monogram. The jury, throughout appreciative of the emblematic player's noble, stalwart lineaments and ever sensitive to the uncanny ingenuity of many an entry, has agonized.
But, we have a winner!
For an idea of the contestants' acumen, consider these nominations:
Mugsy Battersby (from Sol Goodman); Crabclaw Cannon (from John Martin); Merle Lane (i.e., Maryland, from J. Napfel Jr.); Camden Babe (from Stan and Bernadine Cochran).
A Chicago fan mailed in a gloveful: Homer O'Riley, Diamond Joe Grogarty, Pops Fischheim, Studs Micklin, Roscoe (Cannon) Sempler, Boiler Shaughnessy and others.
An early leader was Patricia Hughes' suggestion: American Boh (American for the league, Boh for Baltimore's Oriole Hero).
Another finalist was Hal Baudemos, from Arnold Paskoff. There the name translates into How 'Bout Dem O's?
Then, among the last, lacking even a sender's name or phone number, came one that breathed life into our man:
Every baseball person will get it -- this name going back to the game's very origins, if not farther; this name ringing with the sound of bat against ball, and ball against fence, and crowd urging the baserunner on.
Will Ab be accepted, at Oriole Park where the 19th century batter adorns seat rows and drinking cups (and the spiffy Camden Club, where he is on platters and rugs)? No telling.
Salmagundi offered no prize. But honors do await the winner, when the jury identifies her or him: lunch at the Camden Club with Janet Marie Smith of the Orioles' front office.