3 millionth fan showered with gifts, while a power failure douses lights

September 10, 1992|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

The Orioles welcomed their 3 millionth fan to Camden Yards last night, but the start of the game was delayed 18 minutes by a power failure that darkened a large area around the stadium.

It was the third time this year that there has been a delay because of a lighting malfunction, but this time stadium officials indicated that the problem was outside their jurisdiction. The power failure apparently was caused by an interruption in service from the Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.

The interruption of power to the stadium was only momentary. The lights were restarted with backup power and the game was started at 7:53.

The fans were entertained by relevant rock-and-roll songs over the public address system, including "Dancing in the Dark," "The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia" and "When the Lights Go Down in the City."

3 millionth fan

The Orioles honored Potomac resident Rick Weinstein as their ceremonial 3 millionth fan of this season. Weinstein was chosen at random from the sellout crowd and showered with gifts.

He received two tickets on the next Orioles Caribbean Cruise, two strips of tickets to all Orioles postseason games (if they get that far) and two tickets to the 1993 All-Star Game.

Milligan on fans

First baseman Randy Milligan said he was surprised to hear the fans booing shortstop Cal Ripken after his final at-bat in Tuesday night's 16-4 loss to the New York Yankees.

"How can the fans rip Cal?" he said. "He goes out there and busts his rear every day."

Milligan has also heard some boos, but they are hard to differentiate from the "Mooooose" cheer that has become routine when he goes to bat.

"We need to generate some fan spirit," Milligan said. "They're sitting up there waiting for things to happen instead of pumping us up. But I don't blame the fans. They just want us to do well."

Dempsey recharges crowd

Orioles instructor Rick Dempsey made good on his promise to fire up the fans from his position in the Orioles bullpen. He waved a towel and spelled Orioles (a la Wild Bill Hagy) before the Orioles' first turn to bat.

B. Ripken better

Second baseman Bill Ripken said that his sore left Achilles' tendon is improving. He took part in all phases of pre-game workouts yesterday and was available to play in an emergency. If all goes well, he could be close to full availability when the Orioles open a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers tomorrow.

"Today will be a good barometer for me," Ripken said before the game, "because I'm going to go out there and do everything."

How the injury responds, however, may not be apparent until today or tomorrow.

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