Dear Stadium Doctor:I am a season-ticket holder, and prior...

Stadium Doctor

September 13, 1992

Dear Stadium Doctor:

I am a season-ticket holder, and prior to the opening of the new stadium, I heard a great deal about the new system of pumping draft beer from the basement to eliminate the hassle of keg beer.

However, upon leaving the stadium on a number of occasions I have seen empty kegs on the exit ramps. If the beer is coming from the basement, why do I continually see the concession vendors carting away these empty kegs?

Greg Nelson


Dear Greg Nelson:

First of all, I want to congratulate you for having your letter printed in this very special installment of Stadium Doctor. By special, I mean that Stadium Doctor has been around a long, long time -- longer than Jeff Tackett, Itza Bitsa pizza and a number of other ballpark attractions I could rattle off. Anyway, this is Stadium Doctor's 43rd weekly dispatch, a titanic achievement because it ties me on the all-time medical columnist list with a childhood hero, Dr. Neil Solomon.

I didn't know the answer to your question, but, fortunately, a very high-ranking person whose office is in the basement of the stadium did. He reminded me that though the gigantic beer cooler in the ballpark catacombs supplies most of the food stands, it cannot reach all. A few stands -- mostly in the upper deck and far left field -- are too far from the main keg to be hooked up. Those stands have their very own, behind-the-counter kegs, which I am guessing are the ones you are seeing.

Dear Stadium Doctor:

Regarding the theme of the old-style game at Camden Yards. I believe there is a flaw that may have been overlooked. It concerns the time delay between the national anthem and the first pitch.

I remember the home team being out on the field, all players in position, ready to begin the game immediately after the national anthem. To date, the start of the game is approximately 10 minutes later. Why do they do it that way?

Joe Schmedes


Dear Joe Schmedes:

I was going to answer your extremely well written and attractively stamped letter by saying, "For gosh sakes, Joe, even Stadium Doctor doesn't know everything." Then it occurred to me I probably do. My apologies for the momentary confusion.

Now then. I hope you won't go around blaming this highly charged national anthem controversy on the Orioles or the Maryland Stadium Authority or even poor Gov. Schaefer, who, if I may inject this point, can recite by heart the lyrics to this popular tune. As usual, the problem is television, which doesn't want to use up a lot of valuable air time with the playing of a song. Whenever a game is televised, which these days is virtually every game, the anthem gets moved.

Have a question for the Stadium Doctor? Write: Stadium Doctor, c/o Sun Sports Department, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278-0001. Or fax him at (410) 783-2518.

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