Dear Stadium Doctor:If the ballpark keeps being a sellout...

Stadium Doctor

September 27, 1992

Dear Stadium Doctor:

If the ballpark keeps being a sellout into next season, is there a way of adding approximately 5,000 more seats so more fans can be accommodated?

Michael Shaivitz

Owings Mills

Dear Michael Shaivitz:

Thanks for your excellent letter, which should be of interest to virtually all of this column's devoted readers, whose numbers are said rapidly to be approaching six.

I didn't know the answer to your question -- extending that streak to 43 inquiries -- but an extremely knowledgeable person at the Maryland Stadium Authority did. He informs me -- and presumably you, if you're reading -- that several thousand temporary bleacher seats could be erected in outfield locations set aside for picnics and for the right-field flag court. In fact, you might have seen those seats sprouting up if the Orioles had made it to the playoffs, which seemed like a possibility a few weeks ago.

But the stadium authority and the Orioles think it would be a bad idea to mess up the nice look of the stadium by slapping up more seats during the regular season, so don't count on that happening.

Dear Stadium Doctor:

In two recent episodes of the comic strip "Brenda Starr," Brenda and the aging quarterback were seen entering the Bruisers' football stadium. There were a couple of aspects of that stadium that looked a lot like the entrance to Oriole Park at the home-plate corner -- like the arched window, the cornice break above the second level, the top entrance awning with a diamond-shaped logo, the light pole with curly bracket at top and the diagonal truss at the back of the sunscreen roof above.

Does Baltimore ballpark architecture have a fan in the comic world?

C. R. Kuning


Dear C. R. Kuning:

As a faithful reader of such comic-strip classics as "Nancy," "Mark Trail" and "Pogo -- The Next Generation," I was delighted to receive your letter and highly off-beat question.

I didn't know exactly how to go about clearing up this mystery, particularly after my repeated phone calls to Starr went unanswered. But things worked out all right because I was able to contact Ramona Fradon, the artist who draws the strip.

As it turns out, Fradon, who lives in a pretty remote place in New York State and doesn't have a lot of experience looking at big stadiums, did use Oriole Park as the model for her funny-paper football stadium. She said she happened to see a picture of the ballpark in a magazine and, being in the market for this type of thing, borrowed a few architectural details. I told her I didn't object at all, which, if I read her right, was a big relief.

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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