Streak ends with park's smallest crowdThe Orioles...

Orioles notebook

April 23, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

Streak ends with park's smallest crowd

The Orioles' major-league record of 65 straight sellouts came to an end when the paid attendance for last night's makeup game with the Chicago White Sox was 22,317.

It was the first non-sellout at Camden Yards since May 22 and was the smallest crowd ever there.

Last night's attendance represented the number of tickets sold, including all full season tickets. The turnstile count was only 9,871.

"It's certainly an outstanding record, one that our fans can be very proud of," Orioles general manager Roland Hemond said after the sellout streak officially ended. "It's unfortunate that a rainout curtailed the possibility of the streak being perpetuated."

Last night's game was played at 6:05 on a scheduled open date after Wednesday night's game had been rained out. That game might have sold out if the elements had been favorable -- about 5,000 tickets were unsold.

The sellout streak encompassed the last 59 home dates of the 1992 season and the first six this year.

The old record of 60 was established by the Toronto Blue Jays, who sold out their last 59 dates in 1990 and Opening Day 1991.

"It's a feat other major-league cities will be shooting for in the future and all Orioles fans should feel good about that," said Hemond.

Counting last night, 73 of the 87 games played at Camden Yards have been sellouts.

Small but annoyed

Last night's crowd may have been the smallest in the brief history of Camden Yards, but it probably didn't sound that way to the Orioles. Reliever Gregg Olson twice was the object of the crowd's wrath -- when he entered the game and again when he left the mound in the ninth inning.

Olson said the reaction of the crowd hasn't affected him.

"Mentally, when I come into the game, I know what I have to do, and I'm confident I'm going to do it," he said. "I'm just struggling right now."

Manager Johnny Oates also said he didn't think the adverse fan reaction was taking its toll.

"Fans don't bother me," he said. "We need them. When we don't win, they're going to yell.

"Fans don't dictate what I do or how the players play. But it's not easy [for him], and it's not easy for the players either.

"I know it looks weak now, but we'll get things turned around. It'll be all right before it's over, and then the fans who are booing us now will be pulling for us.

"There's no doubt in my mind that the effort is there," said Oates. "But, right now, the execution isn't. It's a combination of lack of execution and being snakebit."

Around the horn

Jack McDowell was only the fourth right-hander to start against the Orioles in the first 13 games. . . . The Orioles wore black uniform jerseys last night for the first time ever in a regular-season game. The black tops replace the orange jerseys occasionally worn in the past.

A year ago, Mike Devereaux led the major leagues with 13 hits with the bases loaded, but this year he is 0-for-6 in similar situations. . . . The Orioles will play 11 of their next 13 games on the road. . . . Lance Johnson's eighth-inning single last night extended his hitting streak to 12 games, one short of the White Sox club record at the start of a season.

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