Gimme an O: 'Wild Bill' comes back

April 20, 1994|By Milton Kent and Maureen Sack | Milton Kent and Maureen Sack,Sun Staff Writers

It seemed like Memorial Stadium times at Camden Yards last night, what with the public address system blaring "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" during the seventh-inning stretch and Wild Bill Hagy contorting his frame to lead the "Orioles" cheer.

The "Country Boy" music is hardly new, having been restored to the musical repertoire this season with the presence of local ownership, but Hagy's appearance was a bolt from the blue.

Hagy, he of the ample girth, balding pate and straw hat, rose from his seat in section 12 in the sixth inning, waved his hat, as in days of old, then shaped his body into the letters O-R-I-O-L-E-S to a rousing cheer.

"He woke some people up," said longtime Orioles public address announcer Rex Barney.

To be sure, the nouveau-riche Oriole Park crowd hardly knew what to make of the roar that emerged as third baseman Chris Sabo came to bat, but anyone with a longer memory could only think of section 34 at Memorial Stadium, where Hagy, a cab driver, used to lead cheers from the upper deck.

Hagy eventually was barred from Memorial Stadium over an incident where he allegedly tossed a beverage cooler from his upper deck perch.

When reached at his seat down the right-field line last night, Hagy, with a beer perched in his right hand, waved off any connection between the man who had led the Orioles cheer in the sixth inning and the man who had done the same 15 years ago.

"I don't know what you're talking about," said Hagy, with a sly grin.

But thousands of Baltimoreans sure did.

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