Dear Mr. Baseball:How can I get that parquet effect on my...

MR. BASEBALL

May 12, 1994

Dear Mr. Baseball:

How can I get that parquet effect on my lawn so it looks like the outfield at Oriole Park at Camden Yards?

J. Glass

Baltimore

Dear J. Glass:

Your question placed Mr. Baseball on a labyrinthine trail for an expert in the area of mowing your lawn into a funny pattern. Gloom set in when your query stumped Mike Klingaman, author of The Sun's "Real Dirt" column and formerly a door-to-door mulch salesman.

Fortunately, a hero emerged in Orioles groundskeeper Paul Zwaska. He explained that, to get that checkerboard look, you need something called a reel-type mower. This very expensive lawn mower lays the grass blades on their sides before clipping, which is different from the rotary-type mower owned by most normal people, which raises grass blades straight up before snipping.

You also have to mow the grass in precise directions, so that light reflects in just the right way.

There's more to know, but it's even less interesting, if that's possible.

Dear Mr. Baseball:

Why is Eddie Murray's "33" not among the statues of retired Orioles players' numbers that are in front of the Camden Street side of Oriole Park?

Joe Schmedes

Linthicum

Dear Joe Schmedes:

Mr. Baseball is going to give you two answers to this question, one of which could very possibly be true.

Here's what the Orioles said last year when they unveiled the number monuments and Eddie's was conspicuously missing: that Eddie sure was great, and that he ranked as one of the most beloved players in Orioles history, but that this just wasn't the right time to build a big statue with his number on it. Maybe when he retires . . .

Here's what they might have been thinking: that even though Eddie was maybe the greatest Oriole, he was a pain in the neck, particularly once he became convinced that the entire Baltimore population was out to get him. Let him cool his heels awhile.

There's a new Orioles owner who seems to be a big Murray fan. So, it's possible Eddie might get his due before long.

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