Speros to tap Ripken for 'ring of stars'

August 07, 1994|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Sun Staff Writer

LAS VEGAS -- If an Aug. 12 baseball strike is inevitable, Jim Speros is ready to offer Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken the chance to make a return appearance at Memorial Stadium.

Speros, owner of Baltimore's Canadian Football League team, said he wants to unveil a "ring of stars" before the CFLs' Aug. 20 game against the Toronto Argonauts.

Ripken is one of six nominees Speros wants to honor. The group includes former Colts Johnny Unitas, Lenny Moore and Art Donovan, along with Ripken, Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson from the Orioles. All, except the still-active Ripken, are in their respective Halls of Fame. And he's a lock to be there one day.

Speros' plans call for six plaques to be placed on the facade of the upper deck at the closed end of Memorial Stadium.

"We want them to be present," he said. "We'll celebrate the 40th anniversary of Memorial Stadium on the 20th, and we'll have fireworks to go with that."

Speros also said the CFLs would make an unspecified donation to a charity chosen by each of the honored athletes. He said letters of invitation were sent out to the six last week.

Speros said the club planned to create a ring of honor before the strike date was set.

"It's unfortunate if there's a strike," he said. "Certainly, we'll be very aggressive with our marketing. But we already were scheduled to do that. We'll have mini-plans available for our fall schedule."

Tiger-Cats on deck

In their shortest turnaround of the season, the CFLs play again in four days. They face the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Wednesday night at Memorial Stadium.

Hamilton beat the Shreveport Pirates, 38-15, Friday in a battle of 0-4 teams.

Lineup changes

Ricky Andrews, activated this week, started at middle linebacker for Baltimore ahead of Earnest Fields, the team's leading tackler. Fields came in on the team's third defensive series.

Matt Goodwin started at outside linebacker ahead of Alvin Walton, who returned after a two-week stay on the injured list. Walton played on the fourth defensive series.

On offense, rookie Joe Washington started ahead of veteran Shawn Beals at slotback, and had two catches in Baltimore's first touchdown drive.

Revamped Posse

Last night's opponent, the Las Vegas Posse, is reeling after winning the first four games of its existence (two preseason, two regular season). The Posse had lost two in a row going into last night's game, and has been decimated by injuries.

Vegas made 16 changes to its depth chart this week, including three new starters in the offensive line. Two of those -- left tackle Tom Backes and left guard Ron Shipley -- just joined the team this week. The third new starter in the line is right tackle James Richards.

Quarterback Len Williams started in place of Anthony Calvillo, who injured his ankle on the first play of last week's 39-20 loss to Toronto.

Dr. J on call

Radio announcer Joe Washington's guest at the game was Julius Erving. And Baltimore defensive tackle Tom Fuhler left tickets for David Webb, who was in the CFLs' training camp.

Miscellaneous

Baltimore halfback Charles Anthony, a Las Vegas native, bought 30 tickets for friends and family last night. . . . The CFLs were outscored 47-28 in the fourth quarter going into last night, and had given up 349.6 passing yards a game, last in the league. . . . UNLV and Florida State have produced the most CFL players of any U.S. colleges (eight each). . . . Vegas tackle Ben Jefferson, out of the University of Maryland, is out with a torn rotator cuff suffered in the season opener. . . . The Posse's Tamarick Vanover, with only two catches in four games, was moved from wide-out to slotback this week. . . . Vegas led the CFL with 17 sacks after four games.

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