At Memorial Stadium, they came to watch football, talk baseball

August 11, 1994|By Brad Snyder | Brad Snyder,Sun Staff Writer

With the strike just a day away, fans tried to get baseball off their minds by going to Memorial Stadium for a football game.

"I'm concentrating on football, or I'd be home watching the Yankees game," said Marlin Sauble Sr., who wore a 1966 Orioles cap to last night's Baltimore CFLs-Hamilton Tiger-Cats game.

Sauble, of York, Pa., was at the game with his father, Sterling, and his 7-year-old son, Marlin Jr. Sauble has taken Marlin Jr., who was wearing the current O's cap, to five or six Orioles games this season.

The threatened strike has ended the family's interest in the baseball season. "We just decided the heck with the strike," Sauble said.

Riviera Beach's Jeff Shaw spent his afternoon watching his beloved San Francisco Giants play the Chicago Cubs on WGN. Wearing a Giants hat to the CFL game that evening, Shaw refused to take sides over the strike. "I think they're all idiots," said Shaw, who moved to Baltimore last year from the Bay area.

Shaw bought CFL tickets for his family to get involved in his new community, but he still left part of his football heart in San Francisco.

"This is a lot of fun," Shaw said, "but I won't give up being a 49ers fan."

For some of the 37,231 fans at last night's game, like Pasadena's David Kraft, any football game will do over a baseball game.

An assistant football coach at Glen Burnie High School, Kraft said baseball is just something that gets in the way of his lacrosse and football seasons. He could care less about the strike.

"Let them go," Kraft said. "When I make as much money as they do, then I'll worry about it."

Kraft, 36, who spent the late afternoon tailgating with friends in the parking lot next to Eastern High School, said he doesn't feel as comfortable among the wine and cheese crowd at Camden Yards.

"It's a lot more formal. You've got all your stuffed shirts from Washington," Kraft said. "It's not a people's game anymore."

Baltimore's Gregory Stokes, who was wearing a Philadelphia Phillies cap, still cares about the strike.

"As a sports fan and as a baseball fan, I hope it ends soon," he said.

The proposed strike, Stokes said, should not prevent fans from enjoying the beauty of the game.

"I hope people understand the game is a game, and business is business," Stokes said. "When you mix them, unfortunately the money always wins."

The people who work at the ballpark will not see that money. Much of the staff at last night's CFL game also works at Camden Yards.

The money is not what really matters to many of them.

"It's not a lot of money, but it gets you out of the rocking chair," said 66-year-old Walter Staniewski of Highlandtown.

Last night, Staniewski checked press credentials outside of gate E2 at Memorial Stadium. At Camden Yards, he guards the umpires room.

Staniewski works at Camden Yards because of his love of baseball. The impending strike will not allow him to do it much longer.

"I, personally, am going to miss it," Staniewski said, "not financially, but in my heart."

Staniewski said the strike will hurt the game.

"It's getting to the point where the interest is not in baseball anymore," he said.

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