Anne Arundel County's most honored sports personality running out of honors would be like Charley Eckman running out of words. As he likes to say, "ain't no way," and yes, Glen Burnie's Eckman is slated for still another award.
Eckman is to receive the 1994 Good Scout Award from the Four Rivers District Boy Scouts on Dec. 13 at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie.
Tickets are $50 for adults and $15 for those under age 18 and can be purchased by calling Michael's (410) 768-7901 or dinner chairman Joanne Murphy (410) 766-4656.
The public is invited to attend and meet Eckman and other sports personalities such as Wes Unseld, Boog Powell, Roland Hemond, Jim Speros, John Steadman, Tom Davis and Vince Bagli.
Eckman blazed his way as a college and NBA referee, NBA coach, and sports broadcaster. He, his wife Wilma and family have called Glen Burnie home for nearly 50 years.
"We annually recognize an individual who upholds the scout ideals of community service and is held in high respect and esteem by his peers and those in the community," said District Executive Director Dave Timmons, who also can be called for tickets at (410) 553-9329.
"Charley has been involved in numerous community activities and charities for a long, long time."
Timmons also mentioned that the Good Scout Dinner is a "unique fund-raiser for the scouts." The Baltimore Area Council numbers 5,100 scouts in 108 units in northern Anne Arundel, Curtis Bay and Brooklyn.
Eckman is an "American Original," as Eckman's former WFBR radio GM Harry Shriver once called him. Eckman is one of the funniest and most candid celebrities to grace Maryland sports.
Eckman's feisty demeanor has enabled him to battle cancer during the past four years.
Greg "Nuke Laloosh" Arnold, the former Orioles pitcher and Glen Burnie businessman, ran into Eckman a couple weeks ago at the track and said he busted his sides as Eckman held court.
"He's unbelievable, funniest man I've ever listened to," said Arnold, who is not bad himself at one-liners and sports yarns. "He looked great, 10 years younger than the last time I had seen him.
"First thing he did was remind me that I had a million-dollar arm and 10-cent brain when I pitched for the Orioles."
The Eckman legend aside, this award is deserving because it recognizes a side of the man many don't know. Wherever he shows up, you know he's there by his loud and engaging manner, but what many don't know is his other side.
Needy families, people down on their luck, pro athletes and kids who need help or merely tickets to games, Special Olympians, church and youth groups, all know the good side of Charley Eckman.
It's his best side, and this year's Good Scout Award is going to the truly right guy.
Expensive tourney format
Hasn't all this commotion over fiscal austerity and gender equity in high school athletics been decreased by the state's new open tournament format?
We hear about cutbacks and how the girls are slighted by not playing night games, yet, we are spending more money on officials, lights and buses for additional games -- county championships and extra playoff games with everybody included -- around the state.
At Tuesday night's boys/girls soccer playoff doubleheader at South River, Joe Papetti Stadium was cleared after the boys game, and those who wanted to watch the girls play had to pay another $4 to get back in. Can you believe that?
Even the boys players and coaches had to pay to get back in. As a result, the girls crowd was not as big because some people went home rather than pay again.
"The state doesn't give us any money for the [playoff] officials, so we have to make it at the gate," said South River athletic director Jim Haluck.
The fans really do pay the freight even in high school sports. Just think if the so-called progressive thinkers get their way and the open tournament is expanded to all sports (except football).
Students, parents and fans will be expected to pay for the additional expense.