Wanted: goods bearing 'Browns' Demand for merchandise climbs at Baltimore stores

The Browns' Move To Baltimore

November 07, 1995|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Now that Baltimore has been given the ball, the quest has begun to obtain the T-shirt, the cap and the jersey.

Suddenly, Baltimore is full of Browns fans, scrambling to be the first on their block to display their allegiance to their new NFL team.

"I've gotten about 10 calls already," Bill Keith, an employee at Dick's Clothing and Sporting Goods in Glen Burnie, said an hour after the store opened yesterday morning.

And that was before the news conference at Camden Yards announcing the intention of the Browns to move here. Several local sporting goods stores reported a significant increase in interest in Browns merchandise after the news conference.

"I think people were a little skeptical until they heard the announcement," said Peter Kang, assistant manager of Champs Golden Ring Mall in Rosedale.

The most sought-after item appears to be the one that is unobtainable at the moment (unless you know an enterprising bootleg T-shirt salesman) -- a Baltimore Browns T-shirt.

Most stores won't carry anything that isn't officially licensed by the NFL, thereby prohibiting the sale of any Baltimore Browns souvenirs.

Instead, people are settling for merchandise that bears only the name "Browns," rather than anything that says "Cleveland Browns."

A Baltimore Browns T-shirt could be on the market within a few days, however. East Coast Screenprinters on York Road has produced 200 sample T-shirts that it will be sending to the NFL for approval.

"It will take a couple days, but I expect that it will be approved," said East Coast Screenprinters owner Dan McClure, who estimated that he has received more than 100 requests for the T-shirts.

The Pro Image in Dundalk's Eastpoint Mall sold out of three styles of Browns hats (20 in all) and two types of Browns T-shirts (a total of 10) yesterday.

"We've had five or six people at a time coming in looking for hats and jerseys," said Zonda DeFelice, manager of The Pro Image. "And Monday is usually a very slow day."

Apparently, it was a very slow day for sporting goods stores in Cleveland.

At the Foot Locker at Eastpoint Mall, assistant manager Scott Guillroy was on the phone with an employee from a Foot Locker in Cleveland.

"They're looking to get rid of their Browns merchandise," Guillroy said. "They're sending us some of their Browns stuff because they said no one there is going to want it."

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