Elizabeth Stovall, 77, fan of Orioles, hospital worker

September 05, 1996|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

It wasn't just baseball that Elizabeth Stovall loved. She had a passion for Orioles baseball.

Each season for the past four decades, she would sit in front of her television and cheer for Jim Gentile, Paul Blair, Jim Palmer and Eddie Murray, giving up sleep to catch late games from the West Coast and sitting restlessly during rain delays.

Other sports held no interest for her, and she never made it to the ballpark to see a game. "There's no way to explain it, she just loved to watch the Orioles on television," said her daughter, Ouida McCormick of Baltimore.

Said Mrs. Stovall's sister, Esther Gray of Baltimore: "As long as they were winning, everything was OK."

Mrs. Stovall died Saturday of heart failure at Lorien Frankford Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in East Baltimore. She was 77.

Born Elizabeth Holeman in South Boston, Va., she and Floyd Stovall were married in 1936. They moved to a house near Pimlico Race Course in the late 1930s. Mr. Stovall died in 1975.

For many years, Mrs. Stovall was a nursing assistant at the former Veterans Administration Hospital in Northeast Baltimore. Her interest in the Orioles grew once she retired.

"She loved Frank Robinson and had a lot of respect for Cal Ripken," said John McCormick, her son in-law.

The Orioles will miss her as much as she loved them.

"Mrs. Stovall was like many Orioles fans who enjoyed the games by listening to Chuck Thompson and Jon Miller while sitting in their living room or on their front porches," said Bill Stetka, a spokesman for the ballclub. "Her type of loyalty to the Orioles is just as important as the 47,000 fans who come to the games."

And her family could tell how well the team was doing by the tone of Mrs. Stovall's voice over the phone. "I could tell she was happy her team had won," Mrs. Gray said.

Services will be at 11 a.m. today at City Temple of Baltimore Baptist Church, 317 Dolphin St.

Other survivors include a son, Keister Stovall of Baltimore; a brother, Andrew Holeman of South Boston; and five grandchildren.

Pub Date: 9/05/96

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