No autographs from O'sAn open letter to Orioles owner...

LETTERS

September 22, 1996

No autographs from O's

An open letter to Orioles owner Peter Angelos:

I had a very negative experience at the Aug. 23 game between the Orioles and the California Angels. I attended the game with my wife, my 5-year-old son and one of my son's friends. This was my son's first game at Camden Yards and his only thought for the last few weeks has been getting an autograph from one of the Orioles.

I called the Orioles' offices the week before the game and was told that the players usually sign autographs between 6: 05 and 6: 45. I left work so that we would arrive at the ballpark no later than 5: 30. At 6: 05 we entered and obtained a place along the rail beside the first base dugout.

Many of the Orioles were still on the field. They started to leave the field over the next few minutes and I was amazed to see that not one came over to sign an autograph. Not a single player even acknowledged the existence of the hundreds of fans (mostly children) who were patiently and politely waiting. Most of the kids, my boys included, would have been thrilled to have received a simple "hello" from a player.

While I was standing there, I wondered if these players understood that the fans were the reason for their lucrative contracts and endorsement deals. I became convinced that these prima donnas would be happier playing in an empty stadium before television cameras as long as their paychecks were not affected.

I would like to know if the club has a policy regarding autographs. I do not feel that it is too much to ask that each player be required to sign for 15 minutes before game time. These players are your employees and you are paying them millions of dollars per year. I feel that you would certainly be justified in requiring them to sign autographs and maintain some sense of rapport with the fans.

Michael A. Murray

Hagerstown

Wants late coverage

When The Evening Sun closed last year, sports fans were assured that coverage of West Coast Orioles games would not suffer and that The Sun would offer complete coverage. However, it is obvious that the promise was nothing more than PR move to smooth over apprehensive readership.

The real deal, as we know by now, is that if the Orioles are on the West Coast, then the paper lying in our front yards might as well be a roll of toilet paper -- except that toilet paper is more useful because we won't get ink stains from it.

This situation is a direct result of The Sun's monopoly in Baltimore. We beg of you: Please do the right thing (spend some money) and give us that late coverage.

Steve Couzantino

Millersville

Dan, give Murray the ball

An open letter to Dan Jones (the man who caught Eddie Murray's 500th home run):

Your saying "I'm a huge fan of Eddie's" makes me inflamed. A true fan of Murray's respects him as much as he respects the game and realizes no money value can be placed on it. If I had been "fortunate and lucky" enough to catch the ball, I would have returned it to Murray. It's a shame that giving him the ball wouldn't even come close to thanking him for all the great moments he has given to Orioles fans.

Chris L. Schuerholz

Baltimore

An NFL team of our own

It was Sept. 1, 1996.

It was rising on a Sunday morning with a long-forgotten feeling. A buzz, a tingle, wasn't it? It was not reading with anguish The Sun sports page loaded with information about the day's Redskins game. It was awakening my season-ticket partner, 6-year-old Matthew, with a resounding, "Caw, caw, caw!"

It was not caring at all who the Colts played today or whether they'd be beaten. It was dressing in purple and black and loving the way it looked. It was Memorial Stadium on a glorious afternoon for football, real football! It was not Calgary, Ottawa or even Saskatchewan.

It was tears of reality, of joy, as the home team was introduced. It was a father proudly sharing the day and the accompanying memories with his son.

It was a Ravens victory and it was for all of us. It was Sept. 1, 1996. It was a truly wonderful day, an NFL day in Baltimore.

Christopher Cheswick

Catonsville

We welcome your letters. They should include your name, address and a daytime telephone number. We edit letters for length and clarity when necessary. Send them to:

Sports Department The Baltimore Sun 501 N. Calvert St. Baltimore, Md. 21278-0001

Or fax us your letter:

(410) 783-2518

Pub Date: 9/22/96

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