On Saturday night, droves of stars stepped from their limos onto a red-carpeted sidewalk and into a theater for the Hollywood premiere of "Evita."
Thousands of screaming fans lined the street, waiting for a glimpse of entertainment giants. Out walked Madonna, Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith and Brady Anderson.
Yes, Brady has gone Hollywood. The 50-jack man has become a national phenomenon, though not quite on the level of Madonna.
"I came in with my girlfriend and it's like, no way," Anderson said. "There's about three or four thousands fans in the stands and one person yells 'Brady!'
"I'm like, 'Ingrid, did you hear that.' Yes, one person knew me. That was pretty good, though. It was like the Oscars."
Anderson has yet to make a grand entrance at the Academy Awards, but he seems to be heading in that direction.
For years Anderson's hustle, slick fielding, speed, hitting and 90210-esque sideburns have endeared him to Baltimoreans. Charity work, like mingling with city kids at Camden Yards on Tuesday, has entrenched him in the community. The 32-year-old has reached movie star status in Maryland.
Now he's branching out.
"I do get a special thrill, I've got to tell you, if I get recognized in New York or Los Angeles," Anderson said. "That amazes me. I don't wear my uniform around in L.A., not most of the time anyway. I'm not saying I get spotted very often, but there have been a few times in L.A."
Get used to it.
The California native just finished taping an episode of the ABC sitcom "Sabrina The Teenage Witch."
"I get to travel; however, a witch transfers you, from the baseball field to her house, to give her some advice," Anderson said. "It was a lot of fun."
But the teeny-boppers weren't interested in Anderson's career year. His 50-homer season (the first in Orioles history) didn't come up.
The personal-best 110 RBIs? They weren't interested.
Amassing 37 doubles and scoring 117 runs? They weren't impressed.
No, Sabrina and her pals wanted the gory details of Anderson's appendix problems that made him miss four games in late July.
"The girls would come up to me and say, 'How did you play with an appendicitis?' " Anderson said. "They all wanted to see my scar. I'm like, 'I didn't have it out, that's the point.'
"I'm never having it out. I guess if I didn't hit 50 home runs would have just been known as the guy who played through an appendicitis attack."
At the time, the inflammation seemed much more serious. Surgeons told Anderson to have his appendix removed the night he first felt the pain. Anderson refused.
"It hasn't bothered me since it happened," Anderson said. "Whatever it was, I don't care. The best decision of my life was to not have it out. You could argue that we wouldn't have made the playoffs if I would have had my appendix taken out. I definitely wouldn't have hit 50 home runs. It wasn't even a tough decision."
Having conquered Hollywood, and traditional medical practices, Anderson said he's now focused on the season at hand.
But Anderson is also thinking beyond 1997. His $4 million contract extension expires at the end of next season, and he hopes to re-sign with the club. Regardless of where his off-season pursuits may take him, Anderson wants to finish his playing career in Baltimore.
"Some of my best moments in life, the fans have given me in Baltimore," Anderson said while perched on the sixth floor of the B&O warehouse overlooking Camden Yards, where his thoughts were often interrupted by a stream of star-struck fans.
"When I go out in Baltimore, the reaction is so positive. People are so nice to me, so polite. I'm glad that I'm smart enough to realize I have it really good here. I never want to leave here, and I think the fans know that."
Pub Date: 12/19/96