Orioles fans craving rematch with Yankees Memories of last season are still bitter for some

October 06, 1997|By Kate Shatzkin | Kate Shatzkin,SUN STAFF

They celebrated with the ardor of fans with something to prove and a score to settle.

As a crowd of 48,766 streamed out of the ballpark, where their Orioles had clinched a berth in the American League Championship Series, their message was clear: We want the Yankees.

Many wanted a rematch with the team that they still believed had stolen the AL championship last year with the help of a 12-year-old with an active glove.

"Fate will have us play the Yankees," said Tony Quattrochi, a junior at Perry Hall High who cheered his team from the upper deck. "Last year, we got ripped off."

From the first pitch, Baltimore fans had taken their enthusiasm up a notch -- rising with every possibility of a strikeout, waving the remnants of the black and orange bunting that fluttered down from the rafters to open the game.

As Orioles closer Randy Myers took the mound in the ninth inning, retiree Bob Rachinskas of Lutherville rubbed his hands together.

"Good pitching stops good hitting any time," he said.

True to his prediction, there was one strikeout, then another. By the time Jay Buhner's grounder rolled toward shortstop Mike Bordick, Rachinskas was on his feet. "It doesn't get any better than this!" he said.

For Chris and Cecelia Reynolds of Catonsville, it wasn't just a game. It was vindication for a beleaguered city.

"I knew it from the first home run," Chris Reynolds said of the win. "I said, 'That's it. We're done.' The nation has just been beating up on Baltimore and the Orioles. This says we're here and here to stay."

Others were sure their love for the team would silence doubters. "I knew they would win," said 9-year-old Kyle Timme of Pasadena, "because I like them so much."

Roger and Jackie Weinberg drove from Richmond to watch yesterday's game. They make the trip to Baltimore frequently because Roger Weinberg, vice president of a furniture company, comes from here.

Jackie Weinberg was decked out in an all-black outfit, decorated with orange scarves and an Orioles cap. "She knew we needed luck," said her husband.

The Weinbergs were not disappointed. "If there was only a bottle of Dom Perignon in the car, it would be perfect," Jackie Weinberg said.

But other fans made it clear they wouldn't be satisfied with anything less than a successful rematch with New York. As they left the ballpark, they chanted derisive messages at the Yankees.

Despite the boisterous crowd, city police, aided by a phalanx of state troopers, reported no major problems after the game ended at 6: 49 p.m.

Police arrested four men outside the stadium yesterday and charged them with scalping tickets. The men were identified as Bruce Randolph, 37; Keith Anthony Hodge, 41; Lawrence Walker, 39; and Renard Damon, 39.

Police said the men did not appear to be connected to a suspected counterfeiting operation that officers attempted to shut down Saturday, when they arrested nine men they said were selling manufactured tickets.

The no-scalp zone, an area outside the stadium where unused tickets can be sold for face value during the regular season, remained closed yesterday to keep ticket seekers from falling victim to the alleged scheme.

Baltimore police Sgt. D. A. Owens said she received no reports of anyone attempting to enter the stadium with counterfeit tickets yesterday.

Pub Date: 10/06/97

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