Tip of the hat to Testaverde, Navy's crew, Shula's steaks

December 07, 1997|By JOHN STEADMAN

NOTEworthy Day:

Putting the knock on Vinny Testaverde seems to befit the mood of the day, but not from this department. He's a highly professional quarterback, who, if he has a weakness, it emanates from trying to do too much -- forcing passes, eluding the rush and attempting to make impossible plays after the protection has crumbled. If the Ravens give up on him, you can believe he'll go someplace else and be the second coming of Earl Morrall.

It's shocking to hear it'll take from $16 million to $20 million -- about three times what it took to build the facility -- for the demolition of Memorial Stadium, but some small amount of the cost might be recovered by selling the seats as souvenirs to all the sentimentalists among us. Home Team Sports is making subtle suggestions that John Lowenstein should be recalled as the Orioles' color announcer; he never should have gone on waivers in the first place. Ozzie Newsome, vice president of player personnel for the Ravens, is again a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist. It's out of his league, but Peter Angelos, who, up to now, doesn't have a vote, is so impressed with Cardinal William Keeler that he's told friends that the Baltimore prelate has the ecumenical and human capabilities to become the first American pope. Scott Mutryn, whose great-uncle, Chet, was a Baltimore Colts halfback, will be a senior quarterback at Boston College next season. Pat O'Brennan, sales executive at Flight Three recording studio, says the Orioles' Cal Ripken is as cooperative in doing radio-TV commercials as Brooks Robinson was, and there could be no higher compliment than that.

Has there ever been a more inspiring demonstration of sportsmanship than when the Navy crew, costing itself a contending position, stopped during a race in the Charles River Regatta earlier this fall to rescue a rival rower, Jeff Maples of the University of Wisconsin, who had fallen into the water? Three Baltimoreans -- Gene Corrigan, Jean Fugett and Tom Scott -- are members of the board of directors of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

Ken Boyer and Orlando Cepeda have been around for so long they'll move to the veterans' eligibility category for consideration by the Baseball Hall of Fame, but our selection would go to Mickey Vernon and then Larry Doby. The rosary Roberto Alomar wears around his neck was given to him by his mother. Announcer Jerry Coleman added to his extensive list of "Colemanisms" this past season when he told listeners, "There's nothing worse than calling a home run that's caught." For Athlete of the Year -- the Mexican Indian Cirildo Chacarito, age 52, who ran 100 miles wearing sandals, made from the sidewalls of old tires, in 19 1/2 hours.

Baltimore's Tina Barrett finished a commendable 21st on this season's LPGA money list, increasing her nine-year career earnings to $1,311,375. Former Evening Sun sports editor Bill Tanton is back kicking extra points after undergoing heart bypass surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Austin McCleary mentions what is too often forgotten -- the International League once carried a Double-A classification, along with the American Association and Pacific Coast League, until 1946 when they upgraded to Triple-A in a move to influence public perception. If you're wondering what he uses for a middle name, it's Integrity, so now you know, by his own admission, that it's Art Integrity Modell. Talk about a dynasty: Norwood Car Center, with player-coach George Kelch calling the shots, and making some, too, is going for its eighth straight Pasadena Senior Volleyball championship. Paul Baker's self-published book, "Moments In Time," covers Baltimore sports heroes from Vince Dundee to Muggsy Bogues, with personalized essay space for Al Kaline, Grant Hill and 37 other subjects.

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