O's shouldn't miss boat as Dodgers hoist anchor

February 21, 1999|By JOHN STEADMAN

NOTEworthy Day:

When the Los Angeles Dodgers vacate Vero Beach, Fla., as a spring camp site to move closer to home, the Orioles should be first in line to rent one of the most attractive and functional of all training bases -- including six practice fields, a 90-unit villa, indoor and outdoor batting tunnels, swimming pools, two golf courses and tennis courts.

After bringing nine Hall of Famers to the Super Bowl coin-flip ceremonies, the only one introduced was Gino Marchetti, while Art Donovan, Raymond Berry, Lenny Moore, Don Maynard, Roosevelt Brown, Tom Landry, Frank Gifford and Sam Huff weren't even mentioned. NFL Films is looking for Baltimore Colts fans who might have home movies of the team at Westminster when it staged family day or other informal gatherings. A winning public relations idea for the Orioles would be to designate the press box in honor of the club's 40-year contributor, Bob Brown, considered baseball's all-time best PR man. Cold weather in Buffalo didn't bother Doug Flutie, the Baltimore-born quarterback, because he once played in 37-below-zero conditions, not including wind chill, while in the Canadian Football League. Had Joe Klein been extended an interview as a possible Orioles GM, he was prepared to say if a future replacement was needed as manager, he would turn to Don Baylor, the ex-Oriole who distinguished himself handling the Colorado Rockies.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is correct in not having a citizenship clause so the selectors can't be accused of "playing God" if they rejected a nominee on the basis of off-the-field conduct. One of the funniest lines, among many he uttered, was when Archie Moore heard Paul Pender declaring his desire to fight him for the light-heavyweight title and the "Old Mongoose" replied: "For me to meet a man like that and face my conscience, I'd have to agree to let him carry a pistol." Sad that the late Joe Robbie built the stadium where the Super Bowl was played without public money, but his name was removed so millions could be made in calling it Pro Player Stadium. A good move by Art Modell naming son David president of the Ravens and, hopefully, he'll be able to decide team policy and the direction the franchise should go. When Joe DiMaggio was the MVP of the Pacific Coast League in 1936, the fifth man in the voting was shortstop Keith Molesworth, later to be an Oriole and head coach of the Colts in 1953. Bonnie View picked a winner in golf pro Chris Tittel, who has the personality, teaching skills and management ability to earn the respect of membership.

After extensive experience with, first, the Colts and then the Orioles, Walt Gutowski will soon be moving on to head a sports marketing organization. Scott Mitchell, a likely Raven of the future, throws passes that are easy to catch but also to intercept; he's adept at rolling out. Baseball's Hall of Fame veterans committee meets March 2 to consider Frank Selee, Orlando Cepeda, Bill Mazeroski, Bowie Kuhn and Biz Mackey, among others.

Fans came back from the Oriole Advocates cruise, put together by Ken Nigro, extolling the way Eddie Murray charmed passengers and crew. They both happen to be Polish, and the goodness of Ted Marchibroda is remindful of the similar humane qualities displayed by Pope John Paul II. Bob Patzwall, former coach at Cardinal Gibbons School and a great advocate of the game, is helping organize the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick luncheon and scrimmage March 13 at the Omni. And George Young is being nominated to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a contributor, meaning he'll be pitted against George Allen, Marv Levy and Dan Rooney in the next election.

The Ed Block Courage Award Banquet, March 9 at Martin's West, sold out a month in advance, which tells you Baltimore knows a quality event when it has one. Tom Seaver, hired by the New York Mets as a broadcaster/pitching coach, might find the double duty leads to an uncomfortable situation, especially with another pitching coach on the premises.

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