Next time, try to avoid the hassles, get some milk

This Just In...

July 12, 1999|By Dan Rodricks

THE announcement that the Babe Ruth League had renamed its 12-and-under division in honor of Cal Ripken and his father took place on the sun-splashed flag court at Oriole Park. It was a hot day. Bottled water appeared all over the place, free to those attending, including Himself. But before the Oriole All-Star reached the dais, various minions scurried about to tear the labels off the bottled aqua. (Can't have Cal being photographed with a brand that hadn't paid for the endorsement, you know.) Ripken's commercial agent, Ira Rainess, said he didn't ask that the labels be removed, though his employees did it. "You can't be too careful," he joked. Next time, avoid hassles, Ira. Give everyone a frosty glass of milk. ... Reaffirmed during a recent vacation: Wiffle Ball is still, for the money, the best plaything on the market. For $2.49, a kid gets a plastic bat and a ball and hours of fun. At my house, we play by our own ground rules in the back yard -- hit the ball off the garage and it's a double; in the flower patch, it's a triple; hit one onto the grass and it's a single; bounce one off a dog and get an extra base. ... Experts tell me legendary broadcaster Chuck Thompson couldn't have said "B-16" when he called Bingo at last month's St. Anthony Festival in Little Italy (TJI, June 16). "No matter how good it sounded those ladies would have been all over him," says TJI reader Jerry Miskelly. "The number 16 is found under the 'I' not the 'B' and, Hall of Famer or not, he would have been 'going, going, gone!' " ... I'd like to remind Albert Belle that, now that the All-Star break is here and he has nothing to do, I'd be glad to take him fishing. We could go to a Maryland river where the fish aren't dead yet and try to catch a few. It would be relaxing, AB, even spiritual, good for your soul. You can contact me through the Sun's Web page (

Early networking

He's a snowball vendor on the cutting edge, a kid with a gift for marketing that should attract scouts from Doner and Eisner. In front of his home in tiny Uniontown, Carroll County, 12-year-old Adam Knatz sells the unofficial state summer refreshment for $1.25. He'll throw in a free "Just Say Sno" note pad, too. He offers a proof-of-purchase card that gives a 10th snowball free. And he has an e-mail address.

Each year, Adam serves about 1,500 snowballs, mostly to construction workers and townsfolk. It's a venture he started three years ago to save for college and a car.

"It's the best way to meet a variety of people -- and not sit at home," he says. "And I've learned a lot of people skills."

Networking, kid, it's called networking.

Where are the gull police?

Cereal Mom was in Rehoboth last week, eating an ice cream cone on the boardwalk, when a sea gull swooped down, snatched it out of her hand and flew off. "I was in shock," says CM. "Minutes later, I overheard a woman holding a bucket of Thrasher's bemoan how a bird from the same flock divebombed into her fries, took a beakful and flew on. Where are the police?"

Now, a word from our sponsor

Route 140 through Westminster seems eternally gridlocked while road construction drags on and snarls commuter traffic. Church of the Open Door posted a gentle reminder from the Almighty at its entrance onto the highway, and disgruntled motorists have ample time to read the bold black letters: "Keep taking my name in vain and I'll make this rush hour even longer. God."

Good eats, good memories

Joey Amalfitano, back after a few months of feuding with this columnist over a personal slight we'd rather not go into -- it involved Hawaiian shirts and a lawn mower; you don't want to hear it -- writes:

"Dan and TJI friends: Maxine and I stumbled upon an East Baltimore tradition -- two minutes from my Harford County estate. The folks who run Linwood Bakery, located at Linwood and Fayette since the turn of the century, have opened a shop on Gateway Drive, Bel Air, where they continue to sell their mouth-watering peach cakes and marshmallow doughnuts. George Stavropoulos, owner of the Linwood for the last 18 years, told me he opened the Harford branch in April because he needed a larger oven. He assures us the old Linwood is doing just fine. He and his wife, Carol, and their three cats still reside above the bakery. I told him that, although I grew up around Belair and Erdman -- we had several great bakeries there, like the Blue Bowl and the Pelham -- my buddies Louie Dushel, Craig Franz and I sometimes 'lunched' at the Linwood during our bicycle adventures into Highlandtown on hot summer afternoons. Ah, yes, a half-dozen honey dips and an RC. I remember it well."

And speaking of food

Overheard during a vacation visit to Massachusetts, from the lips of my mother, the former Rose Popolo: "I only cook turkey once a year -- Christmas and Thanksgiving." ... TJI reader Lee Williamson said he heard the following announcement during teasers for a local TV station's 11 p.m. newscast: "Eight-year-old truck driver's son saves his father!" Asks Williamson: "What's an 8-year-old doing driving a truck and, more so, having a son?" Hey, got your attention, didn't it, pal? is the e-mail address for Dan Rodricks. He can be contacted at 410-332-6166 or by post at The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

Pub Date: 07/12/99

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