100 millionth attendee shows up just in time


August 24, 2008|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

Velma Greene will return tomorrow to her job teaching math at Luther Jackson Middle School in Falls Church, Va., and she'll have quite a story to tell.

Greene, 48, was designated last night as the 100 millionth person to attend a game in Orioles' franchise history. Her prize, courtesy of the Orioles and the Maryland Lottery, was $100,000, season tickets for five years and a package of other amenities that included a seat upgrade and a commemorative jersey.

"I've never had an experience like this in my life," said Greene, who was recognized in an on-field presentation. "I've never been in front of so many people. I just imagined that everybody was in seventh and eighth grade."

Greene, a 27-year educator and resident of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., attended the game with her husband, Rocky, who grew up in Portsmouth, Va., as an Orioles fan. She said that they've come to several games at Camden Yards over the years, but last night's Orioles-New York Yankees game was the first they attended this season.

They were given the tickets by a friend, who had received them courtesy of Dreyer's Ice Cream. They had planned to meet some friends at the game, but they were running late because Rocky didn't have cash to pay the parking attendant near the stadium.

Greene was initially angry at her husband for causing the couple to be late. However, that changed when they walked through Gate C at 7 p.m., six minutes before the first pitch. She was in disbelief when she was informed of her selection as the 100 millionth fan.

"I thought it was Candid Camera," said Greene, a cousin of former major league player and manager Davey Lopes.

She said she wasn't even aware of the promotion.

"I thought my friends set me up. I didn't believe it. I'm still not believing it."

Greene said that she'll use some of the money to buy her husband a nice gift for his coming 50th birthday. Asked whether it will be a problem to make use of the tickets considering that they live in West Virginia, she said: "Not tough at all. We'll be here."

Both she and her husband were decked out in orange shirts to show support of the home team. Greene was the second fan this week to be recognized after walking through the turnstiles at Camden Yards.

On Tuesday, the Orioles selected Kevin Gracie, a 24-year-old law student from Ellicott City, as the 50 millionth fan in Camden Yards history. Gracie received $50,000 and season tickets for five years.

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