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25 Years Ago: After 0-6 start, Aberdeen's Cal Sr. fired as Orioles manager

Justice SystemEarl Weaver

From The Aegis dated April 14, 1988:

With the team off to an 0-6 start, the Baltimore Orioles this week 25 years ago fired their manager, Aberdeen's Cal Ripken Sr.

In the 18 months since he replaced the retired Earl Weaver, Ripken's Orioles had lost 101 games. Frank Robinson was slated to take his place at the helm of the Birds.

The Orioles had finished in sixth place in 1987 and in the off-season the team retooled, adding 14 new players to the roster. But the new lineups weren't working fast enough for the owner, and Ripken, whose sons, Cal Jr. and Billy, both played for the Orioles, was sacked.

It wasn't a great day for Mr. Ripken, who earlier in the day pleaded guilty to drinking and driving charges; he was fined $750 and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.

The legal blood alcohol content for driving while intoxicated was lowered in Maryland 25 years ago this week from .13 percent to .10 percent, and from .08 percent to .07 percent for driving under the influence, a move a Harford judge said would reduce drunk driving.

District Court Judge John S. Landbeck Jr., whose daughter's car was hit when a drunk driver went through red light, was a vocal proponent of tougher drinking and driving laws.

"It has got to make people more aware," the judge said.

"Drinking and driving is a crime," he would tell groups during a community lecture. "Most people still seem to think it is a social aberration ... a mistake."

A list of 74 applicants for the Harford County school superintendent's job was narrowed down this week to about 10, and it did not include a woman. Two of the finalists were said to already be working in the Harford public school system.

School board members were set 25 years ago this week to personally interview the candidates on the short list, though they would not reveal the names of the finalists to replace Dr. A.A. Roberty, who announced in September 1987 he would be retiring after 18 years as superintendent.

The board planned to decide on a new superintendent by mid-June.

Six local students were in danger of not graduating in May 1988 because they had not passed a state mandated competency test on citizenship skills.

The six seniors, two of whose primary language was Spanish, would be tested again later in April; they had failed the test each year since ninth grade.

The state test was given in February to all freshmen as well as sophomores, juniors and seniors who hadn't passed it. According to state figures, 78.1 percent of ninth-graders who took the test in 1988 passed with at least a 340 out of 428 possible points.

The spring weather was just as uncertain in 1988 as ever, with a "freak windstorm," one that came from a "less common direction," sent tons of debris into Glen Cove Marina on the Susquehanna River near Darlington. More than 175 dump trucks were needed to remove it all.

It took firefighters from two Harford companies nearly five hours to squelch a fire that destroyed a barn on Poole Road in Darlington 25 years ago this week.

Volunteers from Darlington and Level fire companies worked for hours on the barn, which was full of hay, firewood and farm chemicals and machinery. One of the firefighters was injured and taken to Fallston General Hospital.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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