ISN'T CANNON STADIUM ARUNDEL'S OWN FIELD OF DREAMS?

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Let's start off this week's batch of "Q's and A's" with some leftovers from Sunday's grand opening of the Joe Cannon Stadium at Harmans Park, site of the 11th annual Anne Arundel County Sun-Oriolelanders All-Star Baseball Game.

Don't forget, sports fans, you can respond anyway at all and/or call me with your "Questions without Answers" on my 24-hour Sportsline, 647-2499.

* Wasn't that a truly beautiful day (until that thunderstorm hit) on Sunday for the grand opening of the best amateur baseball stadium in the state and the rain-shortened victory by the Anne Arundel County Suns over the Oriolelanders, 4-1?

* Why didn't the Suns' coaching staff start Brian Toronto on the mound since the left-hander posted the lowest ERA in the nation at Anne Arundel Community College this past spring and is good enough to start the second semester with a baseball scholarship to the University of Texas?

Let me answer that one. First of all, it's regrettable that the nearly 2,000 fans didn't get to see the stylish lefty throw at Cannon Stadium, but don't blame the field coaches, Bill Nevin and Mike Ziegler. It was my idea to hold Toronto for the late innings, hopefully for him to come in and close it for the local team.

Nevin and Ziegler agreed, and thus, we held Toronto. He never got to throw because the game was stopped after four innings due to the thunderstorm.

The three guys who threw for the Suns -- Jim Durick, Doug Stockman and Rick Forney -- turned in an outstanding performance in enabling the Suns to end their six-game losing streak to the Oriolelanders.

* Although the storm deprived several pitchers from making an appearance, are you aware of the great job by Nevin and Ziegler in getting ALL the position players up at least once before the game was called?

* Shouldn't the pitchers who didn't get in feel just as badly as Bobby Neall (Republican county executive candidate) who didn't get to bat (speak at the opening ceremony) as his opponent, Teddy Sophocleus, did?

* Wasn't that a really enthusiastic crowd stomping its feet on the steel stands and cheering for the players? Have you ever heard a more lively group at an amateur baseball game than Sunday's?

Was the enthusiasm an endorsement of the best thing to ever happen to amateur baseball in Anne Arundel County -- Joe Cannon Stadium?

* Did you catch the county exec, Jim Lighthizer, in his remarks refer to the big red and white water tower behind the left-field fence at Cannon Stadium, as "our answer to Fenway Park's Green Monster?"

Since that water tower is a bit of an eyesore, how about the county utilities department or whomever takes care of it painting it white like a baseball with red seams and in the middle of it writing the name of the stadium or Anne Arundel County baseball?

* Didn't the stadium crew, led by Don Brooks and Jeff Porter, do a remarkable job in getting the new facility ready on time? Brooks and Porter and their sidekick, Gary Weishaar, the former standout Andover athlete, brought their act from the Upton Softball Complex to the new baseball-only stadium.

Couldn't Weishaar at least smile once a day and pretend like he enjoys his job of providing a recreation service to county taxpayers?

* Wasn't the new North County High School Marching Band absolutely fantastic at the opening and shouldn't it come back every year for the all-star game?

* Wasn't the only unfortunate part of the big day the absence of Anne Arundel Umpire Association Chief Jack Kramp?

Kramp, a true professional and as good an umpire as there is, is awaiting back surgery, that after recent knee surgery. The guy is really despondent about his physical condition because it keeps him from doing what he loves best -- getting out there and calling balls and strikes.

It really hurt Kramp not to be able to be there Sunday, but he was there in spirit and you can call to cheer him up at 355-4866. You've got about six months to hurry up and get well, Jack.

* Was Arundel High baseball coach Bernie Walter late for the grand-opening ceremonies in which he received citations for his Mayo Post No. 226 players for winning the National American Legion Championship in August, because he still was recovering after spending two weeks in Cuba with the USA Junior National baseball team?

"I'm going to heaven, no doubt about it. I did my penance in Cuba," laughed Walter.

In all seriousness, Walter called to publicly thank the county for honoring his National Championship team at Sunday's ceremonies.

* Now let's change the subject from baseball to a few other sports. Since we mentioned two female lacrosse players from Severna Park High who were named All-Americans in Erika Mawhorr and Betsy Elder, don't we also need to mention two guys so honored in Danny Sisas of Southern and Sean Crawford of Severna Park?

* Isn't it a great idea of former Green Hornets' youth wrestling coaches Joe Schmitt and Walt Wise to organize a reunion of those who wrestled in the program from 1970 to 1985? For information on the mat reunion, call Schmitt at 766-3996.

* Did you know that ex-county youth and county high school (Andover and Brooklyn Park) football coach Fred Kaiss, now at Southwestern High, is the first head football coach in the Baltimore City public school system not teaching at his school?

* After his team scored only nine points in the first two games and suffered from a rash of turnovers, is Meade's rookie football coach Hayse Henderson considering scrapping the wishbone and going to something more conducive to his personnel?

Can you believe that Henderson has shaved his head along with some of the players in keeping a vow that they would if they lost their second game to Queen Anne's (12-6 in OT)? Will someone tell me what that has to do with winning or losing a football game?

* Aren't two of the highlights of the Oct. 14 Anne Arundel Community College Fighting Pioneers annual bull roast going to be the inaugural Sports Hall of Fame inductions and the women's soccer game at 11 a.m. with the Pioneers taking on defending national champion Monroe C.C.?

* Finally, isn't it a crime that Harundale Youth Baseball head Stan Twardowski would not present plaques to several 12-and-under players because they participated on an outside team that went to a national tournament, and also withheld the plaque of an 8-year-old who finished the season in Harundale but whose dad happened to be a coach on that outside team? Isn't that the All-American sportsmanship way of getting even with dad through an innocent kid?

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