Read their lips: The Orioles have announced they will not raise ticket prices in 1991, their final season at Memorial Stadium.
Unlike certain campaign promises, today's edict from club president Larry Lucchino is final. So, for the fourth time in five years, the Orioles resisted an increase in the cost of attending their games.
The only price hike in that span came last season, but it is fully expected that there will be another increase in 1992 when the club moves into its new downtown stadium at Camden Yards.
For now, however, ticket prices remain unchanged -- the logical course for a club that drew 2.4 million fans last season with the lowest payroll in baseball.
"We are pleased that all Orioles fans, particularly families, will be able to enjoy at affordable prices the celebration of our last season at Memorial Stadium," Lucchino said.
"Our fans have been exceptionally supportive and loyal. We realize that, and we want them to know it is much appreciated."
Lucchino said there will be an announcement at a later date concerning the sale of tickets for Opening Day and the final series at Memorial Stadium. Demand is expected to be heavy for those dates.
In spring training, Jeff Torborg told himself to be patient and told his team to be positive.
He did, and so did the Chicago White Sox. And for guiding the youngest team in baseball to the biggest turnaround in the majors, Torborg yesterday was selected the Baseball Writers Association's American League Manager of the Year.
Torborg took a team that had gone 69-92 in 1989 and was the worst in the AL West and transformed it into a contender, improving 24 1/2 games to 94-68. The White Sox, picked to finish far back in the pack, challenged Oakland until the final month and were the only team to hold a winning edge over the A's.
"I knew we would be better, but I didn't know how much better," Torborg said. "We went farther quicker than even I thought we would."
Torborg got 23 of 28 first-place votes and finished with 128 points. Oakland's Tony La Russa got four first-place votes and had 72 points and Boston's Joe Morgan got the other first-place vote and was third with 28.