Towson looms as last Loyola area obstacle

Loyola College basketball coach Tom Schneider points out that his Greyhounds have a rare achievement within their grasp when they play at Towson State tonight.

"If we beat Towson," says Schneider, "we will have beaten every team on our schedule in the Maryland and Washington areas. I don't think Loyola has done that for a while."


The 'Hounds' victims to date include George Washington, American, Mount St. Mary's, UMBC and Navy.

What's more, Loyola has been playing its best ball of the season. After upsetting Iona and Siena, the Greyhounds went to Jersey City over the weekend and lost in overtime (67-64) to a St. Peter's team that has won 14 of 18 games.


"We played well at St. Peter's," says Schneider. "But we should have won the game."

There's one other thing Schneider is out to prove tonight. He wants to show people something about the basketball played in this town.

"I hope all these people who say there's no good college basketball in Baltimore are there tonight," Schneider says. "This game is going to be a real battle."

Winning at the Towson Center is a tall order for Loyola. Towson State has won eight straight games. Saturday the Tigers won at Rider, 82-65. It was the first time they had won there since coach Terry Truax's first year at Towson eight years ago.

* Pat Santarone's retirement over the weekend after 22 years as the Orioles' groundskeeper evoked a parting shot at Earl Weaver.

Said Santarone: "I still grow better tomatoes than he does, I don't care what he says."

The barb was good-natured, of course. It was Weaver, the retired Orioles manager, who brought Santarone to Baltimore. For the better part of two decades thereafter, Santarone and Weaver vied to see which could grow better tomatoes, Pat's blooming in a patch in Memorial Stadium's leftfield. The competition became part of Oriole lore.

"I'm going to have 'em save a little place in the new ballpark where I can grow tomatoes," says Santarone kiddingly. He will be a consultant to the club as it prepares to move into the new park in 14 months.


Santarone has long been considered the best groundskeeper in the big leagues. Milwaukee GM Harry Dalton and others still call him for advice. Pat's nickname is one of the best in sports: "The Sodfather."

The weekend also saw the retirement of the O's much respected and admired financial officer, Joe Hamper. He had been with the club since it set up shop here in 1954.

* If you're hung up on the old days of Baltimore pro football (and just what do we have to get hung up on today?), you'll love the Baltimore Colts Deja Vu party March 3 at Art Donovan's Valley Country Club.

Old Colts galore will be there -- Jim Mutscheller, Buzz Nutter, Lenny Moore, Sisto Averno, Elmer Wingate, etc. Tickets at $30 can be reserved by calling 825-7110, and $20 from each ticket will be donated to the Kawasaki (Japan) Sister City volleyball team. That must have been Donovan's idea.

* For those who believe they could officiate lacrosse better than the whistle-tooters they see on the field, Charley Libby has an interesting proposal: Come on out and become one. First meeting of the Southern Lacrosse Officials Association will be held tonight (7 o'clock) at the Gilman School cafeteria. For details call Libby at 889-2525 days, 435-0694 evenings.

* One pro basketball executive says this of the new "Inside Stuff" TV show before NBA games featuring Pat Riley, Bob Ferry and Bob Costas: "All they ever talk about is which coaches are in trouble. They're going to have to come up with more than that if they want to keep the show on the air."


If you want to be an NBA coach, your chances are better if you're from Brooklyn or Philadelphia. Those cities have three each coaching in the league now: Philly's Matt Goukas (Orlando), Jim Lynam (76ers), Paul Westhead (Denver); Brooklyn's Larry Brown (San Antonio), Mike Dunleavy (Lakers), Lenny Wilkens (Cleveland).