New O's seat locations are ticket for some grumbling


There's some major-league grumbling among Orioles season ticket holders who received their new seat locations at Oriole Park at Camden Yards last week.

Some longtime customers feel they've been shoved aside and given less desirable seats.

"Our company [Shepherd Electric] has had the same four box seats since the Orioles came here in '54," says an unhappy Chuck Vogel.

"They've bumped us over two sections farther down the leftfield line. I went down there last week and looked around and we should be in section 54. Instead, they've got us in section 58. I'd like to see who has those seats that should be ours in 54."

Mary Lou Lamartina has had the same seats for 30 years in the second row in section 3, just beyond "ballboy" Ernie Tyler's seat beside the backstop. Now the Orioles have her in the eighth row, in section 44, farther down the third base line.

Lou Michaelson, the Orioles vice president for sales, said yesterday he's receiving complaints, although they're not "overwhelming."

Explains Michaelson: "The configuration of the dugouts at the new park is so different that it throws everyone off balance. Also, the seats are 12 to 15 feet closer to the field in the new park.

"We took time even before invoicing to consider the needs of the customers. We're going to do tours to show these people their new seats. As far as the owner [Eli Jacobs] goes, he hasn't taken much at all."

The Orioles have a selling and public relations job ahead of them explaining all this to their most important constituency -- their ticket holders.

* While most of the college basketball teams around the state struggle this winter, an amazing success story continues at Johns Hopkins.

The team there is 10-0, even though Hopkins has never, until now, been a basketball school. Even the Blue Jays' sixth-year coach, Bill Nelson, is puzzled.

"I'm not sure why we're winning all these games," he confesses. "One of these days we have to go on the road. We've only played three games away from home.

"Our kids are pretty serious [10 of them are either engineering or pre-med students]. They don't fool around in practice.

"One thing that helps is that so many of them played on championship teams in high school. They're used to winning.

"Jay Gangemi's school in Rochester was 21-2 and New York State champs in their class. Luke Busby came from a school in Ohio that was 23-2, regional and sectional champs.

"Michael Rotay and Frank Grzywacz were on a team in Ambler, Pa., [Wissahickon] that was 28-2 and a state semifinalist. Brian Markey's team [Dallastown, Pa.] was 22-4 and went to the second round of the state tournament. Mike Shatzel's school in Buffalo won the state championship -- although they did it without him. He was out with appendicitis."

Nelson's bunch of winners next play tomorrow night against Ursinus. At home, of course.

* Baltimore will host the Atlantic Coast Conference football banquet for the second time on Feb. 14 at the Hyatt Regency. The conference was impressed enough with the job done here last year after 30 years in South Carolina to bring it back here.

Besides having all the ACC coaches, including Maryland's Mark Duffner, and the all-conference team members here, the ACC Alumnus of the Year Award will be presented to Don McCauley, a former North Carolina halfback who went on to play for the Baltimore Colts.

Crown Central Petroleum chairman Henry Rosenberg is once again chairman of the prestigious banquet. Tickets are available from the Quarterback Club at 296-7500.

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