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Orioles are good leadoff hitter for Ruth expansion project


Here's what the Orioles' $250,000 contribution means to the Babe Ruth Museum's $3.3 million expansion project:

"Everywhere we've gone in the corporate community asking for support," says the museum's executive director, Mike Gibbons, "people have asked what the Orioles are putting in.

"Now that the ballclub has taken a leadership role, this should clear the way for others to contribute and bring the whole fund-raising drive together."

Expansion includes the renovation of a new, 25,000-square-foot building on Portland Street at Emory, just down the corner from the present Babe Ruth Museum.

"We still need to raise $2 million and change," says Gibbons, "and we're going to Annapolis this session to try to get some help from the state."

* The Orioles, in addition to premiering the 1991 World Series film at Memorial Stadium yesterday, gave the first screening of a 12-minute version of the 70-minute video of the final weekend at the stadium. The condensed version, confined to the last day, would be a hit at any sports gathering.

"We sold out of the 10,000 copies of the full-length version," says Evelyn Ehlers, of the club's public relations department, "and we've ordered more."

Easily the best thing the Orioles have done in the past two years was the staging of the final day, with all the old players trotting out to their former positions. Charles Steinberg deserves the credit for orchestrating the production. Recalls Ehlers of that unforgettable day:

"I was in the dugout when the players started coming onto the field. At first, the crowd was silent, and I thought, 'Oh, my, they don't like it.' Actually, they were stunned. It just took them a few minutes to realize what was happening and start to show their appreciation."

* The New York Baseball Writers banquet attracts more celebrities than any dinner in the country. Everyone was there Sunday night, including American League MVP Cal Ripken. The most eloquent of the many speakers, according to Orioles general manager Roland Hemond, was Frank Cashen, the former Oriole GM who's now executive vice president of the Mets.

"Cashen introduced Rusty Staub, who received an award for the good things he's done in the community," Hemond said, "and Frank's talk was superb."

Cashen's friends here in his old hometown are not sure whether he owes his eloquence to the Xavieran brothers under whom he studied at Mount St. Joe or the Jesuits he had at Loyola College.

* The Oriole Advocates, who do such a good job conducting the voting for the O's Hall of Fame, have sent out ballots for '92. Among the requirements is "contribution to Oriole team and baseball in general." My votes go to George Bamberger, Billy Hunter, Davey Johnson and Don Buford. All of those have contributed a lot more than playing.

* The Maryland Lacrosse Club's Glenn Norris informs us that Speer Field at the University of Baltimore on Rogers Avenue will be a mecca for club lacrosse this spring.

Three teams -- M.L.C., Chesapeake and Green Turtle -- will share the field. Every Sunday there will be a club game. Five doubleheaders are scheduled.

Says Norris: "Eight club teams are going to take part in scrimmages March 14-15. We're inviting all the rec council teams and coaches from Baltimore County and Harford County. They'll see good lacrosse and we'll be putting something into the game."

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