Without a word of advertising, the Ed Block Banquet, staged by Sam Lamantia, has sold all 1,700 tickets at Martin's West for March 9. Joe Montana will be the San Francisco 49ers representative for a courage award. Two Hall of Famers, Franco Harris and Bart Starr, will be among the luminaries at what has become the area's top football show.
* A remarkable piece of police work was turned in by Kenneth Unitas, an officer in Anne Arundel County and son of the Colts' Hall of Fame quarterback, whose quick reaction led to the arrest of a man who admitted to 20 robberies in three states. . . . Vince Coleman, New York Mets outfielder, said he had never heard of the late Jackie Robinson but widow Rachel wasn't too disturbed, writing off Coleman as an ignoramus.
* Two of the Orioles' finest managers, Ned Hanlon, who invented modern day strategy, and Earl Weaver, were considered by the Veterans Committee for the Hall of Fame but didn't draw enough votes; ditto Leon Day, a candidate from the old Negro leagues who lives here. . . Mark Pellington, son of the Colts linebacker, is putting together a half-hour television special about his father and appeals to anyone with either professional or home movies to contact him or Mary Russo of Baltimore's Wellington & Associates. . . Our ballot for the Polish American Sports Hall of Fame includes Bob Kurland, Stan Lopata, Lou Michaels, Dick Szymanski, Joe Verdeur and Richie Zisk.
* Since Raymond Berry still has a year on his Denver Broncos contract, he'll utilize this season as a sabbatical and won't return to coaching until 1994. . . Video stores are selling the movie version of "The Babe," which is pure fiction, so you may not want to waste money on what is nothing more than an enormous historical distortion. . . . Mayor Kurt Schmoke named councilman Joe DiBlasi, who plays the game, to represent him on matters pertaining to the proposed new golf course at Pine Ridge.
* Comeback of the year award must go to Gordon Beard, former Associated Press sports editor for Maryland, who has recovered from an illness that had him incapacitated for eight months. . . Baltimore's Tina Barrett cashed substantial checks in LPGA's first two events of the year, which indicates how her game continues to improve. . . From the money-begets-money department: Nelson Doubleday, owner of the New York Mets, and Jack Nicklaus formed a partnership in founding the new Nicklaus Golf Equipment Co. . . Sam James, a Lake Clifton product, was Slippery Rock's best defensive football player as a soph linebacker.
* It was vintage Charley Eckman, romping and stomping, as he likes to say, at the sports banquet staged by the Anne Arundel County Police Department. . . Maryland coach Mark Duffner will be guest speaker at the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick luncheon at the Omni on March 13 and later that night will headline the Colt Corral party in Hagerstown. . . Did the Orioles organization ever have two more intelligent players than Pete Ward and Pat Gillick?
* WBAL's Gerry Sandusky has the knowledge, voice and personality to be a standout talk show host, as evidenced by the first-rate performance he gives when Jeff Rimer uses him as a replacement. . . . Coach Gary Williams, the wonder boy of Maryland basketball, in four years hasn't improved on Bob Wade's showing in the ACC; each shows a tie for fifth. . . Fred Schubach Sr. has the best of all seasons, living in Hollywood, Fla., in winter, Atlantic City in summer, where he works at a country club, and scouting talent for the Kansas City Chiefs in spring and fall.
* What Jack Molesworth does for his old coach, Charley Havens, at Western Maryland College is a sterling example of showing respect to a man who gave so much of himself to his players, to sports and to the school. . . Chestertown's Optimist Club honored Ed Athey, the Washington College coach, as its "man of the year.". . . Doesn't Phil Mickelson swing a golf club with an ease remindful of one of the classic players of all-time, Samuel Jackson Snead?
* Three generations of Blanchards and all college football players -- Felix, or "Doc," at North Carolina and West Point; son Tony at North Carolina and now grandson Rhett at Wake Forest. . . Jack Clary, one of the country's most prolific writers, is at work on the history of Naval Academy football. . . The Bowie/Baltimore minor-league team will not open up the top deck for seating at Memorial Stadium, which is a wise decision. . . You're getting to be a "young old-timer" if you remember when the University of Baltimore had such a high-powered basketball program it had to look elsewhere for competition, taking on Tulane, Long Island University and other nationally ranked teams.