Orioles officials said yesterday that they've finalized plans to make up a May 7 rainout with the Cleveland Indians as part of a doubleheader Tuesday, July 26.
It won't be an ordinary doubleheader, though. For the first time in club history, the Orioles have scheduled a day-night doubleheader, complete with two starting times and two sets of tickets.
The makeup game will be a 1:35 p.m. start, club officials said. Oriole Park then will empty, and fans with new tickets will be admitted for the second game at 7:35 p.m.
Yesterday's move follows weeks of talks among Orioles officials, Orioles players and the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Players can veto day-night doubleheaders, and, in 1992, they did, turning down a request from Orioles management.
This time, the players agreed in return for a payment from the Orioles. Each player on the Orioles and Indians will receive about $2,000.
Jim Poole, an Orioles player representative, said the talks with club officials were amicable, unlike the problems besetting major-league owners and players in their labor talks.
"On a small scale, it's an example of the players and owners working together well," he said. "It was done in three weeks."
The Orioles had few options in rescheduling the game, and none as attractive as a day-night doubleheader. The game might have been rescheduled July 25, a day off after their upcoming West Coast trip, a move that also would have required player approval.
Another possibility would have been to schedule a regular doubleheader, an unappealing option for the club because it means playing two games and collecting gate receipts once.
Joe Foss, Orioles vice chairman for business affairs, acknowledged that money was a factor, but he said the club also saw the day-night arrangement as a way to get tickets into the hands of more fans.
"This gives more fans an opportunity to come to the ballpark, which is what we are trying to achieve," Foss said.
The Orioles will play a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday, July 26, against the Indians, the first game being a makeup of a May 7 rainout.
Fans will be able to use their May 7 rain checks for the makeup game, which starts at 1:35 p.m. On Friday, starting at 10 a.m., about 16,000 remaining seats for the game also will go on sale at all regular Orioles ticket outlets.
Orioles officials said they would announce more details about the doubleheader in the next few days.