It's extremely fortunate for Scott Milanovich and Maryland that the NCAA didn't stick with its original sentence -- suspended for the entire 1995 season. Then it reduced the penalty to eight games and, finally, to four, which amounts to a mere tap on the wrist considering he was alleged to have bet with a bookmaker.
* ESPN is talking with Art Donovan, a good humor man with more stories than you can find in an anthology, about providing entertainment, not the analysis, for its pro football pre-game show this fall, so stay tuned. . . . Ed McCaskey and wife Virginia, owners of the Chicago Bears, sent an extraordinary letter to John Moag, chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority, for the hospitality they received on an inspection visit to Camden Yards and in his closing line offered the equivalent of an old Irish farewell when he wrote, "Years ago when I was an emcee in Baltimore, I closed the show by saying what I am going to say to you, 'May you and yours enjoy what I want for myself -- which is the best of everything." . . . E. "Ginny" Paul, David "Dutch" Baer, Eddie Houser and the rest of the Easterwood Boys Club have been around almost forever and, if you doubt it, then stop to consider it'll have its 67th reunion Sept. 13. . . . It's Orioles owner Peter Angelos' future plan to erect a statue to Cal Ripken Jr., which will give Babe Ruth a companion he can talk to in his old neighborhood.
* Even though he doesn't play the game, Carl Julio built a first-class driving range on Dover Road, off Ritchie Highway, and put together an excellent professional staff headed by Norm Vacovsky and Jim Kar--. . . . Maybe we're alone in the thought but ex-Oriole Sid Fernandez can still pitch, especially if he's used to get out left-handed hitters because of the deceptive way he releases the ball. . . . Former Orioles Don Larsen and Wally Bunker are neighbors in what is said by world travelers to be one of the most scenic areas of America, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. . . . Alex Hawkins, the ex-Colt, received a financial settlement from singer Collin Ray after he used his book title, "It's My Story and I'm Sticking To It" in a country music song that became a smash.
* When looking down on Baltimore from the air, included in the view are more baseball fields than you can count, which is another physical reminder of how important the game has always been to the city by the Chesapeake. . . . Jim Palmer must be wondering about the validity of the Camden Yards dimension because he said center field is 410 feet but "plays like 390" and, of course, a chorus of pitchers quickly agree.
* Incidentally, the Orioles are considering moving the press box to a higher level next season so they can utilize the present space for, get this, the installation and sale of additional private suites. . . . Heather Bowie, a granddaughter of Madison "Buzz" Nutter, the former Colts center, has emerged as one of the leading amateur golfers among women in the country. . . . Retired New York Mets general manager Frank Cashen and wife Jean are to visit next week with their daughter Stacy and her husband in Denton and, while there, will take time to check on the construction of a new summer house they are having built outside Easton. . . . Harry Caray is advocating Rep. Jim Bunning, the former major-league pitcher, be the next commissioner of baseball, which is a thought we heard somewhere before.
* The late Irv Schloss, former caddy master at old Hillendale and then head professional at Mount Pleasant, has been voted into the golf club-makers' hall of fame. . . . Some reference to the State of Maryland may be placed on the Orioles uniforms for next year, but that's all wrong; the proper identification, historically, is Baltimore, pure and simple. . . . America lost one of its sportswriting treasures when Bob Burnes, former sports editor of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, died at 80 (one of his daughters, Pam Zerba lives in Baltimore).
* Hopefully, Gene Corrigan, president of the honors court of the College Football Hall of Fame, will rectify a serious omission and lead a charge to have Tom Nugent, former coach at Maryland, Florida State and VMI, plus being the inventor of the "I" formation, added to its illustrious roster. . . . Francis "Reds" Bagnell, one of Penn's all-time halfbacks, who also spent a season playing for Bainbridge (Md.) Naval Base, died at 66. . . . The Orioles' Kevin Brown, back after sustaining a finger dislocation, doesn't appear to have any trouble throwing a breaking ball, which was the concern of many observers. . . . We counted seven of nine players in the New York Yankees starting lineup the other night as being products of their farm system, which would surely have made George Weiss happy but probably didn't impress owner George Steinbrenner.
* You're getting to a "young old timer" if you remember when baseball players wore sliding pads, pitchers always had a toe-plate and three outfielders and three infielders left their gloves on the field between innings.