When the USS Oriole anchors at the Inner Harbor in September, it will have more in common with Baltimore than just its name. First, the script lettering on its side is the same script used on our Orioles' uniforms. And, when the 118-foot coastal minehunter was christened in Savannah, Ga., Barbara Robinson, wife of Orioles Hall-of-Famer and Orioles exec Frank, was invited to pop the bubbly across the stern. In case you're wondering, this class of ship is always named for birds, and I assume the Oriole was missing from the ranks.
The United States Navy makes it an official member Sept. 16, when, during a ceremony, the ship is commissioned at the Inner Harbor.
You can bet an Orioles game is among the activities planned for the ship's captain and crew. And, of course, there will be public tours of the USS Oriole during the week that precedes the commissioning.
Hall of Fame
Not to be missed is the 11th Oriole Advocates Hall of Fame Luncheon Aug. 4 at the Stouffer Renaissance Harborplace Hotel. Honorees this year are Mike Flanagan, who was inducted into the O's Hall of Fame last year; and this year's inductees, George Bamberger, the O's former pitching coach; and baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster Chuck Thompson.
The formal induction ceremony takes place the next evening, prior to the O's game with Milwaukee. But the luncheon promises to be exciting for fans, with Orioles broadcaster Fred Manfra emceeing the salute, which will include comments from Elrod Hendricks, Dick Hall, Scott McGregor, Rex Barney and an array of other Oriole greats.
If you'd like to attend, tickets are $30, and you should call luncheon chair Chuck Lippy at (410) 467-6533 to make reservations by Aug. 2.
Baltimore Spirit defender Jason Dieter was detained for more than an hour on Tuesday, along with his buddy and former player turned front officer exec, Mike Conway. The charges against them -- willfully helping the Muscular Dystrophy Association raise money. Pity poor Jason and Mike, they had to serve an hour's time at Hooters Restaurant, soliciting friends to raise bail money. This is the second year members of the Spirit have agreed to be "arrested" to help Muscular Dystrophy.
Without question, we have many fine chefs in our area. One such talent is Barry Fleischmann, co-owner of Innovative Gourmet. He spent last weekend in San Francisco as one of six semifinalists being interviewed in the national Evian/American Institute of Wine & Food/LeCordon Bleu Culinary scholarship competition. He made it through that round and is now in the final three. Nearly 500 chefs began the competition. The winner, who will receive a 10-week scholarship to study at the world-renowned LeCordon Blue-L'Art Culinaire School in Paris or London, will be announced in September.
While in California, Fleischmann met with culinary guru Madeleine Kamman, who heads up the American School for Chefs at the Beringer Vineyards. He invited her to participate in a fund-raiser he's organizing for the local chapter of the American Institute of Wine & Food, at Caves Valley Country Club Nov. 2.
'Romeo and Juliet'
Wednesday evening the curtain goes up for the opening-night performance of "Romeo and Juliet" at the Loyola College McManus Theater. The performance will be the first professional production of this play in Baltimore in more than 20 years. It's also the beginning of the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, which runs July 26-Aug. 20 at McManus and Aug. 26-29 at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts.