The majority owner of the Baltimore Orioles, Peter Angelos, received well-deserved accolades at a recent luncheon where he was given the Pillar of Sports Award by the Advertising and Professional Club of Baltimore.
Although Ad Club president Brent Gunts was elected last summer, this was the first luncheon meeting over which he has presided. He's excited about his term as president, a role his father, Edward Lyell Gunts, filled twice in the club's history. The younger Gunts' term had a rather trying beginning, however, when his first vice-president and friend, Bill Boucher, passed away, and the November luncheon to honor Angelos at the Omni Hotel was canceled because the hotel had labor problems and Angelos would not cross the labor dispute line.
The recent luncheon, which attracted nearly 400 people, was held in the lovely ballroom of the Belvedere Hotel, and many noted how good the food was. Joining Gunts at the head table were the Rev. Barney Hawkins, rector of the Church of the Redeemer; Sheldon Dagurt, past president of the Ad Club, to whom Gunts presented a plaque for his services; and the club's program chairman, Clarisse Mechanic, who did a wonderful job as emcee. Others who spoke were Orioles manager Davey Johnson and O's general manager Pat Gillick, who reminded us that our last big blizzard was in 1983, when the Orioles won the World Series.
Words of praise flowed from Angelos' friends and partners. Steve Geppi, O's part-owner, said, "I'm in the comic book business and I have to deal with Superheroes, and Angelos is certainly one." Author Tom Clancy, who owns a chunk of the team, reminisced how he had not known Angelos until five years ago and has since become impressed with his integrity. Then Clancy impishly smiled and said, "He's a good boss and is the only person who could take my seat at Oriole Park."
But it was former Gov. William Donald Schaefer who brought tears to Angelos' eyes when he told the gathering the many reasons we are lucky to have Peter Angelos in Baltimore. Schaefer told how their friendship began many years ago when he and Angelos were in the City Council.
Faces in the crowded ballroom included Pete Manos, president of Giant Food; Dick McCready, REM Enterprises and president of the Grant-A-Wish Foundation; Mike Styer and Jack Gerbes, Maryland Film Commission; Dean Kenderdine, Maryland Economic and Employment Development; Haskell Arnold, BGE; Doris and Jerry Kavanaugh -- he's a former Ad Club president; Terri Ezrine, WBAL-radio sales, with WBAL's sports announcer Josh Lewin; Hersh Pachino, owner of the Orchard Inn on Joppa Road; Stuart Brooks, VP Bob Bell Chevrolet; Annie Keller, Maryland Magazine; celebrity attorney David Cohan; Sue Dagurt, Sheppard Pratt; mayor of Towson Dick Rudolph; my friends and longtime Ad Clubbers Jake Embry, David Millard and Jack Nethen, who recently celebrated his 50th year with his company, Claude Neon Signs Inc.; and Boucher's widow, Anne, who has agreed to fill out her husband's term.