Tag Archive | "Cal Ripken"

The Peter Principles (Ch. 1): So, just how did Angelos become ‘King’ of Baltimore baseball?

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The Peter Principles (Ch. 1): So, just how did Angelos become ‘King’ of Baltimore baseball?

Posted on 19 March 2014 by Nestor Aparicio

IT WAS HOT AS HADES in that lower Manhattan federal courtroom. Jam-packed with bidders, curiosity seekers and baseball fans, the Baltimore Orioles franchise was up for grabs on August 2, 1993, and the bidding was as steamy as the air in the room once the price began to rapidly accelerate into the stratosphere.

The fact that there was any bidding at all was somewhat surprising to Peter G. Angelos, a Baltimore attorney who had begun a power play five months earlier to purchase the Major League Baseball franchise that was being sold off via an auction nearly 200 miles away from its home on the Chesapeake Bay. In the hours leading up to the auction, Angelos managed to turn his sole competitor from a previous suspended bid for the team during June into a partner. William DeWitt Jr., a Cincinnati native whose father once owned the St. Louis Browns in the 1940s and a minority investor in the Texas Rangers, joined Angelos’ celebrity-led local group from Maryland just hours before the bidding was to begin in the sweltering Custom House. DeWitt was promised a role in the operations and management of the club.

It was an amazing coup for Angelos to pull DeWitt from being a worthy, legitimate competitor into a teammate that morning, after convincing him that he’d be involved and an influential part of the eventual winning group. It was shocking that DeWitt had pulled out because several times over the previous eight months, he was convinced that he was already the winning bidder and new owner of the Orioles.

In February 1993, after six months of lengthy, arduous negotiations on a fair price, DeWitt had entered into a deal with Orioles majority owner Eli Jacobs to buy the team for $141.3 million. Jacobs, who was in his final days of semi-liquidity and quietly on the verge of bankruptcy, didn’t have the legal authority to close the deal with DeWitt once the banks seized his assets in March. Instead, the Orioles wound up at auction five months later and suddenly Angelos – with DeWitt now shockingly a member of his ownership team – believed he would emerge victorious without breaking a sweat in the summer heat of The Big Apple.

But that afternoon, after entering the courtroom in what he believed would be a rubber-stamped win, instead he found himself embroiled in a bidding war with a stranger he never strongly considered to being a worthy foil in the fray.

Jeffrey Loria, a New York art dealer and Triple-A baseball team owner, wanted badly to be a Major League Baseball owner. Baltimore native and former NFL player Jean Fugett represented a group led by TLC Beatrice, which featured a rare minority bid for an MLB franchise on that day in New York. One bidder, Doug Jemal of Nobody Beats The Wiz electronics stores, had early interest but bowed out before the steamy auction.

That August day, the bidding began at $151.25 million, which included a “stalking fee” of $1.7 million which was originally awarded to DeWitt’s team because of his vast due diligence and legal work done months earlier when he thought he had won a deal to secure the Orioles in the spring.

George Stamas, who represented Angelos’ group during the bidding process, opened the bidding at $153 million, which was seen as a good faith gesture from the combined bid with DeWitt, which could’ve been perceived as artificially deflating the sale price by judge Cornelius Blackshear. Loria, who was a stranger to the Angelos group, immediately raised it by $100,000. Stamas barked out, “One million more – $154.1!”

And for the next 30 minutes, the bids drew north from the $150 millions into the $160s. With every bid, Loria would raise by $100,000. Stamas, on behalf of Angelos, raised it by $1 million at a time. After 13 rounds of back and forth money, Angelos had the leading bid $170 million. Fugett, who had been completely silent during the auction, asked the judge for a recess.

The request was granted and the judge headed to his chambers.

And, suddenly, it got even hotter in a blazing courtroom on a sweltering day in The Big

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It’s time to honor some local sports “saints” with our #WNSTSweet16

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It’s time to honor some local sports “saints” with our #WNSTSweet16

Posted on 18 March 2014 by Glenn Clark

This one was far too tough. I’ll be on Tuesday morning at 8am to discuss it with Drew Forrester and Luke Jones. If he tells me I’m wrong, I’ll probably just agree with him.

If you need a reminder of what this week’s topic (Sweet 16 Local Sports Saints-Athletes Who Gave Back) is all about, check it out here.

If you’re someone who I left off the list, I apologize in advance. This was agonizingly difficult.

(Editor’s note: You’re going to ask me why Elrod Hendricks isn’t on the list. It isn’t an easy answer. It’s a complicated thought about the difference between Elrod the “player” and Elrod the “coach”. Elrod the coach is ABSOLUTELY part of this list-but we said the list was for “athletes.”

In the end, I should have just put him on the list. In that case, he would have been Top 5. I told you it was agonizing. Stop yelling at me.)

16. Keion Carpenter

Carpenter never played for the Baltimore Ravens, but as a Baltimore native he has shown great concern for his hometown via The Carpenter House and the fight for affordable housing for the underprivileged.

Carpenter is also involved in what seems like every youth football camp in the area, including many with Baltimore Ravens players.

(Continued on Next Page…)

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My Dinner With Peter G. Angelos (Part I)

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My Dinner With Peter G. Angelos (Part I)

Posted on 22 January 2014 by Nestor Aparicio

As I continue to gather more information and write the legacy of the Baltimore Orioles under the ownership of Peter G. Angelos, I’m stumbling onto all sorts of information, quotes and basic truths.

My book on the first 20 years of Angelos’ ownership, The Peter Principles, is coming to WNST.net in March.

I’ve only met Peter Angelos three times in my life. This was the first time in March 1997. When this video starts, I had literally just shaken hands with him less than two minutes earlier.

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Here are #WNSTSweet16 people who had a dream in Baltimore

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Here are #WNSTSweet16 people who had a dream in Baltimore

Posted on 21 January 2014 by Nestor Aparicio

These are people who’ve inspired, led, built and left or are leaving a legacy that affects people in Baltimore or elsewhere in the world. Some of them dreamed their whole lives, some had one big dream or act that keeps giving, producing and growing. Most of these “dreamers” have an eternal gift to have given something that transcends their initial efforts, legacy or life. Dreamers see the end before many see the beginning. I always think of guys like Walt Disney and the founding fathers of the United States of America, who built things.

Let’s start our list, page by page and go through our rationale and rankings. Feel free to share, feedback or comment with your own lists and ideas.

 

#WNSTSweet16 Dreamers

 

16. John Ziemann

There’s no doubt that John Ziemann had a dream of seeing the NFL back in Baltimore from 1984 through 1995 but unlike many local football fans, he actually did something about it. Something profound and beautiful and well-told by local film rock star Barry Levinson in The Band That Wouldn’t Die, Ziemann’s ability to keep the marching band of the Baltimore Colts together and see it through to the Ravens and two more Super Bowl titles makes him a dreamer who saw his vision to its fruition.

How many times did Ziemann think or hear that his band would die long before – and hell would freeze  before the NFL would return to Baltimore? The Marching Ravens tie the community and its roots back to Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts of 33rd Street more than any other local tradition.

Just for the record, Carroll Rosenbloom and Bob Irsay didn’t make our #WNSTSweet16 cut. They were a part of taking the Baltimore Colts from our city. Ziemann was the loudest and most authentic part of bringing the NFL back.

See next page for No. 15

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We debut our #WNSTSweet16 list with the Greatest Local Sports debuts

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We debut our #WNSTSweet16 list with the Greatest Local Sports debuts

Posted on 07 January 2014 by Glenn Clark

On Sunday night we introduced our first #WNSTSweet16 discussion topic for 2014. As we celebrate 16 years as Baltimore’s local sports media leader, we’re looking at some of the “water cooler” topics you’ve most discussed since we first turned on the microphone.

With the debut of #WNSTSweet16, our first list focuses on just that-debuts. The Greatest Local Sports Debuts is the topic in fact. As we look over the history of Baltimore (and Maryland) sports, what single games, seasons, etc. stand out as the best of the best?

We’ve been discussing the topic here, on-air at AM1570 WNST and on social media for the last couple of days and will continue to do so. Here’s the list.

16. The inaugural season of the Baltimore CFL Colts/Baltimore CFL’s/Baltimore Football Club/Baltimore Stallions (1994)

As I look back on the first of two years of Canadian football in Charm City, what stands out most was the attendance figures for the home games.

Courtesy of Wikipedia, that’s 31,000 or more fans at EVERY home game at Memorial Stadium to watch (let’s be honest) a second rate product. It was a remarkable testament to the rabid nature of football fandom in Baltimore and further proof of the city’s worthiness of a NFL return. The team itself was quite good-including future NFL players like O.J. Brigance, Josh Miller and Shar Pourandesh as well as Canadian Football Hall of Famers like Tracey Ham and Mike Pringle. The season ended with a loss to the BC Lions in the Grey Cup, a year before the franchise would become the only American team to ever win a Grey Cup.

No. 15 next page…

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Introducing our weekly #WNSTSweet16 discussion topics

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Introducing our weekly #WNSTSweet16 discussion topics

Posted on 05 January 2014 by Glenn Clark

As you may have heard, 2014 marks the 16th year for WNST.net, a remarkable accomplishment for a sports media company that our competitors have written off time and time again during the span.

To celebrate our “Sweet 16″, we will be discussing a group of topics each week that we hope to make definitive lists for when it comes to local sports-”water cooler” type topics if you will. Every Sunday night I will introduce that week’s topic here at WNST.net. We’ll discuss the topic here, on-air via AM1570 WNST and via social media on Facebook and Twitter. Then each Tuesday morning-one WNST personality will unveil our list both here at WNST.net and on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am with Drew Forrester and Luke Jones.

As you discuss the topic on Twitter and Facebook, use the hashtag #WNSTSweet16 to make your voice heard and your thoughts included in the debate.

The lists will be related to either something currently going on in sports or will be based on the date.

First up? In honor of the “debut” of our Sweet 16 discussions and the “debut” of the year 2014, we’re going with the “Sweet 16 Debuts in Local Sports History”.

“Debut” could mean a number of things. It could mean a first game (or day), a first season, a first at-bat, a first fight, a first week or anything else that you can spin into a “debut”. It could be a debut for a rookie or a debut for a new player or a debut for a stadium or an arena or a coach or a new team altogether. It’s wide open.

We’re calling it “local” sports debut because we want to include not only the Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Ravens, but also Maryland, Navy, Towson, UMBC, Loyola, Morgan State, Coppin State, Johns Hopkins, the Blast and other current and former area sports teams as well as high schools and individual local athletes.

I’m handling the first list. You’ll see my post Tuesday morning at WNST.net and I’ll join Drew and Luke Tuesday morning at 8am to discuss it. We’ll tackle the list again at 4pm on “The Reality Check Driven by Jerry’s Chevrolet”.

I’ve thought about those locals who have won “Rookie of the Year” awards like Ron Hansen, Curt Blefary, Al Bumbry, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken, Gregg Olson, Vernon Maxwell, Peter Boulware, Terrell Suggs, Ray Felix, Earl Monroe and Wes Unseld. (You probably forgot about or were completely unaware of a few of those names. I know I was!)

I’ve certainly thought about the first game in Ravens history, the first game for John Harbaugh, the first game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and even more.

But what haven’t I thought about?

What is our list incomplete without?

Like I said earlier, I want this to be as definitive a list as possible. I don’t want to exclude anything that deserves mention. Is there an area high school athlete who blew up very quickly upon arrival? Is there a jockey who hopped on a horse for the first time at Pimlico and quickly became a household name? Who had an incredible first season for the Baltimore Thunder or Baltimore Bayhawks or Baltimore Stallions that others either forgot about or never really knew about?

I’m looking forward to taking this trip down memory lane with you. We’ll be having these conversations and making these lists every week to celebrate a “Sweet 16″.

Let me know what I need to be thinking about, Baltimore. 2014 is going to be a lot of fun.

-G

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red-sox-beards 2013

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Baseball Post Season – Unfavorable

Posted on 18 October 2013 by Tom Federline

Detroit, please stop the “Bearded Boys of Summer.” The Boston Red Sox and the beards need to go. I can dig the “team unity/bonding” deal. It can be cool. I did it and I’m sure some of you developed some quirk during your playing days to build that camaraderie among your teammates. If I want to watch bearded ones, I’ll put in a ZZ Top DVD or I’ll replay a Duck Dynasty episode from the DVR. But because it is Boston – it just turns my stomach. When it comes to baseball, no scruffy facial hair and no jewelry. Especially the pretty hemp necklaces and the metal medalions hanging off pitchers necks. I am not a Boston fan. In fact the Red Sux, Spankees and Duke basketball are inter-changeable among my most disliked sports teams.

The baseball postseason is unfavorable due to the #1 fact that the Orioles are not there. So since October 1, it has been “Anybody but the Red Sox.” Not that I really care who wins, just as long as it’s not the Red Sux. Definately a fan of the lesser budgeted teams like the A’s (and they’re out. I was also having a tough time with the Pirates – glad they made it back – just still have a bad taste from 1971 and 1979. “We are Family” – Sister Sledge, to this day is immediately turned off when heard over the radio. The Cardinals – tired of seeing them in post season. Dodgers – cool stadium and I like Don Mattinglys approach to baseball and interviews. He is probably the only Yankee I ever liked. Detroit – not a big fan of them either, they just need to stop the bearded ones.

Other post season pet peeves:
1. Cal Ripken – yes, you heard me right, Cal Ripken. He knows baseball – I do not care. Do you all remember this gem from last years O’s vs. Rangers game – “Adrian Beltre is the best defensive third baseman I have ever seen – even better than Brooks Robinson – sorry Brooksie.” That comment right there has put Cal Ripkens voice in the “not worth my time zone.” Cal is now in that elite Club along with Gary “Thorne in our side.”
2. Get the hand-held TV video cameras …..off the field! Remove the clutter from the field. No cameras, no camera crew running next to these steroid boys. The field should be off limits during the game to anyone not directly invloved with the game. It is an athletic event, not a made for tv movie. Speaking of clutter on the field……ever notice an NFL sideline? Besides the 50 assistant coaches and then the 50 assistant coaches assistants, the entourage of the 100 tv camera crew memebers, the 100 still photographers, the 200 family members and then the 200 friends of the family members, you have to wonder where do they find room for the players and EMT’s.
3. Camera angles – I am sick of the “Pitch Trax”. Is it where the ball crooses the plate or where the catcher cathes the ball? It misrepresents the actual pitch. Put the camera behind the plate and guess what? Most baseball fans are smart enough to tell wether the pitch it is outside, inside, low or high. Remember that camera angle – “back in the day”? Occasionally you may see it, but it is a rarity. You can catch real baseball coverage on MASN airings of Orioles Classics from the 60′s and 70′s.
4. No interpreters for the illegal alien pitchers. If you can’t speak English – learn. All they have to know – keep ball down, 1-fastball, 2- curveball, 3-slider, 4-change-up, get batter out, you did not earn money today – you stunk it up – leave mound, good, bad, yes, no. When you are getting paid around $50-100,000 per outing and throw a ball a couple of days a week for a few minutes or hours, you have the time to learn basic communication of the English language.
5. Mark McGwire – just go away. He is still around and involved with baseball. When they first showed the Cardinal dugout and announced the players; I was like cool – no lieing steroid boy. Then they switch over to the Dodgers dugout and AUGH, there was the deflated cheater. The numbnut Doger organization went and hired him after he got fired from the Cardinals. I guess they needed a “pass-thru” for that Puig juicer guy.

Beards, Cal Ripken, hand-held cameras/camera crews on the field, interpreters and Mark McGwire – all unfavorable and should be gone! Anything from the baseball coverage bugging you?
And to end on a positive note:
1. I dig the 5 – 8pm late afternoon games coming home from work.
2. Unrelated – check out ESPN’s “No Mas”, another good production.

Reminder – It has been thirty (30) years and counting. 30 years – that’s just wrong, man. Definately – unfavorable.

D.I.Y.

Fedman

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Ripken’s mother safe, suspect in custody after attempted carjacking

Posted on 15 October 2013 by WNST Staff

ABERDEEN, Md. (AP) — Police say a man with a handgun approached baseball great Cal Ripken’s mother in a bank parking lot in Maryland and demanded her car, but she activated a key alarm and he left.

Authorities say 75-year-old Vi Ripken wasn’t hurt Tuesday and a suspect is now in custody.

Police spokesman Lt. Frederick Budnick says Ripken entered the bank afterward to alert authorities in her hometown of Aberdeen, north of Baltimore.

The spokesman says charges are pending. He didn’t immediately identify the suspect.

Last year, Vi Ripken reported being kidnapped at gunpoint from her Aberdeen home. She returned unharmed 24 hours later. No one has been arrested in the case.

Hall of Fame infielder Cal Ripken played in 2,632 consecutive games in a 21-year career with the Baltimore Orioles.

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Ripken to be honored by Louisville Slugger

Posted on 17 September 2013 by WNST Staff

Cal Ripken, Jr. to Receive 2013 Living Legend Award from Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory

Baseball’s “Iron Man” to accept award in Louisville on November 8th

Louisville, KY – September 17, 2013 - Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory will honor Baseball Hall of Famer and Baltimore Orioles great, Cal Ripken, Jr., with its 2013 Living Legend Award on Friday, November 8th. Ripken, Jr. will be recognized during a special ceremony that kicks-off the 10th Annual Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory Auction.

“Cal Ripken, Jr., has always been an inspiring ambassador for baseball and really knew how to wield his Louisville Slugger bats,” said Anne Jewell, Executive Director at Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.  “He is a true class act, a consummate teammate and one of the hardest working men in baseball.  We’re excited and honored to recognize him with our 2013 Living Legend Award,” she said.

One of the true legends of baseball, Cal Ripken, Jr., began his professional career in 1978, made it to the majors in 1981, and quickly set a new standard for shortstops. Big, strong, and durable, he displayed power at the plate, grace in the field, and unrivaled perseverance.

He earned AL Rookie of the Year honors in 1982, won the MVP award in 1983 and 1991, and received a Gold Glove in 1991 and 1992. In 1995, Cal broke Lou Gehrig’s major league record for consecutive games played (2,130). Cal voluntarily ended his streak on September 20, 1998, after playing 2,632 consecutive games.

Using a Louisville Slugger P72 model throughout most of his 21-year career, Ripken amassed 3,184 hits, including 431 home runs. He holds many major league records, including most home runs by a shortstop and highest single season fielding percentage by a shortstop (.996). He retired from baseball in 2001 after 21 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles.

Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007 with the third highest voting percentage in history, Cal Ripken, Jr., is baseball’s all-time Iron Man.

After his playing career, Ripken, Jr., has experienced great success off the diamond.  He is a best-selling author, TV analyst and President and CEO of Ripken Baseball, Inc., a company whose mission is to grow the game of baseball at the grassroots level.

Ripken Baseball owns and operates Ripken Experience youth complexes in Aberdeen, MD. And Myrtle Beach, SC. In addition, the company owns two minor league teams and Ripken Sports, a full-service design and build company that helps communities and organizations achieve their sports facility dreams.

Cal and his family established the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, in memory of their father.  The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation helps to build character and teach critical life lessons to disadvantaged young people residing in America’s most distressed communities through baseball and softball themed programs.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be presented with Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory’s Living Legend Award.  To be recognized by Louisville Slugger and included in the company with past award recipients is very special,” said Ripken, Jr.  “Louisville Slugger has been a long-time partner of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and I appreciate all they do to support the Foundation in its goal to help our nation’s disadvantaged youth.  I am eagerly looking forward to accepting the award in Louisville this fall.”

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory has produced a limited edition P72 model collector bat autographed by Ripken, Jr. Only 100 signed bats are available and the cost is $250 per bat, which includes two tickets to the invitation-only Living Legend celebration. Proceeds from the sales of these special bats will benefit the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. For more information or to purchase a bat, please call 502-588-7271 or email giftshop@slugger.com.

Past recipients of the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory Living Legend Award are Tony Gwynn (2012), Johnny Bench (2011), Ernie Banks (2010), Hank Aaron (2009), Frank Robinson (2008) and Ken Griffey, Jr. (2007).

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The Day Cal Ripken Saved Baseball

Posted on 06 July 2013 by Geoff Crawley

I used to love baseball.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it again now, but there was a time where I wanted nothing to do with it. When the owners decided that they were bigger than the game and actually cancelled the World Series in 1994 because of a collective bargaining dispute, I was done with it.

“I’m done with you baseball,” I said. “Never again. I’m done going to games, I’m done playing fantasy baseball, I’m done with it all.”

“Done,” I added.

And I was. Baseball was my favorite sport as a child. I watched games every chance I could. I played baseball in the street. (Kids used to actually do that.) It was my first love. Then, greedy owners took away the World Series. They cancelled the World Series!

Think about that for a second. Can you imagine the NFL being stupid enough to cancel the Super Bowl? Or the NBA being dumb enough to cancel the NBA Finals? Or the NHL…oh, wait, they did it too, but nobody noticed.

So in 1995, I decided that I was never watching another Major League Baseball game again. In fact, I would still be boycotting today if not for one man, on one fateful night.

That man is Cal Ripken, Jr.

The night was September 6, 1995. The night Cal Ripken, Jr. saved baseball.

It was on that night that the Orioles’ Hall of Fame shortstop broke the record that people said would never be broken: Lou Gehrig’s streak of 2130 consecutive games played. To put that in perspective, that is over THIRTEEN SEASONS of 162 games, spread out over six months per season, without missing a single one. That means, that for THIRTEEN SEASONS, Ripken never, not one time, got suspended for doing something stupid, never stayed out all night drinking and got scratched for “flu-like symptoms,” never even stubbed his toe and had to sit for a couple days.

He also, over the course of that streak, played so well that he needed to be in the lineup anyway. He was rookie of the year, two time American League MVP, and a two time Gold Glove award winner. The NINETEEN time All-Star won the All-Star game MVP twice as well, and won the Silver Slugger eight times during the streak.

Why would you ever take that kind of production out of the lineup anyway? You wouldn’t, that’s why he broke the record.

But this is not about Cal’s greatness, it’s about how he saved baseball for me. I hadn’t watched a game all year, but of course I was paying attention to this streak. It was historic. And so, on that September evening, I sat down to watch history, not baseball. My intent was to watch the game until it became official and then change the channel.

So I’m watching when Cal comes up to bat in the fourth inning and hits a home run. I had goose bumps. Then, when the game became official in the bottom of the fifth, the 2131 banner was unfurled in the outfield and the crowd erupted. The opposing team (the Angels), all of the umpires and the entire crowd stood, cheered and applauded for 22 minutes straight. It was during this ovation that it happened.

Cal Ripken, the ultimate team player, a guy who was never about himself, was practically pushed out of the dugout and told to do a lap around the field by his teammates. The crowd, somehow, got louder. As he circled the field, shaking hands with and high fiving fans, I noticed that I was crying.

This man, this incredible man, by simply acknowledging that we, the fans, are important, saved baseball for me. His going out there was totally against his character, because the last thing he ever wanted to do was to bring more attention to himself. He was all about the game. He remembered what the owners forgot the previous year, that this game, this wonderful game, is not about the money. It’s about going out there every day and trying your best for the fans that pay your salary. Cal Ripken was bigger than the game that night even if he didn’t want to acknowledge it. And he saved baseball.

It’s not the same for me, of course. It never will be. Baseball broke my heart in 1994, and it will never fully get it back. But I do love baseball again, and it started that night, as I watched Cal Ripken, Jr. remind us all what it means to love baseball. That game, that crowd, that run around the field – history itself – that is what baseball is all about.

Thanks for saving baseball, Cal.

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