Baltimore Orioles Cal Ripken and Eddie Murray sat in the Memorial Stadium bullpen underneath a round, handmade sign that said "I'm for Mike." Dozens of Mike Barnes balloons were tied to their chairs.
Looking slightly uncomfortable, Murray and Ripken quietly signed autographs for the 250 Barnes supporters who had paid $50 for hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn and baseball, while "Miss Orioles" sat between the two players enthusiastically chatting with the few who ventured up for her autograph.
Does this mean that Cal Ripken and Eddie Murray are supporting U.S. Rep. Michael D. Barnes in his bid for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate?
Ripkin grinned shyly when asked the question, but he kept his head bent and his eyes focused on his work. "I'm in a severe baseball slump. I'm not thinking about anything but hitting a few baseballs tonight," he said, laughing.
It was all part of Barnes' latest effort to get his name known in Baltimore, a city where most of the voters still have not heard of the representative, whose district is in Montgomery County.
Starting June 2, Barnes ads began running on several Baltimore radio stations advertising June 5 as "Mike Barnes Day" at Memorial Stadium: "To celebrate, Mike Barnes is giving away 1,000 free tickets," the ads said.
People were told to stop by the Barnes headquarters in downtown Baltimore to pick up the tickets, and by June 4 several hundred Baltimore residents had beseiged the headquarters and scooped up all the tickets.
As Barnes made his way through the section where the free ticketholders were sitting, a smattering of people said they would vote for him and wished him luck. But most seemed more interested in the game.
One man holding a free ticket looked at Barnes as he edged around the congressman. "Uh, I know who you are," he said, furrowing his brow as he searched for the name.
"Mike Barnes," Barnes said energetically. "Right," replied the man, as he moved on, while his friends started laughing.
Educators Endorse Glendening
The Prince George's County Educators Association, which represents about 6,000 public school teachers in the county, has endorsed several candidates for county and statewide office, including County Executive Parris Glendening, who is running for his second term.
Also endorsed by the teachers union were incumbent County Council members Frank Casula, Richard Castaldi, Floyd Wilson, Jo Ann Bell, Hilda Pemberton and chairman William Amonett; and for state's attorney, Alex Williams, who is challenging Arthur A. Marshall Jr.
For the Maryland House of Delegates, the union is endorsing these incumbents: in District 13B, William Bevan; in District 21, Pauline Menes; in District 23, Joan Pitkin and Mary Conroy, recently appointed to fill the vacated seat of judicial appointee Gerard Devlin; in District 24, Francis Santangelo; in District 25, Dennis Donaldson; and in District 26, Christine Jones and Marian Patterson.
The organization is also endorsing these challengers: District 21, James Rosapepe, a member of the Democratic State Central Committee, and John D'Eustachio, a faculty member at Suitland High School; in District 24, community activist Nathania Miles; in District 25, Ulysses Currie, an elementary school principal in the county, and Juanita Miller, an school administrator in Washington; and in District 27, James Proctor, a middle school principal in the county. The union endorsed its president Paul Pinsky, who is running for House of Delegates in the 22nd District.
For the Maryland Senate, the union endorsed Albert Wynn, currently a delegate, running in District 25, and Richard (Steve) Brown, executive secretary of the county NAACP, running in District 24.
Senate Hopefuls to Debate
The first televised debate among the four major Democratic contenders for U.S. Senate will be conducted Sunday between 7 and 8 p.m. on Baltimore's Channel 2. The station is negotiating to persuade a Washington area station to televise the debate also, but if even if they are unsuccessful, cable viewers in some areas will probably be able to watch.
Scull Blasts County Developers
David Scull urgently summoned reporters last week to a late afternoon press conference where he blasted Montgomery County developers, whom he suspected were behind a local newspaper advertisement placed by an anonymous group. The ad called for council member Scull to withdraw from the county's hotly contested executive race.
Scull alleged the ads were against the law because the Committee of Concerned Taxpayers, which placed the ads, was not registered with county or state election boards. State law requires a group of two or more to register with the state or county if it spends money to elect or defeat a candidate.
Scull requested an investigation, and State's Attorney Andrew L. Sonner sent the case to the state prosecutor in Baltimore. Sonner recommended an investigation but explained that he wouldn't conduct it because he is running for reelection in the same primary as Scull and wants to avoid any accusations of conflict of interest.
The ad that started this controversy was placed by unlikely trio: Aris Mardirossian, president of the 6-12 convenience store chain; Anthony Campagna, who sells ads for the Gaithersburg Gazette, where one of the ads was placed, and his wife, Ida.