Lore, right, on his 100th birthday with friend and fellow Terps fan Frank Angier. (Courtesy Anne Turkos)

Stan Lore’s relationship with University of Maryland athletics began not in the bleachers, but inside the white lines. After graduating from D.C.’s Central High in 1930, Lore played on Maryland’s freshman baseball team before quitting in search of work. His dad had lost two businesses during the depression, and Lore picked up three jobs – waiting tables, delivering newspapers and teaching night school – to help pay his tuition.

“Whether I was good, bad or indifferent baseball-wise, I don’t know,” Lore told me this week. “But I’ve been interested in Maryland sports ever since I started there.”

The interest continued after Lore graduated from Maryland in ’34 and went to work as an engineer in the steel industry. He kept going to Terps football games when he was posted in Baltimore and, to a lesser extent, Richmond, and he remained interested after moving to Pittsburgh in 1954. For decades he drove himself to and from College Park, continuing into his late 90s, when family members finally insisted he ride with someone else.

“I can still drive,” he said, “but it’s my daughter and son-in-law that don’t want me to.”

In fact, his daughter will give Lore a ride to Saturday’s ACC opener against Wake Forest, when the longtime fan will be welcomed into the Byrd Stadium President’s Suite and recognized as the Terrapin Club Member of the Game. Seems like a fitting honor for a guy who turned 100 in August, has spent nearly six decades in Western Pennsylvania, and still insists on cheering for his school in person.

“I don’t root for Penn State or Pitt or anybody else,” he said. “I’m a diehard Maryland Terp.”

Anne Turkos, the University’s archivist, is friends with Lore’s family and was familiar with his story, which she presented to the athletic department, leading to Saturday’s events.

But Lore – who bought four season ticket holders about 30 years ago – doesn’t find his fandom particularly remarkable. He watches whatever Maryland games he can find on his cable system – “even lacrosse or soccer or whatever, but we don’t get much up here,” he said. He finds what news he can in the local papers, and his nephews mail him clippings from D.C. papers.

Lore follows the roster with more vigor than most casual fans – “This guy Hills, I think they’ve probably got somebody there, according to what you guys write,” he said of freshman QB Perry Hills. And he has friends who graduated from pretty much every ACC school, adding some weekly intrigue.

“I always have a weekly bet, if you know what I mean,” Lore said with a laugh. “A big bet – of five bucks.”

Lore said he briefly played semi-pro baseball after leaving the university, and the school’s 1933 yearbook listed him as a manager of the baseball team. He still occasionally plays golf, at least when he can find a course with level terrain.

“My golfing days are about over,” Lore said. “If I was in Florida, I’d play a lot, but up here it’s too hilly and I’m afraid of falling on my keister.”

And he still keeps up with the Terps baseball team, giving advice to Jim Leyland’s son Patrick when the prospect from Pittsburgh elected to sign with the Tigers rather than attend Maryland.

“I told him he was nuts, that he was missing the best years of his life: playing in the ACC, seeing all the things, the campus activities and so forth,” Lore said.

Over the decades, Lore followed Maryland football when the team was successful – going to virtually every bowl game with the Terps – and he followed them when they were less successful and news was hard to come by. But the changing nature of the ACC, he noted, likely means significantly more Terps coverage in Western Pennsylvania.

“Now that Pitt and Syracuse are in the ACC, it’s coming a little too late for me,” he said. “In other words, I could see them up here, but not now, not at my age. I just keep my fingers crossed.”

Lore’s 1933 Maryland baseball team photo. (Courtesy Ann Turkos)