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If you want to know the real history of Baltimore baseball, you ask the folks who authored the story of Orioles Magic. Charles Steinberg comes back to Baltimore to hail Larry Lucchino and the real heroes of Camden Yards and saving the Orioles – and offers his best wisdom and native advice to new owner David Rubenstein from his Worcester Woo Sox seat at Polar Park.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

orioles, larry, baltimore, team, camden yards, worcester, david rubenstein, years, ballpark, oriole, wooster, steinberg, bridge, baseball, earl, called, stadium, bennett, fans, love

SPEAKERS

Nestor J. Aparicio, Charles Steinberg

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are wn S T am 1570, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive we are getting the Maryland crabcake tour back out on the road presented by our friends at the Maryland water I have 10 times the cash but I’m getting these PacMan ones for next week we’re gonna be at Faith Lee’s each and every Friday that there is a baseball game we’ll be live from two until five cross your fingers. I don’t have to use the bathroom. It’s not too far away. The new Lexington market it’s going to be beautiful loops coming down from two or three on Fridays and we begin our crabcake tour on Tuesday at cost this. The bridge is fallen. We have lost Peter Angelos ownership is transferred the Orioles are really good. The weather really stinks. And then we lost Larry the keynote earlier this week and I I started reaching the people two three weeks ago. And it’s this patient of opening day I may have even reached the troll Steinberg two three weeks ago. I’ve read Vaughn hasn’t been on in a minute. But Jana Marie, I found her before opening day and it was before Larry died. But after Peter died, but before Rubinstein bought the team, it depends on what day but we’re in a very, very surreal state in so many ways that I go to cost this and I can’t even look to the South because it breaks my heart to look at the sky and not see a bridge. And we’re losing legends and people and the people that put this together and there’s such a time of hope here in Baltimore for baseball for the city for everything. I welcome Charles Steinberg back he is defending champion of all things Baltimore, even though he is in Worcester, Mass, as long as I don’t have the accents wearing off on you, you better bring me some at least Northwest Baltimore little some something here. But first things first, a hug to you virtually and otherwise, your love for Larry Lucchino and his love for you. You know, it’s a special relationship you you too, had and many people have with Larry, but specifically you and I didn’t even give you a telling off period. So a hug to you. I know. It’s been a weird, weird time. Well, thank

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Charles Steinberg  01:59

you that sir. That’s great to talk to you. And I give a hug right back to Baltimore. I woke up the other day, at six in the morning. And the lead story on the national news was how Baltimore awoke to the Key Bridge and I loved the Key Bridge. We all did it was it was not only functional, it was symbolic of, of this great era. You know what the bridge opened in 77, harborplace and 80 and Camden Yards and 92. So excuse me. My heart broke when I heard the news about the Key Bridge and, and I was full of sentiment. When we learned that Peter had Peter Angelos had passed away and I was full of optimism for the Orioles with David Rubenstein. I don’t know him personally. But you know, sure know, his background and you talked about those of us who grew up in Northwest Baltimore. You know, you you feel a kinship, even if you haven’t met someone. So it’s been an emotional time and through it all the Orioles are doing what I always loved for the Orioles to do which is lift people’s spirits. And what a great Oreos team and I couldn’t be happier that Baltimore has the Orioles to turn to and has Camden Yards to come to to navigate these these emotional waters.

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:35

Well then we lost Brooks a couple of months ago right like I reached the people like you in regard to that and where we are and to see cow on the field. Right? I mean, you had a really special relationship with Kalin Eddie, is anybody that knows anything about it, by the way free plug for my dude, John Eisenberg, who is resurrected these oral tapes with turn of the century. He came on the show this week. And you’re one of the true historians who carries the torch from, you know, from Brown and Helen, Rick Vaughn and you know, all the way through and you’re in Wooster running a minor league baseball operations as part of the Red Sox. You famously were involved with Larry in Boston, San Diego before that, and here in Baltimore. Larry, let’s start with Larry. And listen. We lost two sort of giants in in what baseball has represented here for most of my adult lifetime right after losing ever been away if so, but the notion that Peter save the franchise for Baltimore started to make the media on Saturday night when he died, and by Tuesday the bridge collapsed by Wednesday night Rubenstein owns the team. By Thursday. There’s a press conference and opening day and then we lose Larry, like all of this happen and Larry’s voice came to me. I had Tom Libero on last week. I had Janet Murray on and Larry Larry Larry And then we lose Larry 48 hours ago, and I’m thinking, I wanted to reach to Larry and I wanted to talk to Larry and I wanted to give Larry a hug and I wanted to say, Larry, they’re resetting the Orioles. Tell me how you would reset the Orioles. You know, give me your willy wonka And Larry’s not here. And I think all due respect to Larry, maybe you’re the next best guy to ask about that. Because somewhere baked in there. There’s just something Larry’s listening, I think. Well, let’s

Charles Steinberg  05:29

start with a couple of facts. You know, Larry had the vision for Oriole Park at Camden Yards. he articulated it to me with clarity during the 1986 World Series between Boston and the Mets. We were in a room at Memorial Stadium that we called the undercroft. It was under the first space stands on the first base side. And we cleaned it out and made it a little

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:57

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luxury facility no doubt, right.

Charles Steinberg  06:01

Our designated hitters and our DHS we’re just doing great. They were violent. They were businessmen and women voluntarily selling season tickets on the Orioles behalf and we had a reception for them during that 1986 World Series. And that’s when Larry knowing that I’m from Baltimore. And he’s not said to me and said you really think we’re going to build a new stadium? He said, No, we’re gonna build two new stadiums. I said, What are you nuts? He said, what’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:32

the culture gone? Two years, right. Yeah. Edward Bennett. Williams is rumored to be trying to pirate the Orioles to DC if we can’t fix the stadium problem, right? And right.

Charles Steinberg  06:45

Yes. And Larry says, one for baseball one for football. I said, Larry, I know you’re an Ivy League educated and you’re a Washington lawyer, which of course was not a great thing to be if you’re from Baltimore. But how do you think you’re gonna get to that? He said, There’s a difference between a stadium and a ballpark. A ballpark is asymmetrical. It’s idiosyncratic. It is it’s intimate. stadiums are big and multipurpose. And he then proceeded to find us $5 If we call that a stadium, so he passionately articulated and envision an old fashioned downtown ballpark with modern amenities. Now, we all know how beautiful Camden Yards is and what an international revolution that it started. There’s more than 100 ballparks now because of Camden Yards. You have 30 major league teams,

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Nestor J. Aparicio  07:46

you’re sitting in one right?

Charles Steinberg  07:49

In the baby of the family I’m in in the fifth ballpark project that Larry and Janet Murray were involved in together. Larry’s fifth ballpark I polar Park in Worcester, but Excuse me. But throughout Major League Baseball and minor league baseball downtown’s have been transformed because of Camden Yards. But, but there’s more to the story. Because in 1992, when the ballpark opened, Larry had offered committed and given what turned out to be a 30 year commitment. It was 15. And then there were more things that the governor shaver said like, can we double it? And Larry said yes, but can we get this this this and this done? And so it was a 30 year commitment. So Larry, working for Edward Bennett Williams made the commitment and that’s a commitment all of us remember, on May 2 1988 Don’t wait. You know where you were

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:02

obviously I sat in about Section nine up underneath the lower reserve probably obstructed but not by much because we got in early on that when like we were gonna we were gonna greet the team when they came home even if they did, even if they were always 32 By the time they got home. I

Charles Steinberg  09:18

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know that everybody who listened to you I know remembers fantastic. Fans night may 2 1988. Greeting the one and 23 Orioles who had gone oh and 21 and there’s Governor Schaefer on the field holding that agreement. And that was the lease that would keep the Orioles in as he bought it. Downtown Ballmer. And that was that was historic. So that is what saved the Orioles for Baltimore, Maryland. There’s no disputing that and no rhetoric to the contrary can dissuade anybody who understands the history of the order. I was in Baltimore. So you had the Orioles for the for 30 years starting in 1992. So let’s let’s just make sure we understand that. But Larry didn’t really get to be part of Baltimore, in the in the kind of govan’s or Fells Point or Towson way, or for me Mount Washington that we all grew up with. And so I have a better way to describe Larry, because I worked for someone else at the Orioles. Before I worked for Larry, and that was Earl Weaver. I was Earl Weaver status Titian to this day, I still as I will show you carry a medium point blue Bic pen because that’s how I did IRL stats.

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:46

You know, I carry the four color. You know, I have the four colored back with the green, the red. You know what I mean? I do that for I’m reaching in my bag. Find that right now. There

Charles Steinberg  10:56

was a way we did Earl stat. Now, Larry Lucchino was Earl Weaver, in a suit, and with a better vocabulary. Larry Lucchino was Earl Weaver, in a suit, and with a better vocabulary, fiery, aggressive, determined to win would do anything and anything to win. And both were ferocious ly loyal. And that’s a key part to understanding both of them. Earl was, you wouldn’t use the word happy, but happy to get thrown out of a game. As long as his players didn’t get thrown out of the game. He had to go out there and take the heat and be the center and make sure Eddie Murray didn’t get thrown out of that game. And the famous YouTube scene that is required viewing if you’re of a sufficient age. No, no,

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:58

no, it’s required viewing whenever you’re in a bad mood because it lives. It lifts spirits. There’s there’s no way to watch that and watch

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Charles Steinberg  12:08

the beginning. The beginning when a bock had been called on, on our beloved Mike Flanagan, listen to what Eddie is saying to the umpire. That’s the top of the first inning. You cannot let

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:22

I was at the game that night. I mean, I tend to that game. I remember that game well, but

Charles Steinberg  12:26

Earl had to go out there and be the Eat receptacle. That was Larry Lucchino. Larry had to go out there and make sure his owners were shielded, make sure his employees were shielded. Earl protected me when I messed up the stats. Certainly one day the payment story in the 79 playoff. And Earl was just stunningly aggressively loyal to me. And Larry was the same way. Larry Lucchino was Earl Weaver in a suit, but with a better vocabulary. Joe Steinberg

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:07

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is here. He’s always sort of spiritually here in Baltimore, he’s in a Wooster with the wool socks. And I’m gonna give you a little oxygen on all that. But I gotta ask you really important as a shoot interview? I mean, I got to ask an important question is, Larry died and Peter died and like, My page is full of this and that and people coming on and we, you know, whatever, nothing awful in any way, but just attaching things to legacies in whatever way they would. Someone said, I have worked better. Williams really wanted to move the team to DC. Um, is that accurate? Or is that not accurate? Like, portray the truth for me on that?

Charles Steinberg  13:48

Yeah. My understanding from all of my talks with Larry. Yes, that was the original intention, but look at when it was. He was eyeing the Orioles in the mid 70s. eyeing the Orioles when the sale was consummated. August 2 79. Well, all of us know exactly what we were doing practically every day of that summer. And we know the disenchant home run and what was that? June 22. We know the doubleheader the next day we know any hitting the three run home run in the 10th inning. We know Terry Crowley getting the pinch to run single. We know Orioles magic, and now. Yeah, I think they thought they would move the team to Washington. But wait a minute. What the heck is happening? The Orioles attendance in 1979 was about one seven. That was about 700,000 More than they’ve ever been before. So how would

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:48

you go so far as to say like FBR and Oriole magic and the team itself on the field sort of willed the team to stay in it sort of one Edward Bennett Williams over to some diagrams loosely,

Charles Steinberg  15:00

and when he passed away on August 13 of 1988. Three days later, I was just talking to John Miller about this yesterday, three days later to say, August 16. It’s going to be our first home game. And I’m working on what John Miller is going to say about Edward Bennett Williams. And I’m from Baltimore. I thought that Williams witnessed this affection in 1979. I might even still think that Larry punches me in the arm and it goes, he didn’t just witness it. He nurtured it. He was involved in it. Maybe

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Nestor J. Aparicio  15:40

you think so? But you do a pretty good, pretty good, Larry, you do? Yeah.

Charles Steinberg  15:44

Five years, you get to know somebody? That’s a good Larry. 45 years. So. So absolutely. The fans. All of us, as we all know who we all are. We all know section 34 We all know Oreos, magic. We all know 1980 winning 100 games and finishing second, we all know the final day of the 90 day to do season. We know all of that. I mean, 83 was kind of the cherry on top, but 79 through a really 77 with the eight rookies through 82. What a time that was. And so that’s what we’re all still here. Well, you’re right. But what I was thrilled about, here I am in Massachusetts, at Boston, Red Sox, Worcester, Red Sox, Fenway Park, polar park, but I’m watching the Orioles from afar. And the Orioles fans came back. And we’re there and we’re there for the Orioles. Last year, I came down. I saw the team. I went to spring training last year, saw them in Sarasota. To see the Oreo fans were rewarded for decades of loyalty that absolutely thrilled me. And it’s more orange than it had ever been. Even in our glory days. That color was not nearly as prominent. So Larry kept the Orioles in Baltimore as the 30 year agreement was immutable. What convinced

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:10

that were Bennett Williams to keep the team as opposed to trying to soak in some money in Northern Virginia, because he kind of probably could have gotten away with it. Right? I mean, he he could have been that guy. And I mean, look at what the A’s are going through now. Like, you know, it could have been done at that time. Right?

Charles Steinberg  17:28

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Just as 1979 was a statement by Oracle spans all year long. That sustained in the years ahead. On Monday, May 2 1988 When the 3000 people were planning the film Memorial Stadium to welcome home the one and 23 Oriole so done oh and 21 Larry and Edward Bennett Williams are in Washington, with Eugene fine black. And her bell grant, not sure of her backgrounds there. I think he was. And the news is Are you kidding me? The 3000 people to greet the team that just went oh and 21 and Larry has told me over and over. Edward Bennett Williams said, go ahead. Make the deal. Get it done. And on the train from Washington to Baltimore for Fantastic bands night. A signed and agreed. The fans did it again. It was the fans. It was all of us who felt what Oreos magic was in 79. And it was all of us who were there for the Orioles. On Monday, May 2 1988. And by the way, here’s a postscript. Here I am in Worcester, Massachusetts. And I got reunited with Bob rivers. The name Hey, Rocky. Bob in New England in Vermont. I think he’s battling for so writing jingles? Yes. And I said, Oh my God, you’re instrumental in saving the orphans. We all know that story if you don’t ask your parents but googling? Yes, we reunited I had him meet Larry and yeah, here we are in Worcester, Massachusetts and were reunited with Bob rivers and talking about I am not sleeping till the Orioles one.

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:35

Listen, I’ve only got a couple more minutes. I want to bring you back because we are tiny little short today. Charles Steinberg is here. The real reason to have called you before Larry passed away and I did was okay. Um, hey, Charles. I’m David Rubenstein. You want to come run my baseball team. Wow. I’m doing some things up here. So if you were to come into this and fly into this heart of hearts, whether that would be the reality If real Charles Steinberg being a real team coming here, or whether they called you and said, Just get, you know, what do you think we should do? Because that’s the question. I’m asking everyone because I’ve mentioned Deepak Chopra several times and said, it’s full of pure potentiality in so many ways to fix things. And when I’ve only I’ve talked to one of Mr. Rubenstein’s guys on opening day. And I said, I’ve waited 20 years for you to come here. I’m your friend, I’m not your enemy. And like, you know, I don’t know where you begin with me or people like me, who were really sideways, as opposed to every business and people and people that are lacrosse and people that went away. How, how do you begin to fix things?

Charles Steinberg  20:45

I’ll tell you, I had looked at it. And while watching what was going on in Baltimore, in recent years, at through three lenses, and if you go back a few years, you’ll see why I start this way. I’ve had the first thing you need to do is fix the team. Now that’s been done brilliantly. Just just just through Mike Elias II Rosenbaum. What what a job they’ve done. Second lens, is to improve the energy, spirit, warmth and hospitality in the ballpark. The ushers are the best, but you could tell that they knew whether or not they were being supported or not. And that has to come from the top, the entire embrace the energy, the enthusiasm, the sense of welcome that happiness that we all knew at Memorial Stadium, and we have felt at Camden Yards, you’ve got to make sure that the the experience the human experience, as well as entertainment, is just so welcoming. And that’s with the folks that are there at the Orioles,

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:04

even the media tell Charles even the media, the media was

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Charles Steinberg  22:08

so much a part of our happiness, that on thanks, Brooks day, September 18 1977, when we had the reception that night at crosskeys. It was everybody from the Orioles. And of course it was the media, because we’re all united and I love a baseball. But the third lens is the big opportunity that I imagined David Rubenstein, embracing, and that is for the Orioles to use their power to help improve Baltimore, to recognize that Baltimore is at an inflection point. And not just with the sadness of the Key Bridge. But the role that the that the team plays in the city, in the state and in the region. What an opportunity for a beloved baseball team playing in a an internationally acclaimed venue to use its power to use its might to take its community connection to new heights. That’s where I think the Orioles can regain their their beloved status all over and take it to levels that they never really had even gotten to before. That those are the three lenses through which I see it. And I have no doubt that that David Rubenstein has the heart and the commitment to make that happen. And it’s a vivid, vivid picture, I think in my mind and in the minds of all of us who grew up adoring Brooks and whose love cow and, you know, for me my relationship with Eddie Murray, beyond a little boy’s dream. And Brooks to and Jim Palmer do not, do not take for granted how loyal to the Orioles is Jim Palmer today. But Brooks and Frank and Palmer and Weaver and Edie and Colin Boog. And, and, and Rick Dempsey. I mean, there’s a new generation now. And that’s wonderful. If we can nurture an environment where they become what we had were Adly rushman and Gunnar Henderson are are the heroes of our youth. Look at how impactful those heroes have been for us in Baltimore. And I think that that’s where Baltimore can benefit and Maryland and the entire entire region where we used to call the land the pleasant living and benefit from the Oriole star shining so brightly and that’s that’s what those of us that the Orioles diaspora are imagining from our airpoints around the globe,

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:06

your higher Charles Steinberg is here. Tell me what you do for the blue Sox. And that’ll let you run out the door. Tell me when you’re coming down here to have a proper crab cake for me, bring me a little lobster roll. Do.

Charles Steinberg  25:21

You know, let’s honor Larry Lucchino by telling you how warm and fuzzy he was when he said to me at the Boston Red Sox, ah, I think I’m gonna have to make you president. So yes, I’m the president of the Western Red Sox, everybody from Baltimore’s Welcome to spiritual in play Norfolk here. And we’re the we’re those windows

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:44

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behind you. We keep hitting the ball like that in Norfolk, you are right, as

Charles Steinberg  25:49

well, and our players live across the street. So it’s a real community we built. It’s a great city, and were voted best ball park and all of AAA, I were the only team of all 120 minor league teams that sold half a million tickets each the last two years. So we’ve we’ve got a good thing going. We want all of baseball’s national awards for community interaction, Latino interaction. It’s been a it’s been a really, really fun experience with fans who remind me of the loyal fans of my youth. They’re good people, they love their baseball, they know their baseball, and they love walking down the street and seeing at tomorrow’s Major League stars just walking around Wooster. It’s happening and it’s very, very cool.

Nestor J. Aparicio  26:43

Well, trust eiberg You are welcome here anytime as always, and I’ve waited a long time for this and I swear to you, there’s a surreal part of this when I put on that Oriole jacket that Alan Mills gave me 20 years ago I traded jackets. And you know when the thing things went bad with free the person I got rid of I purge a lot of gear and things and you know, like all of that. And I’ve kept some things and have some incredible meaning to me, including my whole Louis Aparicio collection. i It’s a beautiful thing to be able to embrace baseball again, because I never thought about it. I’ve said too many people’s like Castro’s Cuba, or like Putin and Russia, like it was like never going to end I never thought there would be an end like I never talked about the end, or envisioned what the next thing could possibly be. And these conversations lift me so I appreciate your time. I know it’s been a hard time for you with Larry, my heart to you and everybody loves Larry, and we’ll get together again soon and honor him properly. Okay,

Charles Steinberg  27:40

that would be great. All right. Great to talk to you. My love to Baltimore, my hometown and I still love to come and see Camden Yards and see the Orioles. Well, I’ll

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:49

tell you what I was. Larry died. I have pictures of me and Larry drinking a beer together in San Diego in 1997. And I found the picture of him with my wife jersey, that you may possibly remember wife was bad at least 10 years ago this week was literally so hard to you will see up in Worcester with all of our Norfolk tides because we don’t have any room for him here and we’re gonna have to train them away. I am Nestor. We are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. Stay with us. We’re Baltimore positive

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