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Power outage postpones Mariners-Orioles game

August 15, 1997

BALTIMORE (AP) _ A partial power outage at Camden Yards postponed Thursday night’s game between the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles after a delay of nearly 2 1/2 hours.

The game will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader Friday, with the first game scheduled for 1:35 p.m. and the second game slated for 7:35.

It’s the last scheduled trip to Baltimore for the Mariners, who also must play a doubleheader Saturday in Chicago.

When the lights were turned on before Thursday’s game, only a few bulbs in the bank of lights along the right-field line were illuminated. Orioles spokesman John Maroon said the stadium was experiencing a partial electrical failure, and the 7:35 p.m. starting time was pushed back.

The problem was eventually located, but when the lights were turned on at 8:45 there were still about 25 bulbs that remained dark. Although it appeared as if the field was bathed in enough light, the game remained delayed.

After several discussions between umpire crew chief Al Clark, both managers, Orioles officials and head groundskeeper Paul Zwaska, the game was finally called at 10 p.m.

Many in the crowd created the announcement with jeers.

``We’re very tired,″ said Martha Blackwell, of Athens, Ala., who was attending her first Oriole game with a friend and still hopeful of seeing some baseball at 9:45.

``If there’s some reason they can’t play, it’s ridiculous to take so much time to make a decision,″ she said.

During the delay, fans were shown a telecast of the game between the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals. After the delay stretched past 90 minutes and the lights on the faulty bank appeared to be in working condition, many fans began chanting, ``Play Ball!″

But the fans began getting the impression that the game would not be played when Seattle’s Jay Buhner walked out of the visiting dugout in street clothes while ushers and police lined the field.

However, the sellout crowd became encouraged when six of the Orioles began throwing the ball around on the sideline in front of the Baltimore dugout. They stopped after about five minutes when it became apparent that a final decision was not immediately forthcoming.

Some fans didn’t wait for the umpires to make a decision. Bob Segal, of Baltimore, left the game at 9:50 and ended up getting a jump on the rest of the crowd.

``The worst thing is they didn’t say anything _ and they still haven’t,″ he said. ``I think that creates a lot of ill will.″

There was no immediate word on the starting pitchers for Friday’s games. Seattle’s Randy Johnson (16-3) was to face Scott Kamieniecki (7-5) in Thursday’s game and Ken Cloude (0-1) was to oppose Baltimore’s Jimmy Key (13-6) Friday.

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