These Guys Went On To Bigger And Better Things

I always tell folks out here in Chicago that there is nothing that matches the arrogance that comes from Washington D.C. In all my years sportswriting in the Midwest, I never found the egos that grew in DC. Of course some of the most exciting people in the world come from the Nation’s Capitol as well.

Let’s go back to the Orioles store in DC in 1984 where one of Edward Bennett Williams’ top aides performed very badly and I did nothing to stop him.

His name was Larry Lucchino. He was a brilliant lawyer from Williams’ office. He came down to the store and asked, rather he told the assistant store manager, to dial a phone number for him.

Well, she didn’t understand the number that he rattled off quickly and he started to yell at her. He was sarcastic as someone could be. She was clearly upset and that wasn’t helping the situation.

Naturally I was dumbstruck. I guess I didn’t want to lose my job but I should have grabbed the phone and told this jerk to dial it himself. It was pathetic.

Oh, did I mention, he departed Washington and became President of the Boston Red Sox. I sincerely hope he doesn’t treat the Red Sox employees like that.

Let’s move on to the Baltimore office. In my era of sales (1983-87) we had some sales people go through the offices up there. As I have told friends, I would get drunk at Orioles parties and tell folks who would listen that I wanted to be a writer. And so I would write stories in the O’s office and send them up to Baltimore.

The assistant sales manager at the time was Dan O’Dowd. He wasn’t always nice but he did mention to me that I was a pretty good writer. That was a compliment I greatly appreciated.

Oh, Dan O’Dowd is general manager of the Colorado Rockies. I did write to O’Dowd when he accepted his post and he returned a nice letter to me.

Now what major job did I take after my Glory Days as an Orioles account executive? Oh, sportswriter for a weekly chain of newspapers. That’s where I traded girls basketball players from team to team freaking out an occasional girl who didn’t get that it was a joke.

What’s the morale here? Treat people like crap and make it big in the world? I hope not. Maybe these guys had a goal in mind and stuck with it.

About The Author

- Staff Writer & O's Historian

Bill Pemstein was a Washington Senators fan growing up in Falls Church, VA. And then his older brother told him about an improving club in Baltimore. December 9 is almost a religious day in his life. It's the day in 1965 that Frank Robinson was traded to Baltimore. The next year was a World Series championship and the rest is history. Pemstein worked in the Washington office of the Orioles from 1983-1987. That was before a 22-year career in sportswriting in Midwest. He is the author of "A Stone's Throw" that details the 1980 season of Cy Young Award winner Steve Stone.