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Attendance woes reach O's

Published May 24, 1995|Updated Oct. 4, 2005

The ballpark that once had a major-league record 65 consecutive sellouts does not seem so exclusive in 1995.

Camden Yards has not been sold out since Opening Day. The Orioles are averaging 38,609 fans per game over 12 dates, tops in the league and around 15,000 more than the league average. But the 11 straight games that were not sellouts is the most since they made Camden Yards their home.

"The situation is understandable and explainable," said Joe Foss, the Orioles' vice chairman of business and finance. "We're not surprised or concerned."

The abrupt end of the baseball strike last month left the Orioles little time to sell group plans, which usually account for a half-million tickets per year. Foss said group sales are beginning to pick up but are well behind last year's numbers because of the season's late start.

"We got the schedule April 6 and had our first home game May 1," Foss said. "You just can't put groups together in two or three weeks. It usually takes at least a month."

Royals: A day after becoming the majors' first five-game winner, Kevin Appier (5-1, 1.98 ERA, league-leading 53 strikeouts) agreed to a one-year contract worth $4,337,500. Appier's salary was $3.8-million last season.

White Sox: An arbitration panel ruled pitcher Alex Fernandez will make the $3.25-million offered by the team this season, rather than the $3.9-million he requested. He had a $758,334 salary last year, going 11-7 with a 3.86 ERA.

Rangers: Outfielder Juan Gonzalez, AL homer champion two years ago, flew to Florida for extended spring training in Port Charlotte. He has been on the disabled list since the start of the season with a herniated disc in his lower back.

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