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Thunderbolts Strike Down Angelos' Power Grab

Fall 2005

Peter Angelos Reluctantly dons a Thunderbolts cap after his Orioles lose to the Thunderbolts 17-3.

SILVER SPRING, MD -- In a recent historic match-up, the Silver Spring/Takoma Park Thunderbolts baseball team beat the Baltimore Orioles 17 to 3, ending Orioles owner Peter Angelos' attempt to snuff out the beloved local baseball team. Last April, Angelos and the Baltimore Orioles threatened to sue the Thunderbolts for infringement of exclusive baseball rights.

In an open letter to Thunderbolts fans in the April 2005 Takoma Voice, Angelos wrote, "For over 30 years the Orioles have had the exclusive rights to a geographically defined baseball market that stretches from Pennsylvania through all of Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Delaware, portions of West Virginia and as far south as Charlotte, North Carolina." The letter further claimed that the very presence of the Thunderbolts team so close to Baltimore had a "profound adverse impact" on the financial health of the Oriole franchise.

In an attempt to avert a costly lawsuit, Thunderbolts President Richard O'Connor convinced Angelos to settle the matter through an exhibition game held at Montgomery Blair Baseball Stadium.

In one of his last starts in an Orioles uniform, pitcher Sidney Ponson, gave up four runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Thunderbolts went on to drive Ponson from the game in the fourth inning when they scored an additional six runs, much to the joy of the standing-room crowd of 6,329. Thunderbolts starter Brett Cecil held the Orioles to one run until the eighth inning when he gave up a two-run dinger to Rafael Palmeiro. The homerun ball flew an estimated 1200 feet when it flew out of the ballpark, over the capital beltway and landed in the YMCA pool.

The O's Brian Roberts watches in disbelief as a double play gets broken up.

"I don't think they took us seriously," said Cecil after the game, "and that just got all of us pumped up!" In addition to stymieing the Orioles bats, Cecil stroked a homerun along with Mickey Shupin and Alex Udwari.

As a result of the win, the Thunderbolts will retain rights to play in Montgomery County through the year 2099. As an additional bonus the Orioles have agreed to host a Thunderbolts day next season, during which all Takoma Park and Silver Spring residents will be admitted free to Camden Yards. Thunderbolts' board member Bunny Stryker is slated to sing the national anthem and coach Bobby St. Pierre will throw out the first pitch. All residents interested in attending should contact Angelos at his home phone, 410-555-Oh-Os.