Not Budging : An Error for No. 1 Fan?

United Press International

White House spokesman Larry Speakes, a broad grin on his face, refused today to admit that President Reagan misspoke when he said he had been to four Baltimore Orioles opening day baseball games--all of which the Orioles lost.

During his televised news conference Wednesday night, Reagan said, “I’ve been there four times and they’ve lost all four games, and I don’t think I’m welcome back.”

Reporters later pointed out that Reagan has been to only three games.

But Speakes, raising the issue during a morning briefing with reporters, refused to budge.


He claimed, to ripples of laughter, that Reagan was “peeking through a knothole in left field” in 1954 when the “late St. Louis Browns” became the Baltimore Orioles and dropped their first game to the Chicago White Sox.

Speakes then pressed the news corps--unsuccessfully--to name the starting pitchers and then proceeded to read off what he said was the Orioles’ starting lineup, including Baltimore starter Joe Coleman.

He did not reveal a score.

Asked who could confirm that Reagan was peeking through the knothole, Speakes replied, “Who could say he was not?”