Client List

In the News




Previous Article

Reprinted from

Dick Steiner Performs His Own Brand of "Orioles Magic"

by Gordon Beard

Memorial Stadium had a well-deserved reputation as the "House of Magic" before the 33rd Street ball yard was abandoned by the Orioles following the 1991 baseball season.

It was there that late-inning heroics by Doug DeCinces and Eddie Murray, and their teammates on the 1979 American League championship squad, led to the catchy "Orioles Magic" song.

The familiar theme has resurfaced periodically over the years to describe the feats of those who carried on the tradition before and after the switch to the downtown Camden Yards facility.

The latter-day miracle workers included personalities such as John Lowenstein and Cal Ripken in the early 1980s, followed by the likes of Mike Devereaux and Brady Anderson, and more recently Chris Hoiles and Mark McLemore.

Now, the name of Dick Steiner may be added to the intriguing mix.

Dick Steiner?  He's not a rookie about to make his debut and he'll never drive in a late-inning winning run.  But those who have been privy to his card tricks will recognize his right to be included in the "Orioles Magic" Hall of Fame.

 He has appeared in the sky boxes and various rooms at Oriole Park or in the Camden Club, entertaining fans with a routine of mentalism and sophisticated legerdemain with clever ties to a baseball theme.

While fans are enjoying pre-game hors d'oeuvres, Dick entertains with his special brand of "strolling magic," making use of a waiter's stand which he can set up as he moves around the room.

Tricks are performed atop a pad, some 15 inches square, covered with green velvet and brown suede to simulate a baseball diamond, with white satin bases and white stitching for the foul lines.

Dick performed at the Baseball Gala celebrations during All-Star Week the past two years.

He now lives in Millersville, Anne Arundel County, and got caught up in the Orioles mania when he moved to the area in 1991.  He was raised in Minneapolis and was a Minnesota Twins follower most of his life.

In high school, Dick was co-captain of the track, cross country and swimming teams, and was on the cross country team at West Point.

"I played Little League baseball," he said, "but I couldn't hit at all.  I was sort of a late-inning replacement."

That's just about the way he was scouted by Orioles executive Roland Hemond, who has seen Dick perform several times.  "He has quick hands," Roland said, "the kind you look for in a second basemen...[Bill] Mazeroski hands.

"He might not be able to hit home runs," Roland added, "but he wears the Orioles colors with distinction."

He referred to the orange tie and a cummerbund with the Orioles logo which Dick wears for shows at the ballpark, and Oriole Advocates and Designated Hitters engagements.

Dick is an inveterate baseball junky who is familiar with all sorts of trivia about his favorite sport ["it takes up a lot of valuable space in my brain."]

Harmon Killebrew was his favorite player, and Dick recalls the pain of listening to radio reports of the Orioles beating the Twins in the first two American League Championship Series.

"I'll never forget [Mark] Belanger scoring from third base when [Paul] Blair bunted to win the first game in 1969.  I was stationed at Fort Carson [CO] at the time.  I heard the 1970 playoffs on a transistor in Vietnam [where 26 of his West Point classmates were killed in action].

"I'd root for the Orioles now if they played the Twins again in the playoffs, but if Killebrew could come back and play, I'd probably root for the Twins."

Dick's earliest memory of the Orioles came in high school when Jim Gentile hit consecutive grand slam homers against the Twins in 1961 [showing his trivia knowledge, he noted correctly that Jim hit them off Pedro Ramos and Paul Giel].

He spent 21 years in the Army following graduation from West Point in 1968, with service in Germany and Australia, in addition to Vietnam.  He retired in 1989 [as a lieutenant colonel] to become a full-time professional magician and mentalist. 

"I was always interested in magic as a kid," Dick said, "but my interest was rekindled in 1986 when I met a magician [Fred Cook] who led me in the right direction.   He got me to read material on the subject and practice when he saw I was obviously not just curious."

Cook, who died about five years ago, showed Dick various sleight-of hand moves and introduced him to other magicians, with whom he shared ideas.

"The highlight to date of combining my professional magic and my love of baseball was entertaining the current and former all-stars at the All-Star Game," Dick said.  "I even received a 'high five' from Barry Bonds."

That was when Bonds was asked to cut a deck of All-Star cards, pick a number, turn over the card when he reached that number...and found that he had turned over his own All-Star card.  Another Bonds card was then recovered from an envelope that had been placed to the side at the outset of the trick.

For another trick, Dick has someone autograph a card after picking it at random from a regular deck.  To the amazement of onlookers, that same card [with the identifiable autograph] was eventually found folded inside a nest of six Russian dolls, one inside the other, painted with uniforms from six different Orioles eras from 1954 to 1992.

As for his current situation, Dick couldn't be happier combining baseball and magic.  "It's not often you can turn a hobby into a profession," he said.