Steiner probably can't do a thing to fix the hair of Seattle Mariners'
ace Randy Johnson. He probably can't produce from thin air an agreement
settling the endless labor dispute in major-league baseball. Magic, even
specially designed baseball magic, has its limits.
He can, however, make a
baseball mysteriously appear beneath a cup and make coins jump across a
miniature baseball diamond. Under his deft hands, cards bearing pictures
of Cal Ripken Jr. and Lou Gehrig transform instantly to show the old
consecutive game record: 2-1-3-0.
Baseball magic no doubt
is a small field, and Mr. Steiner may well have it to
this small part of his entertainment business has already carried the
Millersville man to two All-Star games, to a fantasy camp at the
"Field of Dreams" in Dyersville, Iowa, and to a party suite at
Camden Yards the night Cal broke Gehrig's record. He has performed for
the likes of George Brett, Barry Bonds, Rollie Fingers, Frank Robinson,
Brooks Robinson, and his childhood idol Harmon Killebrew.
Mr. Steiner, a West Point
graduate, has been a full-time magician since he retired as an Army
lieutenant colonel in 1989. He figures he does about 150 shows a year,
most of them for corporate banquets, meetings, grand openings, and
private parties. He does
perform for children's parties because much of his stage act
involves mind reading and ESP. That tends to go over children's
heads, says Mr. Steiner.
The baseball magic
combines his passion for magic with his lifelong love for
baseball, which began when he was growing up in Minnesota.
He's got a fine memory and a head full of baseball trivia that come in
handy when meeting ballplayers.
"My dream," he
says, "is to perform at a World Series when the Orioles are
Nice trick. Try
pulling one more starting pitcher and a bullpen stopper out of your hat.