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Keiffer Mitchell
A Purported Memorial Stadium Relic Found in The City Paper Offices

By Edward Ericson Jr. | Posted 12/12/2007

On the Agenda for Dec. 3

Sadness and merriment: The City Council held a moment of silence in memory of longtime Public Works Director George Winfield, who died Dec 1. "He was someone you could set your clock by," Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said. "He had a confidence and a competence that was unparalleled."

As this was the 69th Baltimore City Council's final session, there was no significant new business to discuss, and the members used the meeting to offer heartfelt, and humorous, send-offs to departing council members Kenneth Harris (who gave up his 4th District seat and lost a bid to unseat Rawlings-Blake as council president), Keiffer Mitchell (who gave up his 11th District seat and lost his bid for mayor), and Vernon Crider (who was appointed to the 13th District seat nine months ago but lost his first bid for election). Rawlings-Blake handed out plaques to her departing colleagues. Twelfth District Councilman Jack Young cited Mitchell's "legacy of making us smile while making us do the right thing," prompting a standing ovation for the departing councilman.

"This is a tremendous surprise," Mitchell said, accepting the plaque. "I wasn't expecting this. I was expecting a right foot or a left foot."

Later in the two-hour session, 2nd District Councilman Nick D'Adamo stood to pay his tribute, and told one of the night's funnier stories. On the day of the last event in Memorial Stadium, 10 years ago, D'Adamo began, the place was packed, and most everyone there wanted, in good Baltimore tradition, to steal a piece of the icon. "I swear, this is a true story," D'Adamo said. All that night the P.A. system blared with warnings to anyone who would dare attempt to loot the stadium. But as the exhibition ended he spotted Mitchell two sections away "kicking the seats." After some time, D'Adamo says, Mitchell dislodged two of them from the concrete, "and he came over and handed one to me."

While Mitchell (and others) cringed or buried their faces in their hands, D'Adamo proudly held forth: "Remember this, Keither?" On the way out, according to D'Adamo, a police officer stopped Mitchell. D'Adamo tried to pull rank, informing the cop that Mitchell was a city councilman. Unimpressed, the cop grabbed the stadium seat from Mitchell's arms and handed it to D'Adamo, "and I walk out with both of them," he confessed, to the roar of those in the chamber.

D'Adamo said he kept them in his garage until recently, when he took them both to Mitchell's house and presented them to him.

Mitchell was obliged, several speakers later, to say for the record that he was not arrested in the incident. "I did receive a citation," he admitted.

He then addressed D'Adamo. "My name is Keiffer," he said, his voice rising in mock offense. "K-e-i-f-f-e-r. Not `Keither.' For 12 years this guy, we meet someone and he introduces `my friend Keither.' It. is. Keiffer."

Said 5th District Councilwoman Rikki Spector, addressing Mitchell about D'Adamo: "I'm amazed he didn't send you a bill for rent for keeping those chairs in his garage. Nick, I wish you well. Just stay quiet sometimes."

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Jan. 28 at 5 p.m.

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