Maryland legislator fights for kids’ right to pinball

Pinball machines in Geoff Danek’s Hampden home include one based on the movie “The Big Lebowski.”


Seventeen-year-old Julia Francis was playing pinball with her older brother A.J. Francis at Crabtowne USA in Glen Burnie.

“I’m just trying to prove myself better than this guy,” said Julia, a junior at nearby Old Mill High School.

“Never happens,” her brother, a defensive lineman for the Washington Redskins, said from one pinball machine over. “I’m always the one that comes out on top, even when it comes to pinball. Mainly because I’ve been playing for a decade longer.”

The siblings were surprised to learn about a Maryland law that prohibits minors from playing pinball in public places in certain parts of the state.

The law caught the attention of state Del. Eric Luedtke, who represents part of Montgomery County. Every year Luedtke picks an outdated law to repeal, and this year, the pinball restriction is his target.

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