Last week I wrote about how much Baltimore loves the Ravens.
But there's another flock of birds we worship around these parts.
Monday night I watched the Orioles beat the Yankees. In October. Which is the postseason. In the second game of the ALDS. They beat the Texas Rangers Friday night in the Wildcard game.
And made it to the ALDS.
This is surreal.
The last time this happened was in 1997.
When I was still in high school.
When there was no Facebook, no Twitter.
My friends and I called each other on our house phones, instead of texting one another, because cell phones weren't readily available yet.
And texting didn't exist.
iPods didn't exist either.
This year we have won 93 games and lost 69.
Last year we won 69 games and lost 93.
This has been a looooooooong time coming.
So needless to say, we are a bit excited. :-)
And for the first time in a LONG LONG time, Oriole Magic is alive and well!!
About three weeks ago, Sadira and I visited Camden Yards for a tour. It was one of the last items on our summer list, and excitement was mounting as the Orioles looked to make a postseason run.
And OMG you guys, if you are at all an Orioles' fan, or even a MLB fan, get thee to Camden Yards for a tour. It was awesome.
First of all, it was cheap. My ticket was $9, and Sadie's was free thanks to her Dugout Club membership. Here's a pictorial of our day.
Sadira purchasing our tickets (it was her treat...just kidding):
Walking around like she owns the place
Our tour began on the pedestrian walkway, where we met our guide, Mr. Mike. He was very helpful and informative during the whole tour which lasted 90 minutes. I'll be honest and let you know that I don't think Sadira's attention span could've made it through the whole thing this time last year...but she was juuuuust old enough and attentive enough this year to enjoy it.
I guess this is also a place she really enjoys learning about, so she was into it.
Our trusty tour guide
A trip through the Statue Garden, which showcased Earl Weaver:
Cal Ripken Jr.:
and Jim Palmer:
We took a stroll through the Club Level...
...saw some little awards and trophies we had lying around..
..and relaxed in a Club Suite.
Took a peek out of the window to wave "hi" to M&T Bank stadium across the way.
Next up was the press box...
(the view from the press box):
a sneak peak through a few of the back offices...
...we made it out on the field!
And for the grand finale?
A trip into the ORIOLES' DUGOUT!
(This was both of our favorite parts...can you tell?)
At the end, we walked past the foul pole, which Mr. Mike pointed out was the original from Memorial Stadium, and brought to Camden Yards when the new stadium was built. He also told us its good luck to touch the pole on your way out.
Sadira decided to hug it for extra luck.
We concluded our tour where it began, and Mr. Mike pointed out all of the bronze baseballs on the pedestrian walkway, which mark the spots where homeruns have been hit out of the park.
We were hungry, so we decided to stop and grab some lunch at the park. The O's were just beginning their 1:35 game versus the Red Sox, so we watched a bit from Dempsey's.
It was a bit strange to be watching the Orioles play from our empty ballpark. The Orioles ended up winning that game 9-6, and with each homerun the crowd assembled at Camden Yards would go wild--just as if we were watching the game in person.
The very next weekend, the Orioles prepared for the last home series of the regular season. I was supposed to be out of town, but a last minute emergency changed my plans. Just as things were settling down, I got an unexpected text from my friend Erica, asking me if I wanted to go to the game with her.
Again, I've learned in life sometimes it's not necessary to ask who/where/why/when/how when someone is offering you a surprising treat. And as with the limo incident, it's sometimes best to just nod and say, "why thank you very much, that would be lovely!"
This particular night, the Orioles were unveiling the final statue in the legends series, Brooks Robinson.
The crowd was huge,
Mr. Robinson's #5 was aglow on the warehouse,
the Bird was dancin' on the Dugout
and with a little Oriole Magic...
the O's brought home a win!
Tonight they take on the Yankees in Game 3 of the ALDS...best of five wins. Never in my wildest dreams would I think the Orioles would be making a playoff run, but here we are!
LET'S GO O's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!