Because this is the best thing I’ve ever seen.
Buck has no patience for this nonsense.
— Orioles on MASN (@masnOrioles) September 16, 2014
If you know me at all, you know I’m a Baltimore girl. Growing up, my parents had season tickets to O’s games, so I have memories at Camden Yards as early as like 6 or 7. My love for the birds fell off around high school, because, let’s face it, they totally sucked. But then, senior year of high school, I began dating a wonderful human being who is obsessed with the Orioles. It took awhile for me to warm back up to baseball, but now that I have, it’s totally different than I remember it.
We estimated that this season, I’ve probably been to around 20 games. And I have thoroughly enjoyed most of them. There have been a couple un-enjoyable games, because if we’re being real about it, baseball can be incredibly boring. And drunk college kids can be incredibly annoying. But overall, I have loved getting to watch the O’s as often as I have.
On September 14th, I watched Derek Jeter’s last game at Camden Yards. I watched as an entire stadium of people stood up for a player- a Yankee player- one last time. I’m not a baseball aficionado by a long shot, but I know the impact Jeter has had on the game, and I respect that. But I loved nothing more than watching him strike out for the last time at Camden Yards. I loved nothing more than watching Kelly Johnson (if you’re wondering who the heck is that, you’re not alone) hit a walk off home-run in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the game.
(Aforementioned “wonderful human being” that I’m dating tells me it wasn’t a walk-off home run. Here’s all I know: he hit the ball and the guys ran around the bases and I started screaming because I knew we’d won. So excuse the improper terminology!)
There’s nothing like hearing 30,000 people chant “let’s go O’s!” There’s nothing like seeing a sea of orange and black. There’s nothing like watching the crab shuffle (even though I refuse to do it since they changed the animation: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it) and guessing the winner of the hot dog race.
Some things just feel like home. Most of those things end up in a bottle with a wick through the middle. Apple pie, the beach, wreathes, vanilla bean, freshly cut grass, flannel. All candle scents. For me, being at Camden Yards feels like home. I’ve been to Citizens Bank Park and, most recently, AT&T Park. I loved AT&T park: it is beyond stunning. But even though I saw orange and black uniforms and a stunning view of ships floating on the bay, it wasn’t my orange and black uniforms, and while the view was heavenly, it wasn’t the warehouse. And I couldn’t ignore the fact that it just didn’t seem right.
This Oriole’s season has been particularly special. Magical, if you will. BECAUSE THEY’RE KICKING MAJOR A$$! As I write this, we’re one game away from clinching the division. You read that right. ONE. I’m hoping that by this time tomorrow, we’ll have done it. Do you like how I keep saying “we,” like I have anything to do with it? Yeah, well, that’s what I tell myself. The atmosphere at the yard the past few games has been unreal. I’m excited. Not just when someone hits a home run or makes an awesome play. But I’m excited to see what they do, how they do, and what becomes of it. The fact that I, the least competitive person on the planet, am genuinely invested in the fate of the Orioles, says a lot.
OPACY is the best ballpark in the world, and when I move out of Baltimore (if I want to work for a national publication, guys, it has to happen!) I will never feel at home in another stadium. I will never yell “CHARGE!” or do a cheer for another team. I’ll never sing another pitchers name repeatedly. I’ll never wait in the stands after the game to see who gets a pie shoved up their nose. I’ll never BUCKle up, I’ll never wave that baby bye-bye, and I’ll never thank God I’m a country boy anywhere but right here in the 410. That’s what makes me a Baltimoron for life.
(By the way, if you don’t know what I mean by any of those examples, you need to get down to an O’s game pronto.)
So this was my long, roundabout way of saying this: I back the birds. I like our guys. In fact, I’m willing to one-up you, Buck Showalter. I love our guys.