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I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan

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Posted: 7/12/2013 9:30 AM

I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan 


Welcome to any of the new members who have joined up over the last 2 seasons. I have been on the board since 2007 or so myself. I became a Baltimore Orioles Fan on January 4,1973 the day I was born. As a child there were not many ball games on the Television as we had rabbit years and only a few select channels. The radio had games on every day by the time I was able to know what was going on. I had a radio in my bedroom I would listen to often by myself underneath the blanket and fall to sleep holding often. By the late 70's at 6 years old I became a Eddie Murray fan and having played baseball since 4 I was to become a good rec ball player. I would put the wrist bands on like Murray, stood like him at the plate and when I played 1st I flipped the ball to the umpire with the same form Murray would flip the ball. In 1984 my athletic club sold 500 tickets to a game and a select few folks got to go on the field including my old man before the game. My old man was to toss out the 1st pitch being the president of the club. While sitting in the upper deck and looking down at my Dad as the teams where warming up I sat with my Oriole gear on including my Eddie,Eddie,Eddie shirt with my 1983 WS Pin and heard someone from behind saying they need 1 more child down on the field. As I turned to look the section starting chanting a name,Stevie,StevieStevie.... I don't know why they did so but they were chanting my name. Up the steps I went holding this persons hand that led to the tunnel out of the upper deck down the steps I went and down to a tunnel where I seen ballplayers stretching from both ball clubs with the sun light glaring me eyes I stepped onto the field. Again the Stevie.....chant started. A shy kid I was little embarrassed by the attention. As I emerged onto the field I was in shock at actually being on Memorial Stadiums field. At age 11 what kid did not dream of this? I stood looking as both teams played catch and looked around the ballpark like a kid on Christmas morning. WOW! John Stefero the hometown player was to catch the old man’s 1st pitch. The old man tossed him a strike! We lined up for photos with Stefero the Bird and other organization on the field. As we were getting ready to walk off the field I look up and there was Eddie Murray himself. At that moment he tossed me his wristbands with the #33 on each. I wore them every game I played in until I stopped playing rec ball. Was not until I played touring team ball as it was called back in those days I would no longer wear those #33 wristbands.

 The story goes on and on the reason I am a Baltimore Orioles fan including in September 2002 getting a call from my older brother on a night football practice as I assisted him in coaching a youth football team for my nephew. He said the old man needed someone to go to the game with and I suggest you go. Coaching football was an every night experience but the tone in my brother’s voice suggested Dad was disappointed my mom could not attend. So off I went to pick him up stop off and pickup a couple of coldcuts, chips and snacks like we did 1000 times before. I knew that night was special night for a 29 year old man who 10 months before survived Open Heart Surgery. My Old man was to have that same surgery months later and for whatever reasons we will never know that was my Old Mans last game and he did not survive his surgery. While that part of the story is sad I will never forget that special night at the ball park in 2002. While we sat there we discussed the 1984 on the field moment that we always remembered word for word. I still have that 1984 Heavy Hitters Award baseball my dad received while the little gold glove rest in his casket to this day.

 Sorry for my grammar but there is my story what is your story of being a Baltimore Orioles fan?

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Posted: 7/12/2013 10:02 AM

Re: I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan 


Wow what a neat story. Mine isn't nearly so cool.

I became an O's fan in the fall of 1961. My family moved to Baltimore from out west. I was 7 at the time and was already a baseball fan. A distant cousin played CF for the White Sox at that time (Jim Landis) so I was into baseball. We lived in Bmore until the summer of 1971. My birthday was in mid-April and every year for my birthday my family would go to the first Saturday home game near that date. Have lunch downtown then go to the game. My most memorable game was when I was about 11. We got done lunch early so went to the game to watch BP and infield practice. We had seats right behind the Angels dugout. My little sister was like 4 at the time.  We are standing behind the dugout and saying hi to all the players.  All of a sudden Jim Fregosi came out of the Angels dugout carrying a guitar and he proceeds to sing a song to my little sister. Now how cool was that!

In 1966 the O's were playing the Dodgers in the WS. My Dad bought the family our first color TV so we could see the series in color. My parents had tickets to game four. Well you long time fans know what happened. Sweep so my parents were at the final game.  In 1970 the O's were playing the Big Red Machine.  My brother and I had tickets to game 4 along with a buddy from school. I was 16 at the time and drove down to the games every chance I had.  Well right before the series started my friends Mom figured out that game 4 was on a school day and she had a fit. No way could my buddy miss school just for a baseball game. What are you freaking kidding me it was the World Series!!!! Well after much machinations we figured out we could turn our tickets in and exchange them for tickets to game 5. No big deal.  Well except that the O's took the first three games. In game 4 our school had the game on over the intercom system! Sure as heck bet they don't do that these days.  Everybody in my classes know I am a HUGE O's fan. But I am sitting there quietly rooting for the Reds. I am sick the O's are going to sweep and I will miss going because my friend's mom was an idiot.  I got home from school with the O's still leading 5-3 in the 7th. I turned on the TV and saw the Reds get two men on and Lee May coming to bat. I called my dog over and starting stroking his front left paw for luck hoping that the Phillipino Bambino (what I called Lee May in strat-0-matic baseball) would hit a homer. Well holy cow Lee goes yard and the Reds win 6-5. So I get to go to game 5 and see the O's win the World Series.

We moved away back west the next spring but I have stayed an O's fan forever. Once Satellite television came out I have had a dish and always get the baseball package so we can watch the O's. Over the years my work took me to Washington DC on a many occasions. I would always try to catch games when I was in town.  And yes when the O's get back to the WS I will be there!

O's fan for over 50 years and counting.

Steve
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Posted: 7/12/2013 1:13 PM

Re: I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan 


OK--I'll jump in. Like Steve I have been an O's fan for a long time. Started following them the year Gus Triandos hit the HR for the only run in Hoyt Wilhelm's no-hitter against the hated Yankees. Remember watching that game on B&W TV in the afternoon and went running down my street yelling...there's been a no-hitter! (made quite an impression on me I guess...I was only around 10 yrs old)
Everything really took root when Baltimore became the Red Wings parent team in 1960. Our former parent, StLouis had just made an insane trade with Philly for Don Landrum..where they traded away our entire infield....enraging the local fans beyond belief. (and apparently the folks working for the Red Wings at the time) So, goodbye Redbirds and hello Orange and Black. 

I was totally hooked after that. It was fun watching the young prospects come and go...some made it; others just sort of 'disappeared' after a season or two. Fast forward 1966 and my first World Series triumph over the favored Dodgers. I was a McGill student in Montreal at the time. Then 1969...I remember being on my way to a McGill-Toronto football game, with transistor radio in tow...and hearing Don Buford homer in the first inning of a game I figured we were a cinch to win. We didn't. And then watching in my dorm's TV room with guys from all over the country and world....most of the Mets fans...as Swoboda, Clendenon and Co. took turns breaking my heart. that was a painful Series...tempered only slightly by the fact we had a brand new out of the box team in Montreal that year....a team I followed religiously until they too totally broke my heart several decades later.

The demise of the Expos as my favorite National League team probably explains why I get so upset when the O's lose. I can't stand losing...and its one thing to lose a game; quite another to totally lose you favorite team all together. It tends to make you somewhat bitter and less forgiving.

The 70's were my US Navy years and I endured those two series losses to Pittsburgh...I felt so strongly we should have won both. (I mean who the heck was this Bruce Kison kid anyway??) When the O's won it all in 1983, I was ecstatic. I figured there would be lots more. Guess not huh. I was glued to my TV the night Cal broke Lou's record. What a great night that was. I watch and re-watch the tape of that whole evening from time to time when I need an orange and black boost.

I was very sad when the marriage between Rochester and Baltimore broke up due largely to the total incompetence of Sid Thrift and Don Buford, who totally killed the farm system. I seethed in the final year we got to play the Orioles in an exhibition game and Joey Belle tried to strong arm his team mates into boycotting the game. It didn't work. Belle batted first--looked at 3 strikes, with the sellout crowd booing louder and louder with each pitch. He skulked back to the dugout, showered and left. I intensely disliked Mr Belle. The only Oriole to ever pull on the jersey that I never cheered for.

Even when Rochester hooked up with Minnesota, I found it impossible to stop being an O's fan...the ties ran deep. So while I do follow the Twins, because our players now come and go within their organization...its still Baltimore for me primarily. I have no favorite team in the NL anymore.

It has been too long since the O's reached the top of the mountain. I'm not going to be satisfied with 'effort', or 'battling' or any other lame excuse. Its our turn. 30 years is a long time. I want this team to plow thru broken glass to win games. I will continue to be upset when they lose (and I truly hope that doesn't offend anyone) and I will be over the top happy whenever they win and succeed and reach that lofty goal.

I crossed off one of my huge bucket list items Tuesday when I saw Paul McCartney in concert for the first time. Another of my bucket list items is an Orioles World Series...and if they make it, this guy will be making the trip south to Baltimore to take it in. (they just have to get it done before they put me in the nursing home!!!)

Go O's
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Posted: 7/12/2013 1:56 PM

Re: I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan 


I was born in 1978. I have no recolection of the 1983 World Series at all. (I was 5. Transformers and He-Man were big in my life back then. I had different priorities.)

I loved hockey from the time was 4 and my dad used to take me all the time to Skipjacks games. (Those memories stuck with me, obviously.) But we knew a guy and got to go to those games free. Orioles game cost money.

But in 1984 when I was 6 years old my dad took me to my first game at Memorial Stadium. I don't remember a bit of it (I was 6) but I know I went and I know I fell it love with it that same day. Once my dad's company bought box seats the following year they gave to employees (I'm talking the blue seats down low, good stuff!) and we started going all the time.

This was back in the dark days of Floyd Rafford being the starting catcher.

We used to go to the Stadium early to catch foul balls during batting practice. (I've got a neat thing about that place I wrote years ago when the stadium was torn down that I'll post later if I can find i ton my hard drive). I remember I was scared of Fred Lynn because his picture on DiamondVision showed him with a batting helmet with the ear guard and for whatever reason it freaked me out. (I was 6! Give me a break!) But then one day Fred Lynn, of all the people on the team, walked up to me during batting practice and tossed me a ball.

Back then winning and losing didn't matter. I just liked being at the ballpark. It was a totally different enjoyment of the game. I see that now in my 2 year old daughter who LOVES going to hockey games and watch the Orioles with me on TV every night. She doesn't understand that one team wins and loses, or that they are playing a game. She just thinks its all cool. It's a whole different perspective on the game.

In 1988 I distinctly remember my dad and I laughing at how pathetic the team was.

In 1989, the famous WHY NOT season, I remember sitting in my back yard and carving ORIOLES into a log from a tree we cut down that summer while I listened to the seconds game of the final series against Toronto, were the Orioles needed to win the series to win the division. The lose game 1 and lost game 2, thus ending the Cinderella Why Not year. That was the moment I became super hooked and invested in them winning.

My dad and I were at the last game at Memorial Stadium. I still get miffed that Frank Robinson's HERE flag was given away to Tiger's fans from Detroit. (The HERE flag really was one of the coolest stadium oddities in sports. I know there are orange seats at Oriole park for various home run commemorations and every stadium has stuff like that. But the HERE flag was totally unique.)

We were at Opening Day in 1992. It was a different atmosphere back then. The mood was lighter, but less fun.

In 1993 we bought fake tickets to the All Star game. We didn't know it when we bought them, but when we went to our seats we realized the seats didn't exist. So we quietly walked away and sat in the stairwell in centerfield for the duration of the game. (Great view from up there, by the way) The day before we sat in the upper deck for the Home Run Derby. It cost $10 back then and it was in the day time, and wasn't the hollywood production circus show it is today. Tom Selleck put a ball onto the flag court in the celebrity derby.

In 1996 I watched the entire season with passion. This was the first time since I became a fan 12 years earlier that my team was in the playoffs! This was really exciting! And I still hate that miserable little punk in New York to this day.

In 1997 I joined the Marines. My mom sent me the American League standing in the mail to me at boot camp twice a week. Seeing the Orioles continue to be on top the entire time kept me sane at Parris Island. There were a lot of New Yorkers in my platoon. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing the standings with them each time they arrived. Though I also got the news that Rex Barney died that summer. That part made me sad. That fall I lived near Indians fans. Indians fans of all people! I can still hear them chearing in the ALCS. At least I can take solice in knowing they are also Browns fans and probably miserable for half the year.

In 2005 I had my heart broken. The best season I had ever been witness to was unfolding nightly. I had just met my wife (well she's my wife now) and we really connected over baseball and that amazing first half run. Then Louis Matos took that inside pitch on his fingers and broke them, sending him to the DL. It unraveled from there. Palmeiro and the steriods, the constant distractions, and somehow the best team in baseball just prior to the All Star Break finished below .500 for the 7th year in a row.

The better part of the next decade is kind of a blur. I watched nearly every game, but like the rest of you I've worked hard to forget most of it.

Then in the final game of 2011, it all turned around. I enjoyed watching baseball more than I had in years! It was exciting again. It wasn't embarassing to wearing orange anymore! The happy bird hat was back! Baseball was a live again!

On Opneing Day 2012 I took the Orioles uniform off of my 1983 World Series collector's edition commemorative Cabbage Patch doll. (It had belonged to my Grandmother) And I put the tiny Cabbage Patch uniform on my 6 week old daughter. It fit her perfectly. The picture of her wearing that hangs on my office wall to this day. It may be the single greatest moment in my life.  

During the playoffs last year (The playoffs...the Orioles in the playoffs...it STILL sounds weird to me!) my daughter met the Oriole Bird for the first time and gave hima big high five and still talks about it to this day. It's one of my greatest memories.

And that pretty much brings you up to speed on my history with the Orioles.
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Posted: 7/12/2013 5:25 PM

RE: I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan 


(this is a very good thread...in that so far 4 posters all with interesting stories and history...common thread...passionate O's fans who have at times posted with some major 'negativity'...never once giving the impression that they would rather see the O's lose!!)
I hope more share their stories!!! This is fun
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Posted: 7/12/2013 7:50 PM

RE: I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan 


agree
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Posted: 7/13/2013 4:05 PM

Re: I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan 


I don't have anything too interesting to say but I guess it was destiny that I become a diehard Orioles fan since I grew up about two and a half miles from Memorial Stadium and we could always see the displays from our backyard everytime the team had Fireworks Night. My earliest memories of the Orioles are being vaguely aware that they were trying to win the championship to send Earl Weaver into retirement as a winner in 1982. I recall spending that final weekend at my cousin's house and listening to the fateful series against Milwaukee on the radio in the backyard while he tried to teach me how to pitch. We were basically emulating the game as it happened, with him being the Brewers since he enjoyed playing devil's advocate, and me being the hometown team. Needless to say, I eventually became a better pitcher than he ever imagined, and I alternated between Jim Palmer and Mike Flanagan as my favorite player. I cried when the Orioles were eliminated, and said on the spot that they would come back to win it all the next season, which is exactly what happened. Of course I also followed He-Man, Transformers, Voltron, GI Joe, Tranzor-Z, G-Force, MASK, Thundercats, Inspector Gadget, Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends, Defenders of the Earth, and Super Friends during this time period, along with reading every DC and Marvel comic book I could get my hands on, and avidly watching WWF, NWA, AWA, UWF, and World Class wrestling weekend after weekend. I was also one of those students who retained nearly everything after reading it just once, so none of that pop culture stuff cut into my study time, since I never really had to study to get good grades. Due to playing a lot of summer baseball, I didn't follow the Orioles as closely while the next few years went by, just enough to know what was going on, but definitely suffered through the rock bottom nadir of 1988, and was exhilarated by the Why Not crest of 1989. I remember seeing Camden Yards under construction over the next few years, got back into following the team more heavily during the awful 1991 season that only stood out because it was the final year at Memorial Stadium, Cal Ripken won his second MVP award, and Mike Mussina made his debut in August. My renewed interest continued in 1992 with the opening of Camden Yards and I started going to more games over the next few years. In the meantime, I grew up, went away for college, saw the Iron Man save the sport from itself after the idiotic strike of 1994 and 1995, and worked my first real jobs in Chicago ("He Gone!") and New York ("You Talking To Me?"). Thankfully the internet came along during this era and I was able to follow the Orioles online, but doing so only caused severe stress and aggravation starting in 1998, as the Dark Days got underway just as the Computer Age was exploding. I started following this board around 2004, just as it seemed things were about to get better for the franchise, but then came the downfall of Rafael Palmeiro and it would take many more years to dig out. Peter Angelos finally started to loosen his grip and make some smart moves, beginning with the hiring of Andy MacPhail, bringing Buck Showalter on board, and following MacPhail with Dan Duquette. Since then we have seen homegrown position players like Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters, and Manny Machado grow up before our very eyes; the much vaunted pitching Cavalry of Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta, Chris Tillman, and Zach Britton have varying degrees of success and failure; trade acquisitions like Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy, and Chris Davis become core superstars; and the Front Office finally start delving into the international market with Koji Uehara, Wei-Yin Chen, and -- on the way -- Henry Urrutia. It has been a heck of a roller coaster ride over the last three decades, and hopefully the younger generations of Orioles fans can continue to experience the same type of thrills we did in 1983, and the older fans did during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Just remember, everything goes in cycles, but the Yankees and Red Sox will always remain two of the most vile entities on the face of the Earth.
I dream of 1966, 1970, and 1983. I would also take 1969, 1971, and 1979. But 1973, 1974, 1996, 1997, and 2012 were okay. Toss in 1960, 1968, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1989, and 1994 too.
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Posted: 7/15/2013 12:57 PM

Re: I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan 


I was fortunate to be the right age at the right time in the right place. In 1952 I was in my first year of high school, had grown up in the shadow of Baltimore's Muncipal Stadium on the same site where Memorial Stadium would be built. In my early years I lived on East 35th Street, which started at Greenmount Avenue and three blocks later it ended at the Muncipal Stadium. In 1952 Memorial Stadium was under construction when the International League Orioles started playing there. They were an affiliate of the Phillies. They had not yet added the upper deck.  When I left my house, if I looked to my left I saw the stadium. It was part of my neighborhood.  My first Oriole game was when they were a minor league club.

In the 1950's Baltimore was undergoing a lot of major changes, led by it's Mayor, Thomas D'Alesandro Jr. He served as mayor from 1947 to 1959.  In 1949 he started construction of a beltway around the city. In 1950 Friendship International Airport opened. ( currently known as BWI ). The Chesapeake Bay Bridge opened connecting the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where I have lived the last 36 years, with the Western Shore Mainland. The Colts of the NFL came to Baltimore in 1953 and the ML Orioles the following year, 1954.

Tommy D'Alesandro more then anyone else was responsible for ML baseball returning to Baltimore and as far as I know there's not a plaque mounted any where honoring his achievment. If there is, I don't know about it.

He put together a group of businessmen headed by a lawyer from the Eastern Shore, Clarence Miles, who was named the first President of the Orioles. So Baltimore was building a ML stadium and looking for a ML team when they heard that Bill Vecck, the owner of the St. Louis Browns was having problems with the Cardinals and wanted to move his team. Vecck jumped at the chance to come to Baltimore, but problems developed. Six teams had to approve the move, but only two approved it.

Led by the Yankees and Senators, four teams turned it down.  D'Alesandro found out the Yankees would approve if Vecck was out of the deal.  It broke Vecck's heart but he agreed to sell his interest to the Baltimore group.  Washington was holding out because they were only 40 miles away.  D'Alesandro got Baltimore Brewery Owner Jerry Hoffberger to agree to give the Senators one year of free advertising, valued at about $250,000 if they would approve the deal, they did and we had a ML team.

All of this was being reported in the daily newspapers and I had a front row seat, I couldn't wait to get home to read the sports pages. So the Orioles returning to Baltimore was a Big Deal. There was a big parade with the players riding in convertables, the parade came down Charles Street and turned right on 33rd Street and it was a straight shot to Memorial Stadium. What a great time to live in Baltimore.

We didn't have a very good team, we lost 100 games that first season, but we didn't care, we had ML baseball! We beat the Chicago White Sox on opening day. Bullet Bob Turley was our starting pitcher, he later said it was the worst team he had ever played on.  Our player that year who hit the most HR's was Vern Stephens who played 3rd and hit 6 HR's for the season. When Mickey Mantel saw our centerfield fence with the 450 sign on it, he said," There won't be many HR's hit here."

Living in the neighborhood with Memorial stadium had some draw backs for people who were not Oriole fans. When night games were being played the night sky was brightly lit from the stadium lights. When the crowd roared it was a thunderous interruption.  When the stadium parking lot was full fans parked any where they could find space, sometimes blocking peoples driveways. People who had to get up early to go to work complained about extra inning games.  So the Orioles set a 11 PM curfew, no inning could start after 11 PM.

When I got out of the Navy and moved out of my parents house I rented a room in one of those houses on the street behind centerfield. So I could just walk over to the stadium. In the early days they took the ticket collectors off the gates at the beginning of the 7th inning. You could just walk in, find any empty seat and watch the remaing innings free. Living so close, I did that a lot.  Once, before they had installed the curfew I attended a game with Chicago like that. that went into extra innings and lasted 18 innings,  It wasn't over until like 2 AM.

So I have been an Oriole fan for a long time. In the old days there was very little criticism of the Orioles by Oriole fans. You discussed the Orioles with friends that thought just like you thought. I don't ever remember hearing an Oriole player being booed at Memorial Stadium. Nothing like us being invaded by Boston and NY fans ever happened. I know times change, and I'll learn to accept it, but I don't have to like it. Peace biggrin

Seeing Brooks Robinson reminds us of a time when everything was good for the Orioles. When players played for the love of the game and were proud to be called a Baltimore Oriole.

Last edited 7/15/2013 3:52 PM by POPPA

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Posted: 7/15/2013 3:43 PM

Re: I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan 


Poppa, when I lived back there nobody ever booed their own players. Just wasn't even part of the thought process. But much has change since then. In 1970 the minimum salary was only $12,000. In 2012 the minimum has risen to an insane $500,000.

I t  hink much of the displeasure vented toward players these days is due to the money. Hey when a kid is working his but off and making a whopping $12K then some I can look well past some errors in judgement.  When a kid is making a cool half million then I am no longer inclinded to let stupid mistakes slide. I would still NEVER boo a player on the O's. Not then, not yesterday, not today, and not tomorrow. However, I will sure as heck get on their case on forums like these when I see these well paid professionals make fundamental mistakes.

I am not talking about letting a ground ball go through their legs for an error. I am talking about things like trying to stretch a double into a triple when there are two outs. The players make their money off the fans. From ticket sales, to TV advertising revenue (do you think advertisers would be paying big bucks if the fans weren't watching and buying there products), to jersey sales. Bottom line is that the fans are paying for their salary and have every right to be unhappy when they don't do things correctly.  Certainly fans can go too far as well.

Think of it like this. I was an engineer for 36 years. I was paid by the company based upon my performance. Much of that performance was the ability to make correct decisions. We all make mistakes in carrying out those decisions but by and large I was expected to make correct decisions darn near 100% of the time. I expect professional athletes to be held to that same standard.

BTW very cool story about how you became a fan. Growing up down the street from Memorial stadium. Wow that is just special!
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Posted: 7/15/2013 4:10 PM

Re: I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan 


thanks for the very informative history lesson Poppa. What I do remember is that Bill Veeck (as in 'wreck' they used to say) wasn't very well liked in many circles)
Back in 'our' day, they didn't have the internet...it was a lot harder getting information so you didn't have the chance to talk to such a wide variety of folks on a daily basis about the team. If you didn't live in Baltimore, you rarely got to see any games at all, unless they were on the Saturday game of the week (which is how I caught the Wilhelm no-hitter..quite by chance)..or if you had an AM radio that pulled in the signal at night. We probably got more info on the O's channeled our way because of the Red Wings ties with Baltimore.
(sidenote...Joe Altobelli's son Joe Jr just came to our office to have an exam monitored!!)

As much as I disliked Belle, I never booed him until that exhibition game in Rochester. He deserved every last morsel of vocal displeasure. What a jerk. Times HAVE changed. Many fans are less tolerant of players who don't perform because of how much money they make by comparison to 'normal folks' who have to buy the exhorbitantly priced tickets.  Goes with the territory I guess. Mickey Mantle could lead the league in HR's and still have to beg for a small raise and often not get one. Today an infielder can hit .215 and demand millions more the next year...and his agent usually gets it for him (them!)
Drugs? Different than the designer drugs they use today. Juice? Mostly alcohol back then...and lots of it if Billy Martin and the crew were any examples.

Length of games? Maybe 2 hrs to 2 1/2 then. Today, with all the dawdling and posturing and TV ads...3 to 3 1/2 hrs is not unusual. Sunday doubleheaders...loved 'em. In our league you played one 9 inning and one 7inning game. One admission always. And still Mondays were usually off-days.  In our league, until the mid 60's road games were 're-created' by our play-by-play radio men...using the Western Union ticker; a tape recording of crowd noise turned up or down, and a pencil snapped against the table to make the sound of the ball being hit. It was very cool if you had a guy who could do it well.

There was no DH of course, but each team had a few pitchers who could really hit. They weren't automatic outs. Ever remember Don Drysdale at the plate...he slammed a few HR's in his day. Of course then there was Bob Buhl...who I think went an entire season without a hit and fanned about 90% of the time.

Baseball memories are fond. Players, even in the minors, often stayed with the same team for years. You had your hero's. One season, the Red Wings rotated Boog Powell, Luke Easter, and Joe Altobelli at 1B. Easter was a true legend. Wings also had Steve Bilko...who was the prototypical AAAA player..from Natacote. PA (maybe spelled it wrong) And of course the 'immortal' Steve Dalkowski pitched here briefly.

yes the game has changed......and here we are!wink
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Posted: 7/16/2013 9:17 AM

Re: I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan 


I remember when Frank Robinson announced that one day baseball players will make 20 million a year. We laughed at his statement. We're not laughing anymore.

Seeing Brooks Robinson reminds us of a time when everything was good for the Orioles. When players played for the love of the game and were proud to be called a Baltimore Oriole.

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Posted: 7/16/2013 10:39 AM

RE: I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan 


Based on his career...one can only imagine what he would have earned in todays dollars.
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Posted: 7/16/2013 4:37 PM

Re: I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan 



POPPA wrote: I remember when Frank Robinson announced that one day baseball players will make 20 million a year. We laughed at his statement. We're not laughing anymore.

That reminds me of an interview a sideline reporter did with John Unitas when he used to stand on the Ravens sidelines during games.

The guy asked Unitas what he thought he'd make if he was playing today.

Unitas said "Probably a million dollars"

The reporter said "A million dollars? You are the grfeat quarterback of all time. 3rd string back ups make more than a million dollars these days!"

Unitas said, "Well...I'm 60 years old."
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Posted: 9/27/2013 10:44 AM

Re: I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan 


A # of good stories posted.
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Posted: 9/28/2013 8:02 AM

Re: I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan 


I'll chime in...

I was born in August of 1969 and by 1974 I was listening to Oriole games on the back porch with my Grandmom, Naana, or by myself at bedtime.  She loved listening to Chuck Thompson and would get real animated when something good or bad was going on.  She'd explain it to me and, sort of act it out sometimes.  She was one of a kind and I was lucky enough to have her around until my early 20's.  There's something about having an "old-timer" or two in your life thru your teens.

Anyway, when I was 4-5 she took me to a game in late July or August.  All the grass in town was brown and dead; we were in the midst of a heatwave and drought.  So we walk up the ramp at Memorial Stadium and all I remember is being in awe of the lush green field.  I don't remember if we won or lost, but I do remember Brooks Robinson on 3B.  I was blown away.

She was a high ranking City cop's wife.  He had been dead 15 years or more, but she still maintained lots of friends thru the department.  We'd see cops she knew as we walked across the lot after getting out the cab... we always took a cab to the game, she didn't drive.  She was just one of those people that other people seemed to like and she got along with everyone and found herself as the center of attention often.

After one game I went to with her, she took me to the Hit-and-Run Club.  I was young, maybe 6 - 8... It was like a whole different world.  It was dark and loungy and soooo cool.  I had a Coke and she had a drink.  The cops that were around all made their way over to say hello.  I thought I was in Heaven... and then the players started coming in and talking to Chuck Thompson and Bill O'Donnell, whose voices I immediately recognized from the radio.

The memories of listening to the games, going to the stadium, my Naana, and the great teams, players, and baseball that was played during the 70's and early 80's while I was emulating in youth leagues what they did on the field cemented me as a loyal O's fan and baseball fan.
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Posted: 9/28/2013 12:53 PM

Re: I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan 


Somewhat different story, but since I end up in the same place, I hope nobody objects.

Born in 1957 in Chicago, I grew up in a house divided - Cub fans, White Sox fans. The Cubs showed all their home games on TV, the White Sox not so much, and because of bed-time (night games started at 8:00 IIRC), I became a bigger fan of the Cubs. Orioles fans probably remember the 1969 season and the loss to the Mets in the World Series. But in my opinion, it should have been the Cubs, not the Mets, in the World Series. One of the first games I saw in person was in 1965 - 1966 when the Cubs played the Dodgers and a skinny  lefthander named Ken Holtzman beat Sandy Koufax. Just two lefties putting up zeroes...

Moved to southest Virginia in 1972 (where a Roanoke station carried the O's games, and I remember asking my Dad what National Bo was), then my father took a job with DOD and I went to Germany. I attended college at George Washington in DC and we used to come to Baltimore for Orioles Saturday night home games in April and September (anybody remember a place called Polack Johnnies?). These were good teams but not great teams, but they had Earl and his principles of baseball to keep them close. Saw thw O's start to market the team and would head up to section 34 where Wild  Billy Hagy held court, and saw Orioles magic in 1979 and my only World Series game when it was so raw that Phil Garner the Pirates second baseman compared throwing the ball to throwing ice cubes. Probably the best baseball I ever saw was a 1980 match-up of Orioles and Yankees that was five tense, close and nerve wracking games in August. The town was electric; everywhere you went, you saw orange and black. The Orioles won the series 3-2 but the season ended with the Yankees at 103 wins and the Orioles 100.

Was in Europe from 1981 to 1992, and my link with baseball was Stars and Stripes, The Sporting News and the American Forces Network. Spent ten years in upstate New York and moved to this area in late 2002. Met a nurse from Johns Hopkins who became my wife and started attending games though the Orioles had no pitching and a dearth of prospects in the farm system. Somewhere in the last ten years I came to West Virginia, and like most of us, I had no idea that the 2012 Orioles season would be better, or that this one would disappoint. I remember the last game for Melvin Mora against Toronto, and I remember the year that the Orioles 1-4 was Brian Roberts leading off, Markakis 2, Mora 3 and Huff clean up. The O's scored some runs in 2008, but the pitching gave 'em up faster, and looking at 2013, I know what happened to BRob, but I'm wondering what happened to Nick? Two guys who set the table with doubles and walks, but not much of either this year.

We'll probably rehash 2013 endlessly over the off season, but this is how I came here, and that's some of my story.

Last edited 10/1/2013 7:31 AM by oltrex

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Posted: 9/28/2013 1:38 PM

Re: I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan 


Great stories, I love your Grandma drjohnny! I remember Polack Johnnies oltrex.  They still have a location on the boardwalk at Ocean City. Johnny passed away some years ago but his family has kept the business going.

I love their hotdogs ( for those who don't know, that is all they sell ) At least it was several years ago. I sent Johnny a letter telling him how much I emjoyed his product and urged him to open a location in Salisbury, MD a college town where I live 18 miles from Ocean City.  I named off the fast food companies that were located here but told him that none of them featured a good hotdog.  To my surprise he answered me with a hand written letter.  He thanked me for considering him in the same breath with McDonalds, Burger King etc. And he sent me a gift card for " Dinner For Two, not to exceed $6.00 "  With a footnote that said, " No shoes required!

Seeing Brooks Robinson reminds us of a time when everything was good for the Orioles. When players played for the love of the game and were proud to be called a Baltimore Oriole.

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Posted: 9/29/2013 11:59 AM

Re: I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan 


I still buy Eskay Oriole Franks every year for BBQ's and I make it a point to eat a Pollack Johnnie's dog in OC each year, too. 

"Dinner for two, not to exceed $6!"  Poppa, that right there is classic, man.  I hope you have that framed someplace.wink

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Posted: 10/11/2013 7:55 AM

Re: I am a Baltimore Orioles Fan 


Bump
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