Last night, I got to Camden Yards at 4:10pm, after a long day at the office.
From the moment I got there, I knew tonight was going to be unlike any other in recent memory. The were people waiting outside the gates, and the lines were long - very long. There was a buzz in the air that has not been felt in a long time at Camden Yards.
Well, Oriole hero and soon to be baseball Hall of Famer, Cal Ripken was honored in a "send-off" last night. Although yesterday evening was 'bobblehead night' (the second in a series of three), the main course was a dose of Cal.
A crowd about 43,000 strong celebrated a man who was not only a great baseball player, but also a part of Maryland heritage.
The crowd last night was boisterous, decked in black and orange, and you saw the number "8" abound on jerseys, shirts and whatever else you could find.
In light of the Orioles being a second division team at the moment, Tuesday was an example of what could be -- or in better terms, what should be.
For one night, the Yard was packed and beaming with Oriole pride.
Although the start time of the game was set back more than half-an-hour, dignitaries such as Baltimore mayor, Sheila Dixon; Eddie Murray, Brooks Robinson, and Earl Weaver were on hand to support and honor Cal Ripken. All the Orioles' players, especially Brooks, got a rousing ovation; however, I could not understand why Shiela Dixon got booed.
Ripken took the podium, not before stepping out a beaming Corvette that had gone around the warning track. He spoke briefly but was overwhelmed by the events coming up this weekend and the attention he's getting.
The Cal lovefest ended by he throwing out the first pitch to Eddie Murray, and he hopped into the Corvette again and continued his span around the warning track.
On that note, Daniel Cabrera won last night pitching a masterful seven innings of one-hit ball! It's just amazing the ability he has, and he did it against the Devil Rays, who are no slouches at the plate (at least, the same cannot be said about the pitching).
Again, what an amazing night -- I got to see much of it up close from section 16, and moving around taking pictures.
My compadre, Mike Boehm of Oriole Magic has his take on last night, and yes, it was amazing to see that young trumpeter do his thing in front of all of those people - wow.
The Baltimore Sun has a recap of last night's Cal Ripken celebration and they have a video of it on their site.
Bill Ordine of the O, By the Way Blog has his thoughts on last night including the pre-game stuff and Daniel Cabrera...
According to Roch Kubatko in his blog, Chris Ray is ailing, but Miguel Tejada is set to return. Here's a full article from Roch on the situation with the two guys.
Meanwhile, the Orioles MLB site reports that Chris Ray might be injured...
The Washington Post reports that Miguel Tejada is on the way back...
Jeff Zrebiec has a great piece on Jeremy Guthrie, and having the chance to meet him yesterday, I'll give my take in an upcoming post on him later on today.
In a special to the Baltimore Sun, Benjamin Stoehr has a piece on what Cal meant to him and the first time he saw Ripken...
Spencer Fordin of the Orioles MLB site has a new mailbag, one of the questions being will Kris Benson return?