Saturday, September 8, 2012

What this weekend means to the Orioles and us fans...

On Thursday evening I hopped in my car and made my way from my Remington house towards downtown Baltimore. As I passed through neighborhoods in various stages of gentrification, the recession of urban decay and the seemingly endless stream of commuters it began to hit me what I was about to see. I was going to see my hometown team face-off against a bitter rival, in my city, in September, for a chance at first place in the American League East. As I approached midtown Baltimore I realized I was not the only one thinking that - the traffic stretched on forever.

I gave up about 10 blocks from the stadium, saw a spot on the street took it and walked the rest of the way.
As I approached the gates, the rush of people was amazing. I walked onto Eutaw Street and my heart leapt into my throat. I literally teared up a bit I looked around to the completely packed stadium, almost entirely in orange. This was a night I have anticipated for so long. For a decade all I have ever wanted was to experience that night.

And what an experience it was.

As you all know by now the Orioles used six homers, including one incredibly clutch solo-homer from Adam Jones to avert a near catastrophic collapse, to beat the New York Yankees 10-6. The Yankees returned the favor last night getting out to a big 7-0 lead before finally winning by the more respectable score of 8-5. So the season series is down to its last two games, with both teams owning eight wins apiece. The Orioles still sit only one game behind the dread New York Yankees and the next two games will go a long way to deciding the fates of both these teams.

This weekend means so much to Orioles fans everywhere. Thursday night was an experience I will never forget. This city wore its heart on its sleeve for one night and if Thursday September 6 is any indication playoff games at Camden Yards would be astronomically ridiculous. I simply can not describe the sound, the sonic detonation of 47 thousand competition-starved fans. When Matt Wieters hit his first inning homerun into the left field seats the undulating mass of humanity, the sound that was released. You could feel the 14 years of misery and heartbreak. 14 years of broken promises and cheap, penny-pinching moves, 14 years of bad luck, bad karma, bad calls and bad losses were finally blasted away with a three-run homer into the second row of the left field lower boxes.

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