The story starts this past Wednesday, I was taking a late lunch at the Uno Pizzeria in Harbor Place downtown. I specifically picked Uno because I knew they would have the game on and I wanted to catch some of it before heading back to work. What did I notice? Waiters, customers, managers, etc all stopped and stood and watched. They just watched the Oriole's game instead of walking by it. I know this seems silly, but that's new for me - I haven't seen people stop what they were doing to watch a game like that in a long time.
Tonight I decided to meet up with some friends at Camden Yards to check out the game. I knew I wouldn't be able to go this weekend and then the O's have a 9-game roadstand so it seemed like a good choice. I ended up watching the game from the CF bar until the 5th inning, before making my way to the real seats by the RF foul pole.
The Orioles announced in the 8th inning that tonight, against the Kansas City Royals, that game had the largest walk-up attendance in Oriole history. It was a student night, high school just ended for many seniors, it's a holiday weekend, Adam Jones' deal is being finalized and the team is in first place. These are all factors that helped create this, don't get me wrong - but there's something more here.
|Oh, and fireworks. Courtesy of: @BalSportsReport|
There's a tangible buzz around the city right now. People are talking oriole baseball, their going to games, and dammit they're excited. People are excited about the current team, and the future possibilities. More so than ever before, Baltimore is Birdland.
Oh, and I know what some of you are thinking - Baltimore has always been Birdland, just with Ravens instead of Orioles. Let's get one thing clear here - Baltimore is a baseball town. Always has been and always will be. The Ravens benefitted from moving up while the O's were free-falling, but a winning O's team captures more hearts than a winning Ravens' team in my opinion. I love the Ravens, but Boh knew baseball before he knew football.
It's the season of magic, perhaps of the Oriole variety.