Thursday, May 10, 2012

Witnessing History

May 8th was a day that history occurred.

(For those of you looking for a story strictly about the Orioles this isn’t your cup of tea)

Around the Baltimore-area it was a cool 60 degrees and it was either raining or drizzling.

I decided to attend the Orioles game that night with the hopes of seeing a good game between the first-place Baltimore Orioles and the first-place Texas Rangers.

Once I arrived at the game the rain moved out and it became an overcast sky and 65-70 degree weather. Thankfully the game did not get delayed.

The first inning began with the two-time defending American League Champions hitting.
Ian Kinsler started off by grounding out. The next batter, Elvis Andrus, ended up being walked by O’s pitcher Jake Arrieta.

The next batter was Josh Hamilton.

I had a feeling that Hamilton could crush an Arrieta fastball and he did just that. Adam Jones tried to rob Hamilton and was unsuccessful, almost looking like he injured himself on the play. Thankfully he didn’t.

Oh and just to inform readers, Josh Hamilton is one of my favorite players in baseball. For those of you that do not know, he has an extremely inspiring story. His failures and his successes is only something that can be seen in a Disney movie.

Fast forward to the Top of the 3rd and Josh Hamilton was the fourth batter in the inning. Mitch Moreland and Kinsler started off the inning and both grounded out. Andrus then bunted and was able to reach base.

Then Josh Hamilton came up to bat. Hamilton had hit a home run his last at bat on Monday, so he had hit two home runs in his last two at bats.

I watched Hamilton drive the ball over the left field fence at OPACY. Whoever caught the ball ended up throwing it back; not a wise choice in my opinion!

Adrian Beltre launched a home run right after Hamilton, making it back-to-back homers off Arrieta.

Fast forward to the Top of the 5th and Hamilton got up with just one out in the inning.

Hamilton proceeded to drive a pitch to right-center and with my view (I was sitting behind the foul pole in right field) I wasn’t sure how far the ball had gone. But Hamilton raced into second for a double. Hamilton ended up being stranded on second base.

The Orioles were able to finally put a run on the board in the Bottom of the 6th when Nick Markakis hit a single to drive in Endy Chavez, who was leading off for the Orioles on Tuesday night.

Fast forward to the Top of the 7th and Hamilton was up with Andrus on first base.

The O’s decided to bring in recently promoted LHP Zach Phillips to replace Jake Arrieta.

Since 2009, Hamilton has hit .282 against lefties with 24 HR and 80 RBI.
He isn’t exactly a slouch against lefties.

Hamilton hit another home run to center field, driving in Andrus to increase his RBI total to 6 for the game.

I was thinking what I was seeing was just incredible. When Hamilton is at his best he is arguably the best hitter in baseball. I also knew that this was his first 3 HR game.

Also at this point I was wondering if Hamilton had a chance to get up again. I turned from being an Orioles fan to a baseball fan.

In the Top of the 8th the Orioles brought in Darren O’Day, who has pitched great so far this year for the Orioles.

Kinsler started off by singling but was out after Andrus grounded into a fielder’s choice.

Next came Hamilton. I wasn’t sure what to expect at this point. Three home runs was tremendous, but four? In one game?

Hamilton absolutely crushed the ball. There was no doubt about this one. The ball landed 425 feet, which was his farthest home run yet.

Just magical.

Hamilton got a standing ovation from the 11,000 fans or-so at Camden Yards.

It was an incredible moment for a player that has been through so many trials and tribulations in his life.

The Orioles hit back to back home runs in the Bottom of the 8th but the game was out of hand by then.

The Rangers ended up winning 10-3; Hamilton had 8 RBI.

Hamilton finished with 4 HR, 8 RBI, 4 Runs, and 18 total bases. The 18 total bases is an American League Record and only one behind Shawn Green. Green had 6 at-bats in the game he had 19 total bases. 

Hamilton had an unbelievable game on Tuesday night, something we may never get to see again.

I am just glad I witnessed one of the greatest games an American League player has ever had.

No one deserves it more than Josh Hamilton though. Period.

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