At least I HOPE he and the "big guy" had something to do with it.
I find it interesting that Orioles waited for "Wild" Bill Hagy to die to actually do anything to honor him. If they REALLY wanted to "honor" him, they should’ve brought him and 200 of his buddies back EVERY night into Sect. 388 and renamed the Section after him! And sold cheap beer up there! And put him in the "Hall of Fame!" And have a statue of HIM out on the courtyard!
But I digress….
If there is a heaven, I hope Hagy steps into the lounge and is heartily greeted with a handshake and a hug by Elrod Hendricks and Cal Ripken Sr., who are waiting to hear what Cal Jr.’s speech REALLY sounded like from the hill in Cooperstown two weeks ago.
And wouldn’t the three of THEM dish it, right there in Heaven’s Happy Hour lounge about what the hell happened to our city and baseball? I’d LOVE to be the bartender in THAT lounge!
Belanger and McNally would be there, so would Ralph Salvon and Moe Drabowsky and all of the others we’ve lost from our childhood.
A nice thought…
But my thoughts today have not been nice, to be honest with you.
I keep thinking that "Wild" Bill Hagy DIED ex-patrioted from the one thing he was most famous for: loving the Baltimore Orioles and going to Orioles games and having fun, like we all used to do so many times on those summer nights.
He DIED yesterday having never seen them win again, and never having gone back to the games to raise hell and have fun like he used to.
It started me thinking: Am I gonna die without the Orioles in my life, too? Is it EVER going to change? Or is it just "OVER" forever for me?
Yeah, the great times WERE a LONG time ago. But it doesn’t have to be this way…it just breaks my heart!
This morning an entire city mourned and toasted an absolute LEGEND!
Hagy was FRONT PAGE NEWS!!! He was THE LEAD STORY!!!! The outpouring of love on the internet is amazing!
The emails we’re getting are incredible.
Just the IMAGE of him leading a cheer — and the legacy of the "O" in every national anthem heretofore — leads us all to smile and remember a great time in our collective lives.
Because he LOVED the Orioles and showed a city a helluva lot of fun and joy for all of those years, all those years ago…it feels like a lifetime ago! You can’t NAME an Oriole memory from that era that didn’t include Hagy and those cheers! And it was 24 years ago for the last championship!
Yet this city remembers and still makes a very big deal outta of a cabbie Oriole fan from Dundalk with a long beard and a funny hat on the day he died!
But until he died yesterday, the Orioles did NOTHING to honor Bill and they can’t find a way to lure people like him or people like you and I back. Instead of "marketing" us, it feels like they SPIT on us!
And sometimes it feels like they don’t really give a damn if we EVER come back to "make that magic happen," even though REALLY…
WE WERE THE ONES WHO BUILT THE ORIOLES!!!!!! The Orioles are NOTHING to the city anymore because we DON’T care anymore!
Even the "Oriole Magic" song made it clear: who made the "Magic" happen?
THE FANS OF THE ORIOLES!
It was made very clear in Cooperstown a few weeks ago — WE still LOVE the BALTIMORE Orioles.
The "magic" is still alive…it’s just moved across the street and changed colors from orange to purple.
And that’s a true civic tragedy and something that I never thought I’d live to see — a Baltimore where the Orioles don’t matter!
But whatever they’re serving up down there at the ballpark tonight and whatever half-hearted "ceremony" or "tribute" they’ll offer up, it’s NOT BALTIMORE Orioles baseball and we all know it and acknowledge it.
But for them to "honor" Hagy is certainly hypocritical and would be almost laughable if it weren’t disgraceful.
And quite frankly, Bill wouldn’t want all of the fuss.