Happy Birthday to ‘Wild’ Bill Hagy

June 17, 2008 | Nestor Aparicio

 

The Orioles will be celebrating the life of “Wild” Bill Hagy tonight by distributing free orange T-shirts bearing his name.

I could go on and on about Hagy, his fandom, the team’s on-again, off-again treatment of him, etc. But it’s his birthday and I’m going to take the highest road possible out of respect to Bill and his friends and family. He was a good man and he loved the Orioles as much as any of us.

Every time I hear the “O” at an away Ravens game, I think of him and what began in 1979 as a place to escape up in Section 34 on 33rd Street. Every “O” is a nod of respect toward what it means to be a Baltimore sports fan. And we can thank Bill for that.

We celebrate the life and fandom of “Wild” Bill Hagy every day when we walk into the WNST offices, where Bill’s image and the giant “O” is the first thing that greets you when you walk through our company’s door.

I was approached by Hagy’s roommate two weeks ago when we had our Toyota Live Web King of Baltimore Sports bracket show at the Angle Inn in Dundalk. He gave me a card celebrating Bill’s life. He said that he asked the Orioles to do a night and they went along with the idea. (I sincerely hope that they aren’t “cashing in” on it and are making a donation to charity from all of the tickets they’ll sell tonight because of people wanting those orange shirts, but that’s another story, like I said.)

Bill Hagy was a regular visitor to the WNST studios and a true fan of the radio station. And he was a super guy. We miss him!

The photo above is a treasure to me, that Bill would wear OUR shirt! I only had two autographs on my baseball glove when I was a kid, and one was “Wild” Bill Hagy! He signed it in Sect. 34 in 1980.

So, if you make it to the game, grab me a medium No. 34 orange T-shirt tonight. I really want one, but I’ll be over at Dellaroses drinking some Miller Lite Wheats and interviewing the newest Ravens, as the rookie class comes to The Avenue at White Marsh for a purple welcoming committee.

If you can’t make it to the game, I hope you can join us in White Marsh.

I found some old pictures of Bill and thought I’d post them in his honor.

Happy Birthday Bill. Don’t worry, pal. We remember!

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