Opening Day!

March 26, 2008 |

We are just a few days away from Opening Day (which should be a holiday) and I want to share two memories from Oriole Opening Day past. I would love to see comments about a memory of your own.

Opening Day 1989: Cal Ripken hits a three-run bomb in the sixth inning off Clemens to put the Birds up by one and we win in extra innings on a Craig Worthington single. The year of “Why Not?” You felt Memorial Stadium rock that day. I bet you heard the crowd as far as Federal Hill when Rip put that Clemens fastball in the bullpen. I was on a bus trip from a pub in Baltimore. I was the youngest by ten years at least. My Uncle Vernon always made sure I went Opening Day. Yet, he never did that for his own son. Weird? Every one should have an Uncle like him. I am lucky to have remembered that afternoon. Where were the people checking for I.D.? Good thing it was a bus trip.

Interesting fact; the first four hitters in the line up that Opening Day; Brady Anderson, Phil Bradley, Steve Finley and Cal Ripken.

Opening Day 1982: Murray hits a granny, Cal put one over the fence for his first ever, Gary Roenicke, and “Disco” Dan Ford hit bombs that great afternoon as we destroy KC and Dennis Leonard 13-5. I sat in the right field bleachers with my sixth grade classmates. I was lucky enough to be on the cover of the News American the next morning! Remember Dempsey tried switch-hitting that year. Funny season. Weaver’s last one before that ill attempt at a comeback. Cal wins ROY. We take Milwaukee to the final game… and “Cakes “gives up two dongs to future HOF’er himself Robin Yount. We lose 10-2. Weaver cries as Howard Cossell sings praise to the “Earl of Baltimore.” We win the World Series the next season with Joe Altobelli and have not been to the big dance since.

Opening Day line up; Bumbry, Dempsey, Ford, Singleton, Murray, Ripken, Roenicke, Sakata and Dauer. Yes… in that order.

Let us hope we do not have to wait 25 more years.

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