(Originally published in Sept. 2006 prior to the “Free The Birds” walkout, this is Part 2 of a 19 Chapter Series on how baseball and the Orioles berthed WNST)
What’s in a name anyway?
Not a week in any summer has gone by since I was born when somewhere, somebody wouldn’t ask me: “Hey, are you related to the ballplayer?” I honestly don’t know a life without that question. It’s been, by far, the most frequently asked question of my life.
When I was in Chicago working for Sporting News Radio, just pulling out my credit card would beg the question nearly 100% of the time.
It’s amazing what dropping the name of a baseball player will do in a town where baseball matters. For the most part, over the course of my lifetime the absolute biggest celebrities from Baltimore — aside from the occasional actor or TV newsperson — have always been Orioles players and this town has ALWAYS given them a pretty good deal, really.
And you didn’t need to be Brooks Robinson or Cal Ripken.
The number of ex-baseball players who settled here and made a nice life for themselves is too numerous to even recall. Willie Miranda. Boog Powell, Jim Palmer, Dick Hall, Mark Belanger, Terry Crowley, Al Bumbry, Mike Flanagan,