Chapter 2: “Aparicio” means baseball to most people

March 06, 2012 | Nestor Aparicio

Chapter 2: “Aparicio” means baseball to most people

(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.

There’s always been a job or a career or a door that could be opened if you played for the Orioles, kept your nose clean and treated the community with some respect and dignity.

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,

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