I will be the first to say that as a not so hip but growing baseball fan that the Orioles are starting to intrigue me. I still have a long way to go before I grasp the knowledge of the game ,and can appreciate the nuances that make the Orioles a competitive team.
Growing up in DC, baseball wasn’t a sport that was enticing enough to have my friends and I trading baseball cards and chewing bubble gum while watching every swing of a the Louisville slugger. The good thing was that, they were the only baseball team in town so I remember Cal Ripken Jr, Roberto Alomar, Rafael Palmeiro, and even Albert Belle.
So at one point during my years of baseball naivete was winning teams in Baltimore. The younger fans of today have no proof of a winning team in 14 years, so they don’t have many lasting memories to hold on too, nor the bragging rights of a comeback during friendly sport banter with other younger fans of rival teams. Giving credit to the youth, though, they do know the game of baseball so that keeps the door open to their hometown team.
This season has been exciting to younger fans because of the competitiveness and the passion the Orioles have shown, and the possibility of ending the long playoff drought and securing a playoff seed. Getting to the playoffs would create memories for younger fans, especially the chance to see the Orioles play a playoff game in the “Greatest Ballpark in the Majors.”
Another impact has been the parents’ rejuvenated spirit, and for younger fans that alone will inspire them and create generations of lifelong fans. Winning does heal all wounds and doing it consistently will continue the healing process for many Orioles fans. To some fans, this year is enough to weather the storm, but other fans are not fully convinced of a Orioles turnaround.
Those fans need year-by-year evidence to fully let themselves believe in the work of the front office and ownership. As a true fan of sports, I believe in the act of progress and the Orioles are progressing. Maybe not at the pace that everyone would hope but it is working. The healing process is a wait and see approach, but I’m looking forward to partaking in the healing and the fun of Orioles baseball.
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