I will be the first to admit that I am dumbfounded by this run the Orioles have made. If you would have told me in March that the Orioles would be tied with the New York Yankees at 1-1 in the ALDS, I might have asked if you needed to be tested for some sort of substance.
I can also say that my love for the Orioles has been in question, even with myself.
As a 20-year-old college student, I have grown up with pitiful Orioles baseball. I vaguely remember the wire-to-wire years as a young child. My mother would drive my brother and I to school and turn on Mix 106.5 and the lyrics, “Wire-to-wire, the O’s are still on fire,” would play. I was able to experience the tail-end of the illustrious career of Cal Ripken Jr. (also known are Carl Ripken Jr. per TBS). Other than that, nothing has compelled me to care about Orioles baseball, except for two people.
My grandfathers always came to my baseball games growing up and were my main influence in playing the game. Baseball was my first love thanks to them and the Orioles successes and failures were generally topics of conversation between us. No matter how hard the team tried, they were always watching the games and talking about the team. Whenever I would watch games, it was hard for me to maintain interest as they were just so bad I didn’t care to waste my time with such ineptitude. I followed the team, but not as religiously as most Baltimore fans. However, whenever I would watch games with them it was different. They would tell me about the Orioles of old and recite recurring stories comparing the old school with the new school. It kept me interested. Interested enough to somewhat care about the Orioles.
Three years ago, they both passed. I no longer have the two biggest Orioles fans that I’ve ever known on this Earth and my care for the team faded away.
Then, this Orioles baseball season happened. Success was coming their way and I was still a doubting Thomas.
Then, they clinched a playoff berth. The excitement returned, as well as, my love for the Orioles.
Some might call me a fair-weather fan. Go ahead.
These last few months of baseball have rekindled my love for the Orioles that I shared with my grandfathers when they were still alive. Each time I watch a game, I can only imagine some of the comments and analysis they are making from the best seats in the house.
My love for the Orioles has returned not only because the team is successful, but because this season reminds me of all the stories my grandfathers used to tell me. They grew up during the glory days of Orioles baseball. They told me to be patient. They said that if the Birds wouldn’t have a successful season in their lifetime, I will at least experience several seasons where the Orioles rejuvenate Orioles Magic in Baltimore.
Now that the Orioles are in the thick of a pennant race, I can not only thank the Orioles for bringing me back, but also my grandfathers for reminding me that patience is a virtue and Baltimore baseball will excel in the future. Little did I know, the future is now.
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