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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 27 August 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: WNBA-Washington Mystics @ Indiana Fever (Tuesday 7pm from Indianapolis live WNBA.com), Washington Mystics @ Atlanta Dream (Thursday 7pm from Atlanta live on NBA TV), Washington Mystics @ New York Liberty (Saturday 4pm from New York live on NBA TV); Boxing: Gennady Golovkin vs. Grzegorz Proska (Saturday 9:45pm from Verona, NY live on HBO)

10. Rascal Flatts/Little Big Town (Sunday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Jimmy Buffett (Saturday 8pm Jiffy Lube Live), UPROAR Festival feat. Shinedown/Godsmack/Staind/Papa Roach/P.O.D. (Sunday 1pm Jiffy Lube Live); Okkervil River (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live); Sponge (Friday 7pm Recher Theatre); Hugh Laurie with the Copper Bottom Band (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Steve Vai (Tuesday 8pm Howard Theatre); Charlie Daniels Band (Thursday 7:30pm Rams Head Center Stage); Alanis Morissette “Havoc and Bright Lights” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I don’t care much for Rascal Flatts, but I can’t hide my love for Little Big Town. They’re excellent. Their series of covers on YouTube is about as it gets for country music…

I’ll be at JLL Saturday night…anyone else? I plan to bring marshmallows. For throwing. That’s still a thing, right?

I haven’t always been a Shinedown fan, but I enjoy their new song more than you’d expect…

Same for P.O.D….please don’t tell anyone…

9. Maryland State Fair (Tuesday-Monday Timonium Fairgrounds); Maryland Renaissance Festival (Friday-Monday Revel Grove); “Lawless” out in theaters (Wednesday); Finesse Mitchell (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Jake Johannsen (Wednesday-Sunday DC Improv)

I’ll be at the fair Monday. No promises regarding whether I’ll be wearing trousers. I’ll DEFINITELY be enjoying one of these…

Yeah, that’s a fried Oreo. Or really, it’s America.

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Start time changed for Ravens’ final preseason game in St. Louis

Posted on 16 August 2012 by WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

Kickoff for the Ravens’ final preseason game at the St. Louis Rams on Thursday, Aug. 30, has been moved to 7 p.m. ET.

The game was previously scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET, but has been changed due to the television broadcast of the Republican National Convention.

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Ravens add veteran TE Bajema

Posted on 01 August 2012 by Luke Jones

Needing to add depth after the loss of Dennis Pitta for the remainder of the preseason with a broken hand, the Ravens announced the signing of veteran tight end Billy Bajema to the 90-man preseason roster.

Entering his eighth season, the 29-year-old made 12 starts and played in all 16 games for the St. Louis Rams last season. He caught nine passes for 71 yards and is regarded as a blocking tight end.

With 2009 fifth-round pick Davon Drew and rookies Bruce Figgins and Matt Balasavage the only healthy tight ends on the roster behind starter Ed Dickson, Bajema brings a veteran presence and could potentially compete with Drew for the No. 3 tight end job. Of course, that’s assuming the Ravens elect to keep three tight ends when they trim the roster down to 53 at the beginning of September.

Bajema’s best season came in 2010 when he made 14 receptions for 145 yards and caught two touchdowns. He spent four seasons in San Francisco before playing the last three with the Rams, accumulating 38 catches for 398 yards and two receiving touchdowns.

He was a seventh-round pick from Oklahoma State in the 2005 draft.

In a corresponding move, rookie quarterback John Brantley was released.

 

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Ravens sign former St. Louis center Tony Wragge as mandatory minicamp begins

Posted on 12 June 2012 by Luke Jones

Conducting their mandatory minicamp this week, the Ravens have signed veteran interior lineman Tony Wragge to add depth along the offensive line.

The 32-year-old started eight games for the St. Louis Rams last season after spending the previous five years in San Francisco. Wragged has played in 82 games over his eight-year career, starting 23.

An undrafted free agent from New Mexico State in 2002, Wragge began his career with the Arizona Cardinals by bouncing between the active roster and the practice squad before being released in 2004. He played in the Arena Football League with the Los Angeles Avengers in 2005 before joining the 49ers a year later.

Wragge started the Rams’ final eight games of the season last year, assuming a starting role in Week 10.

To create room on the 90-man off-season roster, the Ravens waived defensive lineman Elliott Henigan.

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Ravens release 2012 preseason schedule

Posted on 04 April 2012 by WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

A nationally-televised game against the Detroit Lions at M&T Bank Stadium highlights the Baltimore Ravens’ 2012 preseason schedule.

In the preseason home opener, the Ravens will host the Lions on Friday, Aug. 17, at 8 p.m. in a game broadcast by FOX-TV. This marks the third preseason meeting between the teams, with Baltimore owning a 2-0 series advantage.

The Ravens open preseason play at Atlanta on Thursday, Aug. 9. Baltimore holds a 5-3 preseason series edge over the Falcons, including last year’s 21-7 victory at the Georgia Dome. The Ravens have played six of the eight preseason contests in Atlanta.

Following their game against Detroit, the Ravens will host Jacksonville on Thursday, Aug. 23, in their first-ever preseason matchup against the Jaguars.

Baltimore closes out its preseason schedule at St. Louis on Thursday, Aug. 30. This will mark the Ravens’ third all-time preseason game against the Rams – all of which have been scheduled in St. Louis.

Two of the Ravens’ four preseason opponents – Atlanta and Detroit – earned playoff berths during the 2011 campaign. Baltimore is 38-25 all time in preseason play. Under head coach John Harbaugh (2008-11), the Ravens have compiled an 11-5 record in the preseason.

2012 Ravens Preseason Schedule

Thursday, Aug. 9 at Atlanta Falcons

Friday, Aug. 17 vs. Detroit Lions (FOX-TV National, 8 p.m.)

Thursday, Aug. 23 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Thursday, Aug. 30 at St. Louis Rams

(Times for three of the Ravens’ preseason games will be determined at a later date.)

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 20 March 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Soccer-Cuba @ US Under-23 Men (Thursday 9pm from Nashville live on Universal Sports Network), Canada @ US Under-23 Men (Saturday 9pm from Nashville live on Universal Sports), El Salvador @ US Under-23 Men (Monday 9pm from Nashville live on Universal Sports), MLS-DC United @ Vancouver Whitecaps (Saturday 10pm from Vancouver live on Comcast SportsNet); Tennis: ATP Tour WTA Tour Sony Ericsson Open (Saturday-Monday 11am from Miami live on Tennis Channel); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Antwone Smith vs. Roberto Garcia (Friday 9pm from Pharr, TX live on ESPN2), ShoBox-Diego Magdaleno vs. Eduardo Lazcano (Friday 11pm from Tucson, AZ live on Showtime), Erik Morales vs. Danny Garcia (Saturday 10pm from Houston live on HBO), Zab Judah vs. Vernon Paris (Saturday 10pm from New York live on NBC Sports Network); Mixed Martial Arts: Bellator Fighting Championships 62 (Friday 8pm from Laredo, TX live on MTV2)

10. The Head And The Heart (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Crack The Sky (Saturday 8pm Rams Head Live); Adema (Wednesday 7pm Recher Theatre); Psychedelic Furs (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Phil Vassar (Wednesday 6pm & 9pm Rams Head on Stage); Gotye (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club), Fatboy Slim (Friday 9pm 9:30 Club), The Joy Formidable (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Fiona Apple (Wednesday 9pm Sixth & I Historic Synagogue); Kevin Eubanks (Thursday-Sunday Blues Alley); Angelique Kidjo (Saturday 8pm Lisner Auditorium); ShamrockFest feat. Dropkick Murphys, Gavin Degraw, Carbon Leaf (Saturday RFK Stadium); The Shins “Port of Morrow” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Here’s a truth. The Head and The Heart had one of the ABSOLUTE best songs of 2011…

Gotye is the band whose name you have NO IDEA how to pronounce but you just can’t get out of your head…

Fiona Apple once did a video in her underwear. It was awkward because 14 year old Glenn was both aroused and terribly disturbed…

I saw The Shins on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago. I wasn’t sure I was into them. I’m into them.

9. Ralphie May (Friday 8pm Lisner Auditorium); Bret Ernst (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Pablo Francisco (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” & “The Muppets” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); “The Hunger Games” opens in theaters (Friday); Beer, Bourbon & BBQ (Friday & Saturday Timonium Fairgrounds)

I will be at BBBBQ Saturday morning with my “Reality Check Players” partner John Collingsworth. If you intended to do something with me at some point during the day Saturday understand…well…just be prepared for anything.

I’ll be giving away a pair of tickets to Friday night on Tuesday and Wednesday on “The Reality Check.” Not sure if Beer, Bourbon & BBQ is an event for you? I have a simple question. Does this look like something you’d enjoy?

What about this?

See you this weekend.

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Broncos SB Odds Improve, Ravens Drop After Start of Free Agency

Posted on 19 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Peyton Manning Odds

Peyton Manning – Total Passing Yards in the 2012 Regular Season? 

Over/Under                    4000    

Peyton Manning – Total TD Passes in the 2012 Regular Season?       

Over/Under                    28½

Peyton Manning – Completion % in the 2012 Regular Season?          

Over/Under                    65%

Peyton Manning – Total Interceptions in the 2012 Regular Season?   

Over/Under                    16½

Peyton Manning – Will his first pass of the season be complete, incomplete, or an Interception?

Complete                      -180     (5/9)

Incomplete                    +150     (3/2)

Interception                   +1000   (10/1)

Peyton Manning – Will he win 2012 NFL MVP?           

Yes                              7/1       

Peyton Manning – Will he win 2012 Comeback Player of the Year?   

Yes                              1/1       

Tim Tebow Odds

Tim Tebow – Which team will he be on for Week 1 of the Regular Season?     

Jacksonville Jaguars                  3/2

Denver Broncos                         7/4

Miami Dolphins                          7/4

New England Patriots                 7/1

Cleveland Browns                       12/1

Tim Tebow – Will he start as a QB in the NFL Week 1 of the Regular Season?          

Yes                  EVEN  

No                    -140     

Broncos Odds

Denver Broncos – Regular Season Wins         

Over                              10        

Will the Denver Broncos play against The New York Giants in the 2013 Super Bowl?           

Yes                              50/1     

Will the Denver Broncos win the AFC?

Yes                              6/1

Will the Denver Broncos win the AFC West?

Yes                              2/3

2013 SUPER BOWL XLVII ODDS  (odds current, 3/19/2012)                  (odds on 2/6/2012)

Green Bay Packers                                13/2                                          6/1

New England Patriots                             15/2                                          7/1

New Orleans Saints                               10/1                                          8/1

Denver Broncos                                     12/1                                          50/1

Houston Texans                                     12/1                                          12/1

San Francisco 49ers                              14/1                                          18/1

Baltimore Ravens                                   15/1                                          14/1

Philadelphia Eagles                                15/1                                          12/1

New York Giants                                    16/1                                          15/1

Pittsburgh Steelers                                18/1                                          12/1

Dallas Cowboys                                     20/1                                          18/1

San Diego Chargers                               22/1                                          16/1

Chicago Bears                                       25/1                                          30/1

Detroit Lions                                          25/1                                          18/1

Atlanta Falcons                                     28/1                                          22/1

New York Jets                                       30/1                                          16/1

Carolina Panthers                                  40/1                                          50/1

Cincinnati Bengals                                 40/1                                          40/1

Miami Dolphins                                      40/1                                          35/1

Seattle Seahawks                                  40/1                                          60/1

Arizona Cardinals                                   50/1                                          30/1

Kansas City Chiefs                                50/1                                          50/1

Oakland Raiders                                    50/1                                          50/1

Tennessee Titans                                   50/1                                          40/1

Washington Redskins                            50/1                                          60/1

Buffalo Bills                                           75/1                                          60/1

St. Louis Rams                                      75/1                                          75/1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers                         75/1                                          75/1

Indianapolis Colts                                   100/1                                        50/1

Jacksonville Jaguars                               100/1                                        100/1

Minnesota Vikings                                 100/1                                        75/1

Cleveland Browns                                   150/1                                        100/1

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv,  Twitter: @BovadaLV).

“Our Super Bowl odds have been down for a couple weeks until we knew where Peyton would go since this signing would have such a huge impact on every team’s odds.  Denver who we had at 50-1 before we closed the odds have dropped to 12-1 and as I expected the public is taking them regardless as soon as we opened this morning.  We were a bit lucky that Denver came out of nowhere in the Manning Sweepstakes so not too many people bet them at 50-1.”

-Kevin Bradley, Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager

 

 

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Bovada Sets Orioles Win Total At 69.5, Second Longest Odds to Win World Series

Posted on 14 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Odds to win the 2012 World Series     

Philadelphia Phillies                   11/2

New York Yankees                    13/2

Los Angeles Angels                   7/1

Detroit Tigers                             8/1

Texas Rangers                          10/1

Boston Red Sox                        10/1

San Francisco Giants                 15/1

Tampa Bay Rays                       18/1

Miami Marlins                            20/1

Cincinnati Reds                         20/1

Atlanta Braves                           22/1

St. Louis Cardinals                     25/1

Arizona Diamondbacks               28/1

Milwaukee Brewers                    28/1

Washington Nationals                30/1

Los Angeles Dodgers                 40/1

Toronto Blue Jays                      40/1

Chicago Cubs                            40/1

Colorado Rockies                       40/1

Cleveland Indians                       60/1

Chicago White Sox                    65/1

Minnesota Twins                        75/1

Kansas City Royals                   80/1

New York Mets                          80/1

Oakland Athletics                      80/1

Pittsburgh Pirates                      100/1

San Diego Padres                      100/1

Seattle Mariners                        100/1

Baltimore Orioles                       150/1

Houston Astros                          200/1

Odds to win the 2012 AL Pennant       

New York Yankees                    13/4

Los Angeles Angels                   7/2

Detroit Tigers                             4/1

Boston Red Sox                        11/2

Texas Rangers                          11/2

Tampa Bay Rays                       9/1

Toronto Blue Jays                      22/1

Cleveland Indians                       28/1

Chicago White Sox                    35/1

Kansas City Royals                   40/1

Oakland Athletics                      40/1

Minnesota Twins                        40/1

Seattle Mariners                        60/1

Baltimore Orioles                       75/1

 

Odds to win the 2012 NL Pennant       

Philadelphia Phillies                   9/4

San Francisco Giants                 7/1

Atlanta Braves                           9/1

Cincinnati Reds                         9/1

Miami Marlins                            9/1

St. Louis Cardinals                     11/1

Milwaukee Brewers                    14/1

Washington Nationals                15/1

Arizona Diamondbacks               14/1

Colorado Rockies                       18/1

Los Angeles Dodgers                 18/1

Chicago Cubs                            22/1

New York Mets                          40/1

Pittsburgh Pirates                      40/1

San Diego Padres                      50/1

Houston Astros                          100/1

Odds to win the 2012 AL East

New York Yankees                    2/3

Boston Red Sox                        3/1

Tampa Bay Rays                       9/2

Toronto Blue Jays                      12/1

Baltimore Orioles                       100/1

 

Odds to win the 2012 AL Central         

Detroit Tigers                             1/4

Cleveland Indians                       10/1

Kansas City Royals                   12/1

Chicago White Sox                    12/1

Minnesota Twins                        16/1

 

Odds to win the 2012 AL West

Los Angeles Angels                   4/5

Texas Rangers                          1/1

Oakland Athletics                      30/1

Seattle Mariners                        45/1

 

Odds to win the 2012 NL East

Philadelphia Phillies                   1/2

Miami Marlins                            11/2

Atlanta Braves                           6/1

Washington Nationals                8/1

New York Mets                          50/1

 

Odds to win the 2012 NL Central         

Cincinnati Reds                         7/5

St. Louis Cardinals                     2/1

Milwaukee Brewers                    11/4

Chicago Cubs                            18/1

Pittsburgh Pirates                      30/1

Houston Astros                          100/1

 

Odds to win the 2012 NL West

San Francisco Giants                 5/4

Arizona Diamondbacks               2/1

Los Angeles Dodgers                 11/2

Colorado Rockies                       7/1

San Diego Padres                      15/1

Over/Under Regular Season Win Totals

Arizona Diamondbacks               86½

Atlanta Braves                           86½

Baltimore Orioles                       69½

Boston Red Sox                        90½

Chicago Cubs                            73½

Chicago White Sox                    75½

Cincinnati Reds                         87½

Cleveland Indians                       78½

Colorado Rockies                       80½

Detroit Tigers                             91½

Miami Marlins                            85½

Houston Astros                          63½

Kansas City Royals                   78½

Los Angeles Angels                   91½

Los Angeles Dodgers                 80½

Milwaukee Brewers                    85½

Minnesota Twins                        72½

New York Mets                          73½

New York Yankees                    93½

Oakland Athletics                      72½

Philadelphia Phillies                   93½

Pittsburgh Pirates                      72½

San Diego Padres                      73½

San Francisco Giants                 87½

Seattle Mariners                        71½

St. Louis Cardinals                     85½

Tampa Bay Rays                       86½

Texas Rangers                          91½

Toronto Blue Jays                      81½

Washington Nationals                83½
courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV).

 

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Kentucky Favorite, Loyola Given Longest Odds to Win NCAA Tournament

Posted on 12 March 2012 by WNST Staff

“As of this morning we have already seen some trends on who the public is liking to take this thing down. Florida State who won the ACC and who we opened at 40-1 have dropped down to 30-1 and are a heavy liability for us already.  Syracuse at 10-1 as a #1 seed has also taken quite a bit unlike Kentucky who are clear cut favorites at 9/4 but not seeing too much action at that short price. Michigan State took quite a lot of money when they were as high as 40-1 at one point during the season but now at 17/2 I guess some bettors feel they missed the boat on that one.”

-Kevin Bradley, Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager 

Odds to Win the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship 

Kentucky (1)                                          9/4

Ohio State (2)                                        11/2

North Carolina (1)                                   13/2

Michigan State (1)                                  17/2

Missouri (2)                                           10/1

Kansas (2)                                            10/1

Syracuse (1)                                          10/1

Duke (2)                                                20/1

Marquette (3)                                         30/1

Florida State (3)                                     30/1

Baylor (3)                                              35/1

Wisconsin (4)                                        35/1

Louisville (4)                                          35/1

Vanderbilt (5)                                         35/1

Wichita State (5)                                    40/1

Georgetown (3)                                      40/1

New Mexico (5)                                      50/1

Indiana (4)                                             60/1

Florida (7)                                              65/1

Memphis (8)                                          65/1

Cincinnati (6)                                         75/1

Kansas State (8)                                    75/1

Connecticut (9)                                      75/1

Michigan (4)                                          80/1

Belmont (14)                                          100/1

Temple (5)                                             100/1

UNLV (6)                                               100/1

Murray State (6)                                     100/1

Notre Dame (7)                                      100/1

St. Mary’s (7)                                         125/1

Gonzaga (7)                                          125/1

West Virginia (10)                                  125/1

San Diego State (6)                                150/1

St. Louis (9)                                          150/1

Alabama (9)                                           150/1

Creighton (8)                                          150/1

Texas (11)                                             100/1

Purdue (10)                                           100/1

NC State (11)                                        100/1

Iowa State (8)                                        200/1

Virginia (10)                                           200/1

VCU (12)                                               250/1

Harvard (12)                                           250/1

California (12)                                        250/1

Southern Miss (9)                                  250/1

Long Beach State (12)                            250/1

Colorado State (11)                                300/1

Colorado (11)                                         300/1

South Florida (12)                                  300/1

Montana (13)                                         300/1

New Mexico state (13)                            300/1

Ohio (13)                                               300/1

Davidson (13)                                         300/1

BYU (14)                                               300/1

Iona (14)                                                300/1

St. Bonaventure (14)                               300/1

South Dakota State (14)                         300/1

Lehigh (15)                                            450/1

Norfolk State (15)                                   450/1

Detroit (15)                                            450/1

Mississippi Valley State (16)                   500/1

Western Kentucky (16)                           500/1

NC-Ashville (16)                                     500/1

Long Island (16)                                     500/1

Lamar (16)                                             500/1

Vermont (16)                                         500/1

Loyola Maryland (15)                              500/1

Odds to Win the South Region           

Kentucky (1)                              5/7

Duke (2)                                    5/1

Baylor (3)                                  11/2

Wichita State (5)                        8/1

Indiana (4)                                 12/1

UNLV (6)                                   25/1

Connecticut (9)                          30/1

Notre Dame (7)                          40/1

Iowa State (8)                            60/1

Xavier (10)                                 60/1

VCU (12)                                   100/1

Colorado (11)                             150/1

New Mexico State (13)               200/1

South Dakota State (14)             200/1

Lehigh (15)                                200/1

Western Kentucky (16)               200/1

Mississippi Valley State (16)       225/1

Odds to Win the West Region 

Michigan State (1)                      11/5

Missouri (2)                               9/4

Marquette (3)                             13/2

Louisville (4)                              13/2

New Mexico (5)                          9/1

Florida (7)                                  14/1

Memphis (8)                              14/1

Murray State (6)                         25/1

St. Louis (9)                              30/1

Virginia (10)                               50/1

Long Beach State (12)                75/1

Davidson (13)                             100/1

BYU (14)                                   100/1

Colorado State (11)                    150/1

Iona (14)                                    150/1

Norfolk State (15)                       200/1

Long Island (16)                         200/1

Odds to Win the East Region  

Ohio State (2)                            8/5

Syracuse (1)                              9/4

Vanderbilt (5)                             9/1

Florida State (3)                         10/1

Wisconsin (4)                            10/1

Kansas State (8)                        15/1

Cincinnati (6)                             18/1

Gonzaga (7)                              30/1

West Virginia (10)                      30/1

Texas (11)                                 30/1

Southern Mississippi (9)             60/1

Harvard (12)                               60/1

Montana (13)                             100/1

St. Bonaventure (14)                   150/1

Loyola Maryland (15)                  200/1

NC-Ashville (16)                         200/1

Odds to Win the Midwest Region        

North Carolina (1)                       8/5

Kansas (2)                                2/1

Georgetown (3)                          10/1

Michigan (4)                              15/1

Temple (5)                                 18/1

Purdue (10)                               18/1

Belmont (14)                              18/1

NC State (11)                            20/1

St. Mary’s (7)                             25/1

San Diego State (6)                    30/1

Creighton (8)                              35/1

Alabama (9)                               40/1

California (12)                            50/1

South Florida (12)                      100/1

Ohio (13)                                   100/1

Detroit (15)                                150/1

Lamar (16)                                 200/1

Vermont (16)                             225/1

Courtesy of Bovada (formerly Bodog), www.Bovada.lv,  Twitter: @BovadaLV. 

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Chapter 6: Baseball punched me a ticket to see The World

Posted on 10 March 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

(Originally posted as a prelude to the “Free The Birds” walkout in Sept. 2006, this is Part 6 of a 19 Chapter Series on How Baseball and the Orioles berthed WNST.net.)

One day my Pop came home from work in the Spring of 1983 and during dinner announced that we should go on a vacation in the upcoming summer.

Other than Venezuela in 1972, when we took my lone airplane ride, and Disney World in 1978 when we took Amtrak, I had never been much past Ocean City (I had only been there a handful of times because my Uncle Omar had a joint on 28th Street Bayside behind the Jolly Roger amusement park).

We usually just went “home” to South Carolina to visit my Mom’s family and chilled while she visited all her old neighbors and friends. My Pop and I would spend those summer days almost entirely at the Abbeville Civic Center. It wasn’t at all like OUR Baltimore Civic Center with seats and stuff. It was just a little gym with a lobby and my Pop and I would shoot baskets for hours in that hotbox gym. There wasn’t anything else to do in the tiny little South Carolina town. All of my relatives were older than my Mom and she’s now 87. So every one of them was well into their 70’s then and have since passed away.

My Aunt Earline made eggs and bacon and biscuits in the morning and fried chicken in the afternoon. Her sister, my Aunt Edna — she was a cool old lady, she took me to the NWA wrestling matches in Greenwood, S.C. one night! — made the world’s best chocolate fudge (I recently found the recipe!) and fresh peach ice cream in a churn for dessert on alternating days. We picked pecans off the tree in the back yard on Ellis Street and tossed them into a batch of that incredible fudge. And I would throw a super-sized Superball (they were bigger than the normal ones and very rock solid) against the siding of my Aunt Eleanor’s house up the street, pretending I was Nolan Ryan when I wasn’t in that hot gym.

That was vacation for me. There were no other kids, and the black/white thing in Abbeville, S.C., even then in the late 1970’s, was kind of in the backdrop as well. I ran around, dreamed and chased these weird, techni-color grasshoppers they had all over the place.

Kind of Napoleon Dynamite pathetic, huh?

But it’s really true, as I look back upon it.

I was bored as hell (except when my Aunt Edna was involved) and all I really wanted to do was stay at home in Colgate and play baseball on the church lot with my friends, anyway. But I did get to eat some great food in South Carolina. And, one time, a pretty Southern girl painted an orange Clemson paw print on my face at a park called Hickory Knob State Park!

So, when my Pop announced a chance at a trip, he looked to me. I was 14, it was the summer of 1983 and where would I want to go or what would I want to do?
Clearly, it had to involve baseball. And if involved baseball in 1983, it definitely 

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