Today in Baltimore sports history: The greatest moment we’ve ever witnessed

February 05, 2013 | Drew Forrester

On a chilly October evening in 1983, I packed myself into a car with four other friends from Glen Burnie and we drove through the city to Memorial Stadium.  There, along with maybe 5,000 other crazies, I waited well past midnight for the Baltimore Orioles to return from Philadelphia in the afterglow of their World Series-clinching win over the Phillies.

I was one of the fence-climbers that night, scaling the fence that bordered the player’s entrance and literally hanging on for dear life just to catch a glimpse of Eddie, Cal and my favorite player of that season, pitcher Mike Boddicker.

I remember the night like it was yesterday.  And we thought it was a big deal back then for 5,000 people to gather and welcome home the team.

For a long time since, Baltimore has been cast as a “baseball town”.

That changed — officially — on February 5, 2013.

Today, as if this statement needed a notary public, it was stamped: Baltimore is a football town now.

Yes, as last season’s successful baseball campaign proved, the folks in Charm City will rally around the local nine if they put together an improbable six months of baseball and work their way into the post-season.

Baltimore still loves baseball.  But more than that, they love winning baseball.

Today in Baltimore, at least 75,000 fans made it into the stadium and another 250,000 or more coated the downtown streets to welcome home their championship football team.

It was a remarkable showing.  Historical, in a lot of ways.

This city has done a lot of things over the years as it pertains to sports.  But they’ve never, ever pulled off anything like they did on Tuesday afternoon.  And there might not be another city in America who would have showed up like Baltimore did both at City Hall and M&T Bank Stadium.

Mark it down until something else surpasses it:  Today, February 5, 2013, is the greatest day in the history of Baltimore sports.

Never before has a Baltimore team been showed that much love from the city they call home.


11 Comments For This Post

  1. The Armchair QB Says:

    For the record, 1/3 of all football franchises have never won a Super Bowl; 1/3 have won one; Baltimore is among the third that has won multiple Super Bowls and they are 2-0 in just 17 years in the league! Talk about amazing…….

  2. John in Westminster Says:

    It was a great turnout. Apparently too great for the city to handle. Several stuck at Light Rail at BWI that stopped running because of the volume. Major fiasco. Wondering why they didn’t do this on the weekend.

  3. Vince Fiduccia Says:

    Never seen anything like it. It was truly amazing. Today, was an incredible moment in time. I just don’t want this ride to end.

  4. Phil Says:

    It’s a love affair and it truly goes both ways…which makes it all the sweeter! Steve B. apologizing to the stadium crowd for being so late…unreal class!

  5. unitastoberry Says:

    Baltimore is PRO football title town. NFL CHAMPS 58 59 70 00 13 and dont forget the CFL and USFL TITLES. I wish my dad was around to see today love you pop!

  6. August Says:

    To see Ray literally ride off through the streets of Baltimore with the fans following behind will always be my lasting memory of Ray. No weapons.

  7. Bmorebobrob Says:

    The greatest day ever is when I no longer post stupid stuff. Probably won’t happen for a while.

  8. rubengy Says:

    John from Westminster: Anybody who relies on the Light Rail to get you somewhere where you really need to be is rolling the dice. I’ve learned that the hard way.

  9. John in Westminster Says:

    @Rubengy – Yes, but that is what the citizens were told to do. There’s a joke/lesson here about big government providing services. But I’ll let it go.

  10. Unitastoberry Says:

    If they really want people to use light rail to games they need express trains with no stops from Cromwell and Hunt Valley.

  11. Nick Says:

    Amazingly, we are being laughed at by Pittsburgh and San Fran for the turnout. They are claiming that the San Fran Giants 2012 World Series parade drew 1.5 Million. Steelers also claim over a million for their last two Super Bowls.

    Can anyone verify this? BTW, no way that was 200,000. Had to be AT LEAST 400,000 (total).

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