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This Orioles-Yankees Series Was a Turning Point

camden_yards_sea_of_orangeLogic would suggest that there’s nothing remarkable about a home team enjoying majority support from the fans in its own ballpark. That’s sort of the way it works…usually. Thus, “home” team. But as we know, such has not regularly been the case in Birdland.

Until this past weekend.

For the first time since probably ’97 the Orioles played the Yankees at Camden Yards — on a weekend — and the crowd was solidly, impressively, and noticeably orange.

It was damn enjoyable. I didn’t make it out to any of the games but I watched a grip of innings on TV and I loved it. Playoff (or at least late-season) type atmosphere and no sense anywhere that the venue had morphed into Bronx South. If you don’t love that then you’re not an O’s fan.

Somewhere during Saturday’s game it struck me how there was no point at which I thought, “this must mean that most of the Yankees fans are going to tomorrow’s game.”

Back when the O’s were losing I said many times that the people who bitched and moaned about the state of the team then would not be welcome when things finally turned. Philosophically, I stand by that. In reality, though, something more important is going on: Baltimore is becoming a baseball town again.

Sure, the Ravens still rule. That might never change. But the Orioles don’t appear to be playing second fiddle anymore. This might — might — be a true two-sport town again, with civic passion flowing year-round for two beloved franchises.

It’s hard to play Scrooge on that. And, honestly, I don’t want to. It took about a half-decade longer than I wanted it to but we finally “took back the Yard.”

Well done, Baltimore. Now don’t screw it up.

(photo via Flickr user Keith Allison)

5 comments to This Orioles-Yankees Series Was a Turning Point

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    yeah as many of you know i’m the poster-boy for a long-time fan abandoning ship. but i’m literally back to ’93 form, watching every game (when i’m not practicing and missing epic wins), listening to sports talk when driving and turning it off when the ravens come up (wtf), and visiting boston and new york media outlets for massive helpings of schadenfreude. there is just nothing, NOTHING better than an organization you love in a city you love, turning itself around completely right in front of your face, piece by piece.

    of all the moments this weekend that blew my mind, one stood out. in the midst of chris davis doing things that have never been done in history, machado looking like he will a be a potential batting champion for years to come, jones having 8 FUCKING WALKS during an all star season, and the yards sounding like 33rd street (something that i never remember in the 90’s), the camera showed peter angelos beaming from his box, quiet, barely noticeable to the point where i audibly gasped and told my wife “i seriously forgot about that guy”. and i was genuinely happy for him.

  • g

    Yes, a wonderful weekend capped off with a nifty, confident little glove-flip to force the out at second. (I had forgotten about Angelos myself.) OPACY has not buzzed like that since Cal’s days.

    And now this news: adios Pedro (and Jake…sorry Jake. I was kinda rooting for you) y hola Feldman! The Duq means business!

  • Sci

    Jim Johnson is brutal right now. O’s have lost 7 games they’ve led after the 8th inning. I believe that’s the most in the majors.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    what a win. that play by machado was basically the hall of fame play they always show by brooks…only harder. ridiculous.

  • dan the man

    That Machado play was the best defensive play I’ve ever seen, hands down.

    Meanwhile, O’s are on pace to win 88, which is bumming me out right now. Jones won’t stop hacking, and even Davis is in a funk right now. Can’t hold this offense down forever, but this has been a .500 team since late May.

    As usual, it seems the All Star break can’t come soon enough. Need a mental reset.