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The Orioles and I go way back
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LOOK, I wasn't just born
My sister, who was three months shy of her third birthday at the time, gave our dad her life savings, 3 cents, to help pay for me, and some will agree that's about what I'm worth. Our dad framed the three pennies with an explanation, and it's a sentimental item that I have close at hand to this day.
Only now am I recognizing the implications of all these "threes." It must have to do with baseball, a game based on three and factors of three: three strikes, three outs, nine innings, nine in the field and batting order, 27 outs in a game. Maybe it helps explain why the Orioles became such a big part of my life.
Of course I couldn't be prouder of how well such a cobbled-together team performed this year. The city and O's fans everywhere deserved it. There was an electricity at Camden Yards this year that had been absent for too long. A true fan never really loses all hope. But after 14 straight losing seasons and only memories of baseball glory, any fan's expectations would be lowered.
All I have been asking for, season after season, is a winning record. But I was rewarded with much more than that--a trip to the playoffs--not to mention genuine optimism for next year.
It wasn't like I hadn't had experience with losing seasons. Back in the early '60s, when the two leagues had no divisions, the Orioles were only occasional American League contenders. When you're a kid it can seem like your team's time might never come. I'd just follow along, root for my favorite players, and look forward to next year.