While I am on the the topic of the Yankees, I should mention my husband is a Yankees fan. We still can't figure out why. He has no ties to NY or NJ or even northern PA. His father is an Orioles fan. He is a Ravens fan. No one gets it. Anyhow, I love the Orioles. Always have, always will. They haven't done squat in the past 15 years, but I still watch games and follow the team. It's just what you do when you are from Baltimore. I figure this week will be a cold war in the house because of split allegiances. Good thing we are raising Lily an Orioles fan. Sports are like religion right? You go by mother's religion, so you go by her sports teams ;-) (It was also in the pre-marital contract my husband signed that my father drafted. It stated that the the kids are to be raised Orioles fans).
A bit more on the Orioles. Like I mentioned it's been 15 years since the Orioles made it to the playoffs. That is a long time. That is as old as my sophomores. It's been a rough road for the Os. Different managers, players, office members have come and gone. Finally, finally, we have a team that clicks. There isn't a superstar, just players who want to play and a manager who gets them to play like a team. This is what baseball is about. It's not about egos, it's not about money, it's about guys enjoying their sport and excelling as one unit.
I can remember my brother and his friend Michael sliding around our living room to the "Orioles Magic" album when they were maybe 5 years old. It was hilarious. After warming up to a rousing rendition of the song, they would go outside, go down the hill, and play bullpen. This consisted of Michael playing catchers and Timothy playing pitcher. I remember watching them, and how much they loved to play. They would play for hours.
When people talk about Orioles magic, I think this is what they are talking about. Not about a team magically winning. No one magically wins. I think the magic is something that the fans feel. It's little kids who see their idol on the field, and want to play just like them. It's the fans that stick out a 15 year drought and finally, finally, see their team make it to the post season. It's my grandfather who watched the Orioles his whole life, witnessed many of their ups and downs, and might be able to see them make it back to the World Series. It's players who believe in themselves, and more importantly, each other. Orioles magic isn't something real, it's certainly. You can't hold it. You can't see it. But you can feel it. It's about being in Baltimore. It's about a city and their team. You can travel to many other sports cities, but there is something about Baltimore. It is a small city. Everyone knows everyone. And everyone loves the Orioles and the Ravens.
In my favorite movie of all time, A League of Their Own, Tom Hanks' character has the following exchange with Geena Davis' character:
Jimmy Dugan: Shit, Dottie, if you want to go back to Oregon and make a hundred babies, great, I'm in no position to tell anyone how to live. But sneaking out like this, quitting, you'll regret it for the rest of your life. Baseball is what gets inside you. It's what lights you up, you can't deny that. Dottie Hinson: It just got too hard. Jimmy Dugan: It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard... is what makes it great.
This quote to me is baseball. I think, too, it is something very true for the Orioles. It was a hard fight, these past 15 years, but here we are. So win or lose, we made it. Making to the World Series, hell, winning the World Series, would be amazing. But just being in the dance, that is special. Watching my team play in October, that is exciting. So, thanks Os, I am glad you made it this far. I am proud to say that I am an Orioles fan. And, yes, I do believe in Orioles Magic.