Playoff baseball in Baltimore? It's been a while
Sept. 18, 2012
The Baltimore Orioles are guaranteed a winning season and find themselves in the thick of the playoff hunt for the first time since 1997. To quote the band Staind, “It’s Been A While.” Of course, the O’s last winning season came four years before that song was even released.
Here are some other things that had not yet happened in 1997:
-Only one player currently on the O’s roster was in the major leagues. Jim Thome made his first All Star game in 1997 at the age of 26 on the strength of a 40 home run, 102 RBI season with a league-leading 120 walks. Meanwhile, Xavier Avery was seven years old.
-Cal Ripken Jr. had yet to end his consecutive games streak.
-Future Oriole Vlad Guerrero had yet to hit 20 career home runs. He was a rookie in 1997.
-The Milwaukee Brewers still played in the American League, the Arizona Diamondbacks had yet to play an inning of baseball, and the Montreal Expos had yet to move to Washington D.C. and become the Nationals.
-Speaking of moving to D.C., NBA legend Michael Jordan was still years away from suiting up for the Wizards. In 1997, he and the Bulls won the NBA Championship over Utah. He had only retired once by then.
-College football’s BCS system didn’t exist. Michigan and Nebraska shared the NCAA title in 1997 with Michigan winning the AP vote and Nebraska winning the ESPN/USA Today poll.
-Blogging? What’ s that? The Blogger platform had yet to be launched. There was no iPad, no iPod, no Facebook and no Twitter. Electronics Weekly was marveling over the rise of the mobile phone.
-DVD players were just emerging on the U.S. market with limited distribution in March 1997 and a price tag of $1,000. Some of the most popular movies - in theaters, not yet on your VCR - were Titanic, Boogie Nights, Good Will Hunting, Men in Black and The Devil’s Advocate.
-The decline of the cassette tape continued as CDs dominated the market. Elton John had the most popular song with “Candle in the Wind 1997,” a tribute to Princess Diana who died that year. The third-most popular song was also a tribute as Puff Daddy and Faith Evans celebrated the recently departed Notorious B.I.G. with the song “I’ll Be Missing You.” No one penned a popular ballad for John Denver, but the voice of the seventh-inning stretch in Baltimore died that year, too.
-Harry Potter had yet to be published in the United States.
-Barack Obama was elected to his first term as an Illinois state senator.
So yeah, it's been a while.