[Photo: The Baltimore Sun]
Wild Bill Hagy, 68, creator of the real “Roar from 34,” dies
By Matthew Taylor
“You can’t fully appreciate what he meant to Orioles fans unless you were part of the Memorial Stadium days”
A sad day for longtime O’s fans as another link to the team’s magical past has died.
Wild Bill Hagy, the man who, according The Sun, “loved his beer in Section 34 at Memorial Stadium,” and who created the original Roar from (Section) 34 for which this blog is named, passed away this afternoon at his Arbutus home.
[See the sidebar “What does Roar from 34 mean?” for more details.]
Hagy is so ingrained in local lore that the Babe Ruth Museum includes him as part of its “Nine Innings of Baseball” display. The Museum describes Hagy’s role as follows: “Inning Six features the familiar musical strain of “Orioles Magic,” Wild Bill leading the Roar from 34, and other memorable images and music from the raucous 1980s.”
The Orioles’ statement on Hagy:
The Orioles organization is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of “Wild Bill” Hagy. While leading cheers from “The Roar from 34” at Memorial Stadium, Wild Bill became a Baltimore institution. He was one of the great characters of the Baltimore sports landscape and was a true die-hard Orioles fan, supporting the club year in and year out. He will be missed by everyone who knew him and by everyone for whom he led the “O-R-I-O-L-E-S” cheer. All of us in the Orioles organization extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends. A moment of silence will be held in his memory before tonight’s Orioles-Rangers game. William G. Hagy was 68 years old.
Roch Kubatko shares his thoughts and encourages fans to do the same. He writes, “You can’t fully appreciate what he meant to Orioles fans unless you were part of the Memorial Stadium days ….”
The Roar from 34 authors saw Hagy earlier this summer during Cal’s Hall of Fame induction weekend. Sadly, the many nostalgic Birds fans in the Cooperstown watering hole where Hagy was spotted couldn’t coax the Baltimore legend into doing his O-R-I-O-L-E-S routine one last time.