Unabashed Nostalgia

by Matthew Taylor

“There is no other place in the major leagues — including the
new territories of Florida and Colorado — where the local team
means as much as it means here. No place else will you find fans
who are more intense and more loyal.

-Fran Blinebury


Sure I miss the winning, but it’s just as much about the atmosphere that I want back as part of Baltimore baseball. Consider the words of The Houston Chronicle’s Fran Blinebury as he visited Camden Yards for the 1993 All-Star Game; you’ll realize that it was in fact a different time, a different place.

Baseball is alive in Camden Yards
July 16, 1993

Fans’ loyalty unsurpassed

On the fifth straight day that the thermometer has topped out
at more than 100 degrees, you touch down at the airport, hop a taxi
to downtown and realize nothing is hotter than baseball.

It’s not the heat and it’s not the humidity that causes the
locals to work up a sweat, it’s this game that everybody every
place else keeps telling us is staggering around on its last legs.

The game is the thing here. Bigger than the doings of Bill
and Hillary in that pompous city just a few miles down I-95. Bigger
than Elvis sightings and Julia Roberts-Lyle Lovett hitchings.

There is no other place in the major leagues — including the
new territories of Florida and Colorado — where the local team
means as much as it means here. No place else will you find fans
who are more intense and more loyal.

There are times when you get the feeling the military could
set off nuclear warheads at the Astrodome during a baseball game
and only half of Houston would notice. But here it’s the talk of
the town if Cal Ripken Jr. gets a charley horse in his leg while
taking an afternoon nap.

When they put tickets for the 1993 season on sale last
December, they had people lining up for blocks in frigid
temperatures to buy them. A guy holds up a single ticket for the
bleachers on a sweltering summer day and draws a crowd like a leg
of lamb held in a piranha tank.

This is the Wrigley Field of the 21st century, the model city
that should show the lords of the game the way to the future — if
they can stop being the worst promoters of their product.

For a sport that’s supposed to be so sick, the vital signs
look pretty darned good in “Ballimer. ”

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About mptaylor11

Roar from 34, a Baltimore Orioles Blog. Humor. History. Homerism. Since 2006.
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