Mother Nature has blessed us with an incredible day. It’s sunny and warm, and now it’s official: I yearn to hear the crack of the baseball bat. I’m ready for Orioles baseball and for Opening Day at Camden Yards in Baltimore. It’s still in my blood.
For thirteen years of my life, I bled black and orange. As a front office employee for the Baltimore Orioles many moons ago, I looked forward to the season starting. It was a sign of spring and rebirth. Baseball is America’s pastime.
Some say baseball is slow moving, that it can be equated with watching the grass grow. As for me, I can’t think of a better way to spend a few hours than breathing in the scents of the ballpark, listening to the roar of the crowd, and taking in the scenery that was my home for many years. There’s nothing more exciting than winning the game in the bottom of the ninth inning or witnessing a come-from-behind game-winning homer.
I’m sentimental about Camden Yards, and I have every right to be. I essentially grew up there. That place launched my career, and I’ll always be thankful for that. My best friends and I met and married people we worked with, and we’re all still a tight-knit group. My dear friend, Julie Wagner, was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame, the only female from the front office to be so honored for her community outreach. We were all there as she graciously accepted her place in the lineup that included many Hall of Fame players such as Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, and Cal Ripken. If it weren’t for her, I would never have experienced working for a major league baseball team because she was the one who hired me in the first place.
My passion may run deeper for Orioles baseball than it would for other people. Other folks may just love to go see their favorite team play. As for me, when I sit in the stands now, not as an employee, but as a regular fan, try as I might, I’ll never be just a regular fan. I’ll always be connected to that place. I can’t help but to be reminded of the love that surrounded me during those years, of the experiences I gained, and the people I met along the way. I’m guessing that a fair amount of black and orange is still in my veins.
I love the game of baseball, and I’ll be there on April 6 as I wait patiently to hear that first crack of the bat.