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It was 1995. Cal was set to tie—and then break—Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games streak record. I worked for the Orioles as the Director of Publishing. It was a great year to be a member of the Orioles front office.
In about seven weeks, we put together Cal’s Commemorative Book, a publication created by our organization that celebrated Cal and his accomplishments that was sold on September 6, 1995. Besides my debut novel that was released in March, it’s the only other print publication I’m immensely proud to have been a part of, and it was an honor to serve as its editor.
On the evening of 2131, with banners on the warehouse and Camden Yards in the spotlight that night, I had the pleasure of escorting Cal’s mom and dad for the evening. I’ll never forget how their faces beamed with pride as I brought them from the suite to the dugout for the ceremonies.
Along the way, I saw Joe DiMaggio. My late grandmother was a tremendous fan of his. She would have been so happy that I caught a glimpse of him up close on the field.
I couldn’t attend Cal’s statue unveiling tonight at Camden Yards, despite the fact that I had seats behind the plate for the game; my kids had commitments and my husband had to attend a dinner for work. I watched the game on television and saw Camden Yards filled with orange shirts. There’s a new spirit to the place, just like there was during the 1996 and 1997 seasons when the Orioles made it to post-season play under the direction of then manager Davey Johnson.
The Orioles of new are an exciting team to watch. Buck Showalter, his coaches, and his energized team have kept us cheering this season. Although I’ve moved on in my career and enjoy every single minute I spend as an educator at a university, I’ll always feel a connection to that place. It is magical, especially to those of us who moved from Memorial Stadium and saw Camden Yards open in 1992 and felt its early glory days.
Sometimes it feels as if not a day has gone by.
I raise my glass to this team—this winning team that’s in the thick of a pennant race—this team that moved into first place yesterday—this team we fans are proud to call our own.
It’s wonderful to revel in this new Orioles magic.