Ramble On Ron

Diamonds, Music and other Facets of Life

The Baltimore Orioles Were My Favorite Team

Posted on | September 10, 2009 | No Comments

A couple days ago I was listening to one of my favorite radio stations, WNST. I heard about a great promotion and fundraiser that Nestor and the gang were running called “Save The Birds.” It was pretty simple, as all good promotions should be. The Baltimore Orioles were selling tickets to some upcoming games for a buck apiece. Yes, just one dollar to go see our hometown baseball team play. WNST asked for sponsors to buy tickets to the game for $2 each, a dollar for the ticket and a dollar for a local charity, The Markakis Foundation.  Sounds like a win for everyone.  Hard-working people get to the see the game for free, the O’s get some fans in the seats, some money goes to a local charity. It’s all good, right? Apparently not.

You see, the O’s have a different opinion than you and me. And this shows a great lesson I learned from my grandfather. He used to say, “when you point your finger at someone, there’s always three other fingers pointing back at you.” In other words, we are often guilty of exactly that which we accuse others of doing. If you’re a Baltimore sports fan you certainly know who Nestor Aparicio is. And if you’re a Baltimore Orioles fan, you most certainly know of Nestor’s “challenging” relationship with our beloved Birds. Nestor orchestrated the walkout that took place some 13 years ago, called “Free The Birds.” That began (or ended in this case) a hostile relationship between him and the O’s. They, and his detractors, accused him of hating the team. He has always maintained that he loves the team, just questions and dislikes ownership. And why wouldn’t he? The team that he and I grew up worshiping with pride and awe, is now a laughingstock. And worse, a laughingstock that produces a tremendous income for ownership. I was a batboy at an O’s game when I was 9 years old. My dad gave $1200 twenty-five years ago (not a small sum) for me to be part of an experience that would last a lifetime. I have a 6 year old son. He happens to be a great baseball player. Unfortunately, with the state of the O’s the way it’s been since before his birth, he doesn’t even know who they are. He’d rather watch the Yankees (my wife’s from NY) or some other winning franchise. If the opportunity for him came to be the batboy at an O’s game, I’m not sure I could pay him $1200 to do it. Of course, I’m exaggerating. But the point is clear. Ownership has continued to deliver an inferior product to its fans. And fans have spoken loudly by not going to the games, even for a measly buck. Nestor and his sponsors (myself included) tried to help out, but the O’s refused to even sell the tickets. So, I ask you, who really hates the O’s more? And how did my grandfather know so much?