Thursday, October 16, 2014

It Wasn't About Winning

Guest Post by Michael Ginsburg

May 30th, 2014 was the last time the Orioles lost four games in a row. While many criticized us for not having a premiere first baseman or an established ace heading the rotation, manager Buck Showalter again proved why he deserves manager of the year. The Orioles seemed invincible, leading the league in home runs with a bullpen that could shut down any team. But Showalter isn’t going to win manager of the year, and the Orioles didn’t make it to the World Series. 

I’ve never watched so many Orioles games in one season. I was born in 1994 and have lived through one of the worst spans of baseball in Orioles history. My parents and grandparents always told me how fun it was to go to Memorial Stadium and watch Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer, all hall of famers. But as the story goes, the Orioles had losing seasons from 1998 all the way until 2012, in essence, the entirety of my fanhood. 

I’ve gone to every Ravens home game that I've been in Baltimore, playoffs included. I witnessed Michael Jordan’s last game as a basketball player in DC, and Cal Ripken's last game in Baltimore. I was at the Super Bowl when the Ravens held off the 49ers on the goal line to win. Amidst all of this, the Orioles winning the AL East has easily been the pinnacle of my fanhood. I can’t explain how exciting it was to go from the laughing stock of the league to the team that everyone talks about. It was amazing, a miracle, orioles magic, meant to be. We were the team of destiny, until Kansas City got hot. 

Getting swept didn’t feel good. I traveled home to see us lose games one and two of the ALCS in Baltimore, and it hurt. I’m upset; I still am and always will be. However, as much as I wanted to win a world series, I think what I’ll miss most is how this Orioles' run brought people together. Everyday someone wanted to talk about how the Orioles were doing. My friends at other schools, my friends studying abroad in Europe, my family back home in Baltimore--everyone. Facebook and twitter were both filled with Orioles fans saying great things about the Orioles. M&T Bank stadium lit up orange for the Orioles, the town and people were covered in orange. It was incredible. 

So with that, I thank the Orioles for hands down the best run of my life. Thank you for making it easier to keep in touch with people around the world, and for bringing Baltimore fans some of the greatest games we’ll ever watch.