Apparently the Baltimore Orioles FanFest was last weekend, reportedly drawing over 12,000 fans. Though widely scorned by the bulk of ticket-buying fans in the Mid-Atlantic region, the Birds are still part of the fabric of the local Baltimoron community. My friend Kevin runs a blog about Orioles jersey number history. Dozens of other blogs still exist.
I loved the Orioles at one time, listening to John Miller’s play-by-play on WBAL via my clock radio (I’m going to tell that tale to my grandchildren one day and they’ll just laugh at the grumpy old man I’m sure). These days, its a great excuse to get hammered at Pickle’s Pub outside the stadium before stumbling toward Federal Hill to get my boogie on.
But, there was a time when a man could enjoy himself thoroughly and organically at an Orioles game, part of a horde of superfans who bounced through a haze of cheap beer and marijuana and beards and bleacher seats to cheer their championship Birds on.
And Wild Bill Hagy was their leader.