• Mar

    OFFNY shares some memories at the field

    by Patrick Colon (Oriole Fan From New York)

     It all began when I was a 6 year-old boy, in first grade in October of 1971. Growing up in Brewster, NY, it was pretty unusual for a kid to adapt the Orioles as his favorite team, but I did. The Orioles were playing the Pirates in the World Series. I remember the last two games of the series (Game 6 and Game 7.) My whole family was rooting for the Pirates because they liked Roberto Clemente, so naturally, I rooted for the Orioles. After the final groundout to end Game Seven to give the Pirates the series, my whole family whooped it up in the living room, and I went outside, put my face in my hands, and pouted on the swing-set in our back yard up here in Brewster, NY. I've been bleeding Orange and Black ever since, with no regrets.
     In April of 1979, my cousin Donnie (Yankee fan that live in West Springfield, VA) took me to to my only game ever at Memorial Stadium. I'm from upstate NY (Brewster), hence the reason why this was my only game ever at Memorial Stadium.
    And that was the night that "Orioles Magic" TRULY began.
    We had a miraculous comeback against the Yankees that night. We were losing 5-2 going into the bottom of the 9th. We scored 3 runs to tie the game at 5-2. The next inning, we had 2 outs and the bases-loaded. Rick Dempsey hit a check-swing single that blooped into center-field between the Yankee infielders and outfielders. Mickey Rivers was so pissed that he actually tried to throw the runner out at the plate. The 16,000-plus fans at the stadium went crazy, and the celebration carried out into the parking lot. I still remember a guy with long hair with his arms triumphantly raised into the air, saying, "Orioles of '79!"
    The trivia question at the beginning of the game was, "What year did this happen ??? Boog Powell hit a home run against the Senators in the Opening Day Game in Washington." Then, they played a song to give us a hint (It was "Louie, Louie," by the Kingsmen.) The year was 1963. 
    Undefeated on September 28th when I'm at Oriole Park
    September 28th is my late mother's birthday. She has the distinction of having been a lifelong Yankee fan who converted (yes, she TRULY converted) to being an Oriole fan in October of 1978, because she didn't want me to be the only Oriole fan in our family. She promised me that the Orioles would win the World Series the following season, and she was off by one game. 
    September 28th of 2007: The Yankees led us 9-6 going into the bottom of the 9th. They brought in Mariano Rivera in. Game over, right ? Wrong !
    We loaded the bases with 2 outs. It looked like curtains, except ......... Jay Payton drilled a bases-clearing triple into the gap in right-centerfield to tie the game !!! :eek: A lot of Yankee fans that were sitting near me were angrily screaming "choke" at their beloved team. :laughlol:
    In the top of the 10th, the Yanks hit a lead-off double, and it looked like our storybook ending would go down in flames. Not on this night. We managed to get out of the inning without being scored upon.
    In the bottom of the 10th, we again had the bases loaded and 2 outs. On the first pitch, Melvin Mora laid down a bunt, taking the Yankees by surprise. Tike Redman raced home, and the Orioles all mobbed each other on the field. 
    With that win, the Orioles eliminated the Yankees from the A.L. East division title. They still got the wild card ... but good enough. ;)
    September 28th of 2011: Again, down to their final out, the Orioles trailed the Red Sox 3-2 in the bottom of the 9th with Jonathan Papelbon on the mound. The Red Sox fans that were still at the park were going crazy, chanting, "Let's go, Red Sox!" Chris Davis kept the Orioles alive with a double up the right-field line. Nolan Reimold (down to his final strike) then hit a ground-rule double to tie the game. Then, Robert Andino hit an RBI-single to leftfield to win the game. The Orioles KO'd the Red Sox from the playoffs. :D
    September 28th of 2012:No last-minute comebacks this time, but just as enjoyable. After a brief scare in the top of the first inning when the Red Sox etched out an unearned run off of Chris Tillman, the Orioles immediately exploded for 6 runs in the bottom half, and coasted to a 9-1 victory for their 90th win of the season, and kept pace by staying only 1 game behind the Yankees.
    September 28th of 2013: Yet another come-from behind, thrilling win for the Orioles. Trailing by a score of 5-4 iin the bottom of the 8th inning, Steve Pearce comes to the plate with men on 1st and 2nd base, and one out. With two strikes on him, Pearce laces a two-run double down the left field line to give the Orioles a 6-5 lead. In the top of the 9th, Jim Johnson gives up a 2-out single to Mike Napoli. After pinch-runner Quintin Berry steals 2nd base to put the tying run in scoring position, Jimmy Johnson strikes out Jonny Gomes looking on a 3-2 count to seal yet another win for the Orioles on September 28th while I am at O.P.A.C.Y. 

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