To read the beginning part of this column, please visit Aaron Somers’ column on Fansided’s Washington Nationals’ site: http://districtondeck.com/2012/05/18/the-battle-of-the-beltway/
There is a bit of a rivalry between Baltimore and Washington without even getting into baseball. You have a classic blue collar/white collar divide between the two cities, and speaking for myself I’m priviledged to be right smack in the middle (with family ties in both places). Washingtonians claim that Baltimoreans’ knuckles drag on the ground when they walk, and Baltimoreans claim that Washingtonians are over-sensitized to everything. All in good fun I suppose, especially given that the cities are only about an hour apart if that.
The Battle of the Beltways has been fairly even in terms of wins and losses since it’s inception (in it’s current form) in 2006. The Orioles hold a slight edge in the series with 19 wins to the Nats’ 17. I’ve always found it funny that the Nationals’ fans love to beat the O’s, but for Oriole fans these games seem to be just another series in general. However this year it seems that for the first time the Battle of the Beltways means more than just local bragging rights. Both teams are playing spectacular baseball right now, and if anything they’re coming up against a mirror image of themselves. If you’re a baseball fan in the mid-Atlantic region, odds are you don’t want to miss these games.
In effect, we’ll see blue collar Baltimore (complete with blue collar folks drinking Natty Boh in rowhouse bars and people sitting in their lawn chairs in the front yard listening to Oriole games) against white collar Washington (where people gather in high end lounges near Capitol Hill drinking cosmopolitan beverages and expensive wine). Neither is a knock on the other; however it is part of the stereotype of each city. Both teams are in first place in their respective divisions at the moment, which is not something that was expected. Furthermore there are many suburbs that are shared between the two cities such as Frederick, Laurel, Annapolis, etc. It’s in those places, along with the bars on Capitol Hill and on Charles St. in Baltimore where this fight will be waged. Having said that, maybe some of the Baltimore fans that enjoy sitting in the at the yard drinking Natty Boh might enjoy heading down to DC this weekend enjoy a half smoke at Ben’s Chili Bowl while watching the O’s take on the Washington Nationals. With both teams playing so well, this is the mid-Atlantic region’s chance to put itself on display for the rest of baseball to see.
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