The 2012 season was a long time coming for the Baltimore Orioles and their fans. As I’ve said many times, I’ll remember it as a return to glory for a franchise and a city that had been starved for a winner for so long. However people my age also remember the last time the Orioles contended. How about others? I’m not sure what the cutoff is in terms of remembering the 1996-97 seasons, but another great part of 2012 was that a large percentage of the fan base got to see the franchise win for the first time in their lifetimes.
When I was a kid, all of the teams that I followed were at the very least competitive year in and year out (with the exception of the 1988 Orioles). I applaud the teenage and early 20′s members of the fan base for their loyalty, because they made a decision to support the home team even though they had never seen them win. I wonder if I’d be the sports fanatic that I am today had my favorite teams been out of the race after the first month every year.
Nevertheless, we also have older members of the fan base who remember the true glory years and the world series titles. With those memories in tact along with all of the losing, it must have been pretty cool to see the franchise contend again. As I said, to me it was about a once great franchise returning to it’s past glory and winning again. Naysayers want to believe that it’ll be a one-time shot and they’ll be losers again. None of us really knows whether or not that will end up being the case (although the critics are so sure that it will be). But even if it is, wouldn’t fans rather have had a one-shot winner than none at all?
For the most part I try to keep my own feelings off of this column because I truly feel that I’m here as an unbiased observer in a sense. (The whole we report you decide idea.) However on a personal note, I’ll say that the part of the 2012 season that I’ll always remember will be getting to see it with my Dad. He was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease in 2006, and while his prognosis was good from the outset I wished at the time that I’d have the opportunity to see the Orioles contend even just once more with him still alive. I got my wish, and more importantly he’s in full remission.
So what are your favorite parts of the 2012 season, be them just the winning or something a bit closer to you? Everyone has different stories, this is your chance to share yours!