Baltimore Orioles 2014: It was a very good year

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Here we stand on New Year’s Eve at the nadir of the 2014 calendar year. Later this evening I’ll be continuing my grandparents’ tradition of eating the Italian New Year’s Eve supper of sausage and lentil soup. The lentils are meant to sybolize good luck for the year to come. Needless to say, the Baltimore Orioles and manager Buck Showalter probably ate their lentils heartily on New Year’s Eve last year.

Baltimore Orioles players celebrate after clinching the AL East title against the Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards Tuesday night. The Orioles defeated the Jays, 8-2. Photo: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Winning the division in any year is always a welcome thing. However winning it for the first time in 17 years makes it all the more special. Recently I’ve been toying with which moments were more special for Orioles fans; the division-clincher, or the Delmon Young bases-clearing double to take the lead against Detroit in ALDS game two. I think that both were special moments in their own way; while the clincher was a crowning moment, the Young play was probably the loudest I had ever seen any stadium.

But which moment was bigger is really left up to the beholder. As I said, both were special. And they both really personified the 2014 Orioles, and the gift that they gave to the city and to their fans. As someone who has to remain objecetive in covering the team for Birds Watcher, Fansided, and Sports Illustrated (in a de facto manner), I can’t say that it’s a year that I’ll ever be able to forget.

Again, I would submit the clinching game or the Young double in the playoffs as the “defining moments.” But there are so many others, from big wins to just big moments in games. There were a couple of big wins against New York that ended with walk offs which were memorable, including that weekend in September when we found out about Chris Davis’ suspension. The Nelson Cruz homer on Opening Day was noteworthy also, as was taking three-of-four from Washington in the Battle of the Beltways.

The O’s of course fell short of their ultimate goal, which was to win the World Series. But the thing that makes sports so cool is that at the end of the day there’s only one team that’s celebrating – and that’s true in every sport. Having said this, please know that it was an honor and a pleasure to have the opportunity to cover this team on your behalf in 2014. And I look forward to more of the same, if not better, in 2015!

In closing, I would ask you the fans what your takeaway moments are from 2014. Is there a moment, game, etc. that you’ll always take with you and remember when you think of the 2014 season? All submissions are welcome!