Hello Old Friend: Orioles to play Braves and Markakis at home in 2015


Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles always have exciting exciting games throughout their seasons year in and year out. All of their division games are important with some animosity occurring between Detroit and Baltimore when the Tigers come to town. However, the Orioles will have an Interleague 3-game series in late July.

After the All-Star Break, the Orioles’ first home series will be against the Atlanta Braves with a familiar face making his way back to Baltimore. On July 27th, it will be the first time in his career when Nick Markakis will play in Camden Yards and not being wearing a jersey with “Orioles” across the chest.

On December 3rd, 2014, the Atlanta Braves and Nick Markakis agreed on a four-year contract worth $44 million. Markaksi had spent hiss entire nine-year Major League career with the Orioles.

While with Baltimore, he batted .290/.358/.435 with 141 home runs and 658 RBI.

Markakis was the Orioles lead-off hitter for much of the 2014 season, yet he will most likely be the No. 2 or 3 batter in the Braves’ lineup. Markakis’ numbers had gone done in recent years, in particularly his number of doubles each season.

From 2007 to 2010, Markakis hit at least 43 doubles each season and a grand total of 360 runs batted in over the four seasons. In the past four years, he only hit more than 30 doubles once (31 in 2011) and he only batted in 236 runs over those four seasons.

Defensively, Markakis was solid. Earning two Gold Gloves in his career with the Orioles, Markakis was always reliable in right field with an impressive .994 fielding percentage over nine seasons.

His involvement in Baltimore exceeded far past the baseball diamond. He was also involved in the community taking part in several charitable functions, which he announced he will continue to be a part of even after signing with the Braves.

The Orioles organization did appear close to resigning the 31-year-old. However after considering his age and physical condition along with his asking price, the Orioles parted ways with their long-time right fielder who then signed with his childhood team in the Atlanta Braves.

When the Braves come to Baltimore, it will be a bittersweet moment for Orioles fans. It will be nice seeing Markakis playing in Camden Yards, yet somewhat weird seeing him playing for the visiting team. One thing is for sure, all Orioles fans will be tuning into MASN for that series.