Throwback Thursday: Baltimore Orioles win AL East


Admittedly I haven’t really been keeping up with my idea of Throwback Thursday this off season. But a lot has gone on with the Baltimore Orioles – from GM controversies to players not signed. Nevertheless, as we begin to wind down the off season I thought it would be a nice time to pick that idea back up, and in the form of a look back at the Orioles’ crowning achievement in 2014.

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

There were some division champions last year who almost seemed to see it as par for the course. However when you haven’t won a division crown in 17 years, people are going to be excited. And that’s why the lasting image of that night for me will be Adam Jones pieing fans and running around the field with the team flag. The fact that the Orioles came out of their clubhouse (complete with their league-supplied champagne and beer) and celebrated on the field with the fans is something that will always be a takeaway for me from that night.

I followed all of this up the next morning with my daily recap, which can be found by clicking here. (Incidentally, I’m looking forward to writing those recaps again starting in very short order!) But I stand by what I said that next day in that the scene that transpired is one that might well rank up there in terms of sports moments in the city of Baltimore. Granted the image of Nick Markakis realizing that he was going to the playoffs as a division champion might ring a bit hollow since he left, however it was still a moment where a guy who had worked incredibly hard had finally seen that work pay off.

That game and it’s aftermath was and always will be about the fans. They had suffered so much through so much bad baseball and so many nadir-like moments over the years, and they were granted a well-deserved moment to bow in front of the baseball world.

As you see, I titled the next day’s column Hearts of Champions. And the fact will always be that those 2014 Orioles had exactly that. Fans are holding out hope that the same attitude carries over to the 2015 version of the team, and while the roster will have differences there’s no reason to believe that the heart won’t carry onward. Regardless of the fact that the Birds bowed out in the ALCS, on this night the O’s were on top of the world. And it’s a scene that the fans of Baltimore hope repeats itself this year.