Baltimore Orioles: My five favorite moments in Orioles history
The Baltimore Orioles have etched many memories in the minds of O’s fans. Here are my five favorite moments in franchise history
It’s Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – this is my first piece here at Birds Watcher. Unfortunately, I can’t spend my time today writing exhaustively about the breadth of Dylan Bundy‘s potential this year, or whether Chris Davis will get his Adderall exemption and turn it around. I also can’t write about the likelihood of Mike Elias outfitting the Baltimore Orioles with high OBP players (“The Hitting Machine” Hyun-Soo Kim isn’t walking through that door). There will be time for that, though.
I spent the recent holiday hibernation period away from my desk, spending a lot of quality time with family and friends. I’ve found over time that memories made with loved ones are often the ones that are dearest, and that we hold on to the most.
Inevitably, I spent some time with my mom this past week. We have always been peas in a pod, as we process things much in the same way and we share a lot of common interests. I suppose the most relevant of our shared interests to you would be Orioles baseball.
My mom and I have been avid O’s fans ever since I first got into baseball, when I was 9 or 10 years old. I don’t remember a whole lot from those early days (who in the world was Brandon Fahey?).
Regardless, from the days of Brian Roberts whacking doubles at will in meaningless losing seasons to Buck Showalter‘s resurgent regime of recent years, we’ve shared a lot of great memories.
Come to think of it, there are 5 specific moments that stick out in my mind as the most memorable of my Orioles fandom. Obviously these moments won’t be the most notable for everyone else. But when I think of Orioles baseball, these are the 5 moments that I remember most from the past decade, presented in chronological order:
1) 8/9/10: Brian Roberts walk-off homer against the White Sox
In my mind, the Orioles’ stretch from ’04 to ’09 is pretty much a dark blur. They were bad, obviously, and there weren’t a ton of reasons to head out to Camden Yards and support the Birds.
However, this guy was one of them. Brian Roberts was my favorite Orioles player growing up. There was just something about his game – it was scrappy. He’s a short guy like me, and I loved the way he played the game.
Lots of steals, good defense at second base, and he really could handle the bat. On a Monday night in the middle of August, B-Rob flexed his dead-pull power and placed a winning dinger somewhere close to Eutaw Street. Bam!
2) 5/6/12: Orioles win in 17 innings vs. the Red Sox, Chris Davis earns the W on the mound
The 2012 Orioles are my favorite iteration of all time. There was no quit in that team. Sheriff Mark Reynolds, Chris Davis hitting dingers after being cast off by the Texas Rangers, baby-faced Manny Machado‘s debut in August – and most importantly of all, the return of Orioles Magic.
After years of futility in the cellar of the AL East, the Orioles roared to a 90+ win season and won the first ever AL Wild Card playoff game vs. the Rangers.
But this Sunday afternoon game is one that I will remember for the rest of my life, and one that truly defined this gritty team’s rise back to relevance. I remember watching this game at home all the way through, and loving the theater of it all.
The fact that it was Chris Davis, who had gone 0-8 with 5 strikeouts that day at the plate, to be the one to get the improbable win was icing on the cake.
3) 7/7/13: Manny Machado makes the best defensive play I’ve ever seen from 3B
Okay, so he didn’t field it cleanly, and he didn’t make it look routine…okay — but look at that cannon! Let’s not forget to recognize that great call by Gary Thorne, which will always live on in my memory. Oh, mercy!
4) 10/3/14: Delmon Young hits go-ahead three-run double in Game 2 of the 2014 ALDS
Perhaps the most electric moment in Camden Yards history, this came at the height of the O’s resurgence. The Tigers boasted three Cy Young award winners in Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and David Price in their rotation; the Orioles beat all three.
Down by two runs in the bottom of the 8th inning of Game 2, Delmon Young came through for the Orioles when they needed it the most. I’m not sure there will ever be a louder and more exciting moment at Camden Yards.
5) 6/7/16: Manny Machado and Yordano Ventura throw down
There are two Machado entries on this list. Manny is a generational talent at 3B, a pretty good SS, and an elite hitter. For all of the hype heading to the big leagues, he has carved out an excellent career for himself and he will be cashing in this winter.
More from Birds Watcher
- Baltimore Orioles Sign RP Mychal Givens
- Gunnar Henderson: Destroyer of Four-Seam Fastballs
- Which Current Baltimore Orioles Pitchers Have the Best Curveballs?
- Orioles News: Should the O’s Pursue Eovaldi? + More MLB News
- Should the Baltimore Orioles Consider Signing Nathan Eovaldi?
However, this entry did not have much to do with his skill on the diamond. Manny has shown his temper several times in his career, from his incidents with Josh Donaldson and the A’s to other chirping instances.
But this is the moment we all think about when we consider Machado’s incidents. At the time, Ventura was one of the game’s brightest young pitchers, and it’s such a shame that he passed away so young.
Machado was not happy with getting thrown inside on in the AB previous to this one, and once he took the HBP, it was on. I’ve never seen Chris Davis run somewhere so fast. What a nice little tussle!
There you have it: the top 5 moments of my Orioles fandom to this point. What are some of yours that I didn’t include?