Orioles massive Opening Day win gave Baltimore a small slice of joy amidst tragedy

For a brief moment, the Orioles gave the city of Baltimore a chance to smile in the aftermath of a true tragedy.

Los Angeles Angels v Baltimore Orioles
Los Angeles Angels v Baltimore Orioles / Greg Fiume/GettyImages

For many in the Baltimore area, the Baltimore Orioles starting the 2024 season took a back seat to the tragic collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge earlier this week. Not only was the bridge itself an iconic piece of the city that many relied upon to get them to work and home each day, but people lost their lives providing for their families in an accident that no one saw coming and that will reverberate for years to come.

Still, the Orioles' triumph on Opening Day was a reminder that baseball can help heal wounds and bring people together in the darkest of times.

The Orioles did their part to help heal the heartbroken city of Baltimore

When communities get rocked by tragedy, baseball has long be a source of comfort. The aftermath of 9/11 back in 2001 saw MLB become a source of comfort for a country that was grieving. As the COVID-19 pandemic waned and the world began to open up again, it was baseball's return that gave fans hope that things would be normal again someday.

In the moment when the city of Baltimore needed them, the Orioles stepped up in a big way. On a day that is normally all about the team and the start of the season, the Orioles made sure to thank the first responders that shut the bridge down in time to save countless lives despite only having 90 seconds to react to the cargo ship's approach. If they didn't react in time, we could be talking about a far worse tragedy right now.

It did not stop there, as the Orioles also held a moment of silence for those that did die when the bridge came down at 1:30 AM EST on Tuesday morning. In that moment, no one cared if you were an Orioles fan or an Angels fan. We were all humans mourning the loss of human life and hoping for a better day tomorrow and the next day.

For Orioles fans, the melancholy quickly gave way to joy as Corbin Burnes absolutely shoved in his Baltimore debut and the Orioles offense never took their foot off the gas pedal. For those precious nine innings, the worries of the world around them melted away and they got to enjoy the game we all love for a little while before shifting back to the reality that families have been broken and a literal bridge needs to be rebuilt.

Baseball doesn't solve the world's problems, of which there are many. The world has never been more divided than it is right now and there seems to be an endless source of ways for people to feel despair and even hatred. What baseball can do, though, is help unify fans and help kickstart the healing process, if only for a short while.

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