The end of the year is a time that many people use to reflect on the events of the past year. What went right, what went wrong and how can I do better? I have decided to take a similar approach to the Baltimore Orioles season.
I don't believe Mike Elias is interested in my talents as a former little league baseball player (with plenty of position versatility I might add) so I can't do much to help better the team, and I'd rather not dwell on things that went wrong, so here's my list of the Orioles top ten moments from this year.
#10: The return of John Means
Just two weeks into the 2022 season, Orioles ace John Means went down with an elbow injury that required Tommy John Surgery. Means was the team's ace and a fan favorite that had been forced to be little more than a spectator as the Orioles transformed from one of baseball's worst teams, to one of the best. After almost a year and a half, Means finally made his return to the Orioles with a clean bill of health. Means pitched well in his appearances and O's fans are excited to have him back at full strength in 2024.
#9: All sorts of debuts
This is actually a series of moments but it's moments O's fans have been waiting for. Several homegrown future stars made major league debuts for the Orioles this year including Grayson Rodriguez, Jordan Westburg, Heston Kjerstad and Colton Cowser. Ironically, it was Joey Ortiz, who spent the least time in the majors, who had the best debut game with three RBI's, tying Don Baylor's team record. All of these players have long major league careers ahead of them.
#8: Gunnar Henderson's 462 foot blast
On June 11 the Orioles were hosting the Kansas City Royals in the third game of the series when Gunnar Henderson stepped to the plate with two runners on and two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Henderson took a 3-2 offering from Royals righty Jackson Kowar and planted it on Eutaw St 462 feet away, the longest homerun ever hit to Eutaw St in a game, leading the O's to an 11-3 blowout over the Royals.