The Baltimore Orioles are hosting several of the team’s top players from the last 25 years along with the season’s best Orioles giveaways as they recognize the ballpark that changed baseball.
You may have seen the Baltimore Orioles MASN commercial, which quickly goes through some of the most memorable calls that have happened at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
For me, I can’t help but get excited each time I hear the call from the 2014 American League Division Series when Delmon Young‘s bases-clearing double gave the Orioles the lead on their way to a sweep of the Detroit Tigers.
And, let’s be honest. The celebration is great. The pictures of former Orioles stars reminiscing about their time with the Baltimore Orioles, names like Cal Ripken Jr., Billy Ripken, Mike Mussina, Ben McDonald, Brady Anderson and much more.
More from Baltimore Orioles
- What other Baltimore Orioles Offseason Storylines will you be interested in seeing?
- Baltimore Orioles to Face Numerous Playoff Contenders Down the Stretch
- Baltimore Orioles Showing Encouraging Signs During Recent Wins
- The Baltimore Orioles and the Expanded September Roster
- Orioles Josh Rogers Expectations in his Major League Debut
The Orioles giveaways will ensure the Yards are rocking and the stands are full.
But, the best way for the Orioles to celebrate their beloved stadium is with a strong homestand.
A strong home stand will help get the team back in contention.
There are nine, yes nine, teams battling in the AL Wild Card standings. The Orioles are three games out of the second wild card, held by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Yes, the Angels are who the Birds plan in this crucial series.
The Orioles currently are three games back with two AL East foes, the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Wild Card standings. The Blue Jays are back from the dead, their pitching is healthy, and they can certainly make noise.
The Rays’ offense has cooled off, and they have headed the other direction. The Mariners, Twins, Royals are the other teams involved in the wild card battle royale. The Royals are slumping in a big way, the other two teams pushing to contend.
The Orioles will face two of the same pitchers they faced last time they played the Angels in J.C. Ramirez and Parker Bridwell. The O’s beat Ramirez on a grand slam by Manny Machado. They lost to former farmhand Bridwell, one of the several games on the road trip where the bats went silent.
In Friday night’s game, the Orioles face Andrew Heaney, who will be making his first start in over a year after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Again, a pitcher that the Orioles should find offensive success. Whether they are or not will set the tone to start this series.
Heaney has faced the Orioles once before, and it wasn’t pretty. 5.2 IP, four runs, 10 hits, two home runs and only two strikeouts in a no decision.
So, the Orioles have the opportunity to get off to a good start.
The Orioles counter with Jeremy Hellickson, and he again needs to keep the team in the game. He doesn’t have to shut down the Angels, although shutting down Mike Trout is always the key to beating LAA.
A three game sweep might be a little too much to ask. However, if it happens, the Orioles will be closer to a wild card spot, although I don’t expect them to leap frog six teams in one series.
However, the only teams of those contenders that the Orioles do not face again are the Twins and Royals, and they will be competing and also with the Indians, who are only five games up in the division.
With so much parity in the American League middle, every series involves games among teams fighting for position.
The Orioles just came off a series in which they lost to the Angels.
Now they need to reverse that.
This weekend should be a good one at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Some legends of years gone by will be at the park, and fans will get to cheer for some of their favorite players.
The best cheers, ideally, will come for what the 2017 Orioles do on the field.
No one is considering this team a team that can make a lot of noise in the playoffs, and that’s ok.
But, I can’t think of my top Orioles’ memories without thinking of Game 1 of the 2012 ALDS.
I was there for the rain delay. I was there through the later innings. I was there when Jim Johnson imploded in the ninth inning.
The stadium was the loudest I had ever heard. It was deafening. And it was incredible.
Those playoff games, and similarly playoff-type atmosphere games, are the ones that live with you as a fan of the game and the Orioles.
If the Orioles want to throw a 25th birthday party for Oriole Park at Camden Yards, rocking and rolling against the Angels will be the icing on the cake.