Things I’d never seen in person before last night:
1. Nineteen runs in a Major League baseball game.
2. A Camden Yards home run reach Eutaw street.
3. A Major League grand slam. (I think. I can’t remember another.)
4. Seven homers in a game.
5. A crowd of 25,000 people cheer a meandering, mid-field seagull.
Yes, last night was a great game. In my first game at Camden Yards since the arrival of the Nationals in Washington and the long-time-coming switch of my professional baseball allegiances, the Orioles and Baltimore reminded me why they were my favorite ballclub for so long. Lori’s dad has season tickets — and a very decent respect for the Nats and the inner conflict of a mid-Atlantic baseball fan — and got us all terrific seats for the game.
The Orioles beat the Mariners, 11-8, and just about everyone hit a homer. Chris Davis hit his league-leading 40th for the O’s all the way into Eutaw Street. I knew Davis had hit many this year, but seeing the ball fly made me understand the number in a way I hadn’t before. Nate McLouth hit the grand slam. The stadium went playoff-berserk. Ryan Flaherty hit another that we saw bounce onto the right-field porch as we circled to Boog’s BBQ. In town with Seattle, among their four homers (one more than the O’s), beloved former Nat Michael Morse got one. Morse hasn’t had the best year, but I continued my recently found belief in The Curse Of The Beast.
Food-wise: Boog’s lived up to its reputation. How had I never been there before? The sandwich wasn’t the best barbecue I’d ever had, but it was the best I’d ever tried at a ballpark. I had the pork. If prices had been lower, I would’ve eaten three. Also winning was the hand-rolled pretzel from the big pretzel booth near the right-field gate. Again, could’ve eaten three.
But let’s talk about the seagull.
The bird entered from break in the stands over center field. The gull flew high around the field but curved its path to made a circle with one edge above second base and the other around the warning track. The crowd saw the bright white bird immediately and began to a low, increasing roar as the bird swung increasingly lower over the grass. Finally, after coming within feet on its previous run, the gull landed, and the crowd went wild.
You couldn’t have found a gathering of 25,000 happier people. The older woman sitting behind me and Lori — an usher, finished for the night — leaned forward and said, “Here in Baltimore, we cheer for everything.”
After a moment, the gull took off again.
The Sun gamer captured its exit, which we also cheered. “Playing before an announced 25,947 at Camden Yards — which seemed as thrilled by the power display as they were with a seagull that glided around the park in the eighth inning and eventually flew beyond the center field wall to freedom — the Orioles again showed how important it was to go deep.”
Great animated GIFs of the gull and crowd are here.
And here are a few mediocre photos of my own, including the marking on Eutaw Street of where Chris Davis’ massive shot landed…
Continue reading Seven homers and a seagull