We all remember 2005. It was, in one season, the happiest and saddest I've been about the Orioles in a long, long time (although the first half of 2010 may have taken the place of the second half of 2005 as the worst stretch of Orioles baseball I can remember).
The first half of 2005, though, now those were good times. The Orioles had surprised all of baseball with an outstanding run to start the season and they entered the all-star break at 47-40, two games behind the Boston Red Sox. They'd spent much of the first half in first place, and as a result four of the O's were selected for the All-Star Game to be held on July 12th at Comerica Park in Detroit. It was the first time the Orioles had multiple representatives since 2000 when both Cal Ripken and Mike Bordick were selected.
The O's double-play team of Brian Roberts and Miguel Tejada were both voted into the starting lineup with Melvin Mora and B.J. Ryan selected as reserves.
The American League took a lead in the bottom of the second inning courtesy of Tejada. Miggi lead off against John Smoltz and hit a home run to give the AL a 1-0 lead. He added another RBI in the third inning off of Roy Oswalt.
Going into the fifth inning the AL had a 5-0 lead and manager Terry Francona replaced the starting third baseman, Alex Rodriguez, with the Orioles Melvin Mora. Mora took his familiar place next to Tejada in the infield, and it was a beautiful sight for Orioles fans. Around the infield at the All-Star Game, after seven losing seasons, were Melvin Mora, Miguel Tejada, and Brian Roberts. Mark Teixeira stood at first, the only non-Oriole. It only lasted one inning as Miggi was replaced in the sixth by Michael Young, and they didn't even get to make any plays together as the three outs were recorded via two fly balls and a strikeout, but it was still an awesome moment.
B.J. Ryan also appeared in the game, coming in to close out the 9th inning, and he tried to give away the game to the National League, but ultimately the AL prevailed. Miguel Tejada was awarded the MVP for his performance at the plate. As Orioles fans we had no way of anticipating the blood bath that would follow in the second half of 2005, but at the end of the first half and through the All-Star Game, things were pretty darn good.