Happy Friday, y'all! The Orioles just won two out of three from the Blue Jays, so I'm feeling pretty good. First place is the best.
It's time for another FanPost Friday. You guys came up with some great answers to last week's question about your all-time favorite non-Oriole. You can read all about how much Camden Chatters love guys who have never donned a cartoon bird over in our FanPosts section. My top three entries were:
Today's question is inspired by a comment made in yesterday's Bird Droppings by a community member named 33rd St. Here is what he said:
One day back in 1987 I was working at BWI ticket counter and the supervisor comes up to me and says, security says that Al Bumbry left something by the metal detector and told me to go pick it up and take to him where he was waiting to board his flight at the end of D concourse. When I got to the security checkpoint I found out that what he left was his World Series ring, it had set off the metal detector so he took it off and forgot. Of course, I put it on and wore it for about 3 minutes or however long it took be to walk to his gate.
I got to wear a real WS ring, an Oriole WS ring no less, so I have that going for me…..which is nice.
What a great story. It got me wondering what other Oriole run ins you all have had. Do you have a funny or awful or sweet story about a time you saw an Oriole out and about? For those of you who haven't had that opportunity, is there another sports figure that meets the criteria? I want to hear about it! Go over to the FanPosts and write me a story.
I haven't had many encounters with Orioles or other sports figures, but I did once travel to Dundalk to meet the great Brooks Robinson. Back in 2007 I saw an ad that Mr. Robinson would be signing prints of the Norman Rockwell print that bears his likeness. It seemed like a great Christmas present for my dad, so I traveled to the Ollie's in Dundalk to get it.
Brooks was scheduled to start signing at 10 a.m., but he was out in the store chatting with everyone at about 9:15. That freaked out the store staff, and they started telling people to leave Mr. Robinson alone until 10:00. Brooks nixed that right away, and actually started signing about a half hour early. I was only about the fifteenth person in line, but it took me quite awhile to get up to him. Almost every person who got an autograph had some sort of story or adulation for Brooks, and he was giving it right back. It was amazing seeing him interact with everyone. You always hear that Brooks is the nicest guy ever, and I saw nothing that could dispute that opinion. He was genuinely interested in what everyone had to say, and there were people my grandparents age just giddy at the prospect of chatting with Brooks for a few minutes.
When I was a kid I got a few autographs from the Orioles of that day, and they were always friendly but quick to move on to the next person, just doing their duty until they could get on with their day. This was not how Brooks Robinson was. He had a genuine conversation with every person that came through the line. I was wearing a Cooperstown hoodie that I had gotten earlier in the year at Cal Ripken's Hall of Fame induction. He asked me if I had been there and shared briefly how it was so crazy there he didn't leave his hotel room much. He asked me what he should write on the print, so I had him address it to my dad.
I remember it was not long after the Mitchell Report (which named Brian Roberts) had come out, and someone asked him about it. He expressed sympathy for Brian Roberts and the pressure that is only young players these days, and even those who wouldn't normally use PEDs might have felt like it was their only chance if so many others in the sport were already using them.
On a lighter note, he also told some folks right in front of me that when people started asking him to put "human vacuum" under his signature, he used to sit at home practicing it so that he wouldn't misspell it.
It's no surprise to any of you that Brooks Robinson is a wonderful human. I always knew it before I met him, but seeing him interact with his fans really drove it home. I'd go back to get another autograph of his just to have the chance to say hello.
My dad loved his print, by the way, which I had framed with black and orange matting before I gave it to him. It's hanging in his TV room and every time I see it I think of how lucky Baltimore is to have Brooks Robinson on our team.
Do you have a story to share about a time you met an Oriole or other sports figure? Please share it in our FanPosts.