The Delmon Double game

The greatest Orioles game I've attended was the game with the Delmon Young Double--that is, Game 2 of the 2014 ALDS. As a 13-game ticket holder who purchased playoff tickets, I automatically was given tickets to Game 2. I was sitting down the left field line, in section 67 or so.

I was lucky to get to the game at all. MLB had screwed over the Orioles by giving them the noon start on that Friday, and having been at my job only a few months, I didn't have leave built up. But my boss supported me prioritizing baseball over my job, so I could attend guilt-free.

I remember only bits and pieces of the game. I remember Markakis hitting the home run early, and the confusion about whether or not it was a homer--and the joy in the crowd when it was. (I think it bounced off the grounds crew shed, so from my seat, it was hard to make out whether that was a double or homer.) My brain has blocked out whatever caused the Orioles to be down 6-3 heading into the 8th. But there we were.

The crowd around me sense the weakness of the Tigers bullpen. And then the double. The ball bouncing around left field was right in front of us. I don't know that I've ever screamed that loud or hugged that many strangers.

But what I remember most is after the double, after Hardy crossed the plate and the Orioles went ahead. The crowd started cheering that year's slogan--"We won't stop!" Over and over. So loud. We felt it, too. This seemed like destiny.

Of course, having times to Game 2 of the playoffs meant that I was also at Game 2 of the ALCS. It was a chillier day, cloudy. The Orioles had lost the night before in extra innings. It was tight, but there's no reason to have thought that the Orioles couldn't come back. But walking into Camden Yards for that game was a different world than walking into Game 2 of the ALDS. The spark was gone--it's like the crowd could feel that luck had shifted to the Royals. And even though it was also a close game, that destiny had clearly dissipated.

But nothing can take away the feeling of having been at the game, seeing Delmon Young hit the double. It was a moment of pure happiness.

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