J.J. Hardy is one of the longest-tenured Orioles and that tenure will, in all likelihood, be coming to an end at the conclusion of the season. That makes Sunday afternoon the last chance that Hardy will get to play in front of the Camden Yards crowd that has watched him for the past seven seasons.
Hardy may have only made it into the lineup at all due to the hamstring issue that cropped up with Tim Beckham late in Saturday night’s game. Whether or not that’s the case, he’s playing, and that meant a chance to give him a little salute for his Orioles tenure in his first at-bat.
Here’s the Orioles faithful, and the players themselves, taking a moment to acknowledge Hardy’s accomplishments with a little standing ovation before he came to the plate:
Cheers to Rays pitcher Chris Archer for allowing the moment to develop.
If today is the last day as an Oriole for “J! J! Hardy!” that’s a nice send-off from fans and teammates alike.
BONUS J.J. HARDY CELEBRATION ACTION!
Hardy went on to hit a go-ahead home run later in the game, breaking a 4-4 tie at the time, after which he got a curtain call from the same Orioles fans who gave him a standing ovation just for coming up to bat earlier on.
It’s the sort of thing where if someone scripted it, nobody would think it was realistic - but like the Orioles tweet says, sometimes baseball is perfect.