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Sunday Bird Droppings: The 25th anniversary of 2,131

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Cal Ripken Jr. played in a very special game 25 years ago today. Where were you?

Baltimore Orioles Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images

Hello, friends.

A mark of fame for a famous person is if they only have to go by one name and if you say that, you know who they are. There are not many sports games where you can do the same. Those are usually more of a phrase. “The ___ Game.” Sometimes they are bad. The Mother’s Day Meltdown was bad. Sometimes they are good. The Chris Davis Pitching Game was fun.

Then there’s 2131. That is a famous game. At least to an Orioles fan who was old enough to experience it, that’s all you have to say. Twenty-one thirty-one. Everyone knows exactly what that means. People remember where they were, especially if they were there. They remember the banner coming down, the victory lap, the home run. It was a special night, one of very few in the whole of my life where Baltimore was the center of the sports world, the only place that really mattered.

That was 25 years ago today. Yes, we are all marching towards obsolescence and death. I was in seventh grade. One thing I remember is that my math teacher lorded it over everyone that she had tickets to the 2130 game.

Another thing I remember is coming home from school the day of 2131 and my mom told me she tried to call in to WQSR to win tickets - they were giving away a pair to the 2131st caller, naturally. My mom was briefly on air as they informed her she was caller 2000. She did not get through again. It is probably for the best. Deciding which two members of the family would have gone would have led to some hurt feelings.

It would be nice if the anniversary happened to fall on the day of a meaningful Orioles game. The baseball gods delivered that in 2012 when the Orioles played the Yankees as Cal’s statue was unveiled on the 17th anniversary of 2131. The Orioles are much less in the race today, even with the expanded 2020 playoffs field.

That’s not to say they are totally out of it. In a 162-game season they could be mathematically eliminated by now. In a 60-game one, where they don’t have a horrible record, hope is slim but existent.

After last night’s 6-1 victory over the Yankees, the O’s are 18-21. That doesn’t sound like much, but they’re only three back in the loss column of both the Yankees and Blue Jays, who are tied at 21-18, with a tiebreaker to settle who is AL East runner-up and who is the #8 seed in the AL East. Making up three games with 19 left to play is not an easy task, though it is within the realm of possibility... if they don’t go back to losing their remaining games against the Yankees.

Check out Drew Bonifant’s recap of Saturday’s game for some lovely totals, and don’t forget to vote in the MBP poll.

Not all the news was good in Birdland yesterday. The Orioles will probably be without Anthony Santander for the rest of the season due to an oblique strain. Bummer! The Santander-less O’s try to pick up a series win today at 1:05. Masahiro Tanaka is the scheduled Yankees starter. The Orioles will not be announcing their starter until today.

A roster spot is open as Evan Phillips was sent down before Saturday’s game and replaced by David Hess, and Hess was sent down after Saturday’s game. Maybe that means something interesting will happen. If they were just going to have Asher Wojciechowski start the game, I think they would say that. And if it’s someone from Bowie, well... again, it would be interesting.

Around the blogO’sphere

Ripken on unselfish nature of The Streak, times it almost ended (School of Roch)
No surprise, the aftermath of Bill Haselman charging Mike Mussina is mentioned as almost ending The Streak by Cal himself.

Iron Man: Interactive look at Cal’s career (Orioles.com)
The Orioles put together a nice retrospective for the anniversary of The Streak.

Former first round pick Carson Fulmer claimed off waivers (Baltimore Sun)
In a flurry of roster moves yesterday that also included Santander going on the injured list with his oblique strain, the Orioles claimed washed up former prospect Carson Fulmer, adding another reclamation project to the pitching staff.

Jim Callis with props for O’s draft, plus other notes (Steve Melewski)
MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis was a fan of the Miguel Castro trade, and going back to the draft, he liked that too.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1974, the Orioles played a doubleheader against the Indians and dropped shutouts on them in both games. In the process, they set an AL record with 54 consecutive scoreless innings. A week and a half before this, the Orioles were 63-65; they went 28-6 in their final 34 games.

In 1995, well, you know.

In 1996, Eddie Murray joined the 500 home run club with a 7th inning home run against the Tigers at Camden Yards. Murray was the 16th player to reach 500 homers and the third in the 3000 hit/500 homers club. That group has since been joined by Rafael Palmeiro and Albert Pujols, with Miguel Cabrera lurking close to both thresholds.

In 2012, the Orioles pulled into a tie with the Yankees for the AL East lead with some dramatic late-inning home runs to give them the victory on the night Cal’s statue was unveiled.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2016-18 reliever Donnie Hart, 2011 first baseman Derrek Lee, 1991 pitcher Roy Smith, and 1954 outfielder Jim Fridley.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: America’s favorite Frenchman, the Marquis de Lafayette (1757), sociologist Jane Addams (1860), Pink Floyd musician Roger Waters (1943), comedian Jeff Foxworthy (1958), and actor Idris Elba (1972).

On this day in history...

In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from the Canary Islands, his final stop before crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

In 1522, the carrack Victoria returned to its port in Sanlucar de Barrameda, Spain, the first ship known to have circumnavigated the globe. It was the only surviving ship from Magellan’s expedition.

In 1620, the Pilgrims sailed from Plymouth, England on board the Mayflower.

In 1901, President William McKinley was shot and fatally wounded by Leon Czolgosz.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 6. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!