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The who’s who of Camden Chat: 2021 edition

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It’s been a long winter. Orioles baseball is finally almost back. Say hello so you can join in the fun this season.

Oakland Athletics v Baltimore Orioles Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Hey, you. Yes, you. Are you a lurker who’s been watching Camden Chat from afar, waiting for the right chance to jump in and introduce yourself, only you haven’t found your chance? Have you been here for a little while but you’re not quite sure if anyone has noticed?

Here is the one place each year where we are all on equal footing, brand new people and lurkers and the most recognizable veteran community members: The annual Camden Chat introductions.

A lot has happened in the baseball world and especially in the wider world since the last time we were here talking about Orioles baseball. I hope that you’ve been able to weather the pandemic as well as any of us can. I’m sad I didn’t get to see my family on Thanksgiving or Christmas, glad for loved ones who’ve gotten their vaccines already, and hoping my turn will come soon. I’m also glad that baseball is about to be back. For a while there I was worried things might get delayed again.

If you’re brand new, make sure to go to the upper right of the page to sign up for an SB Nation account first, then come back here and join our site down below in the comments section.

Once you’re set up, head down to the comments to tell us a bit about yourself. Then, next time you come back, just act like you’ve been here forever. As long as you correctly remember to use the reply button to respond to a specific comment when you are talking to someone else, no one will even notice that you’re new.

You’re nice enough to read this post, so I bet you’re already nice enough to follow the rules without my telling them to you. Just so we’re all clear, though, you can find SB Nation’s Community Guidelines here. Please be excellent to each other as much as you are able, even if you have just read the dumbest comment you have ever seen on the Internet.

Now that that’s out of the way, we would all like to know about you, not in a creepy way, but in the way that it’s fun to get to know your fellow fans.

Where are you from? Where are you now? How did you become an Orioles fan? Who’s your favorite Oriole of the present, if you have one right now? Who’s your favorite Oriole of all time? What’s the thing you’re most excited about for the 2021 Orioles season?

If you’re still feeling loquacious, and it’s OK if you’re not, here are some more: Why did you choose your screen name? What do you do when you’re not watching baseball? Do you have a favorite story that everyone else in your life is sick of hearing but you want the chance to tell it to someone new? Here’s your place.

As for me, I am Mark. I am a Maryland lifer and I probably always will be, although I did fairly recently move from the Baltimore area into the Washington area.

Thanks to my parents, I have been an Orioles fan since before I was even born. They attended Game 2 of the 1983 World Series, and so did I, although I had a bit of an obstructed view seat: My mom was eight months pregnant at that time. I have loved the Orioles for as long as I can remember. Even though they have not won it all since I have been born, AND they were bad for the first decade of my adult life, I’ve only come to love them more as I’ve gotten older.

My favorite Oriole last year was Ryan Mountcastle, because I’d been looking forward to his callup for a while and he did not disappoint in the 35 games he played in, batting .333/.386/.492. I hope he can do as well again this year. My favorite for this year is Trey Mancini. I’m rooting for him in his comeback from cancer, and not only because he’s my girlfriend’s favorite Oriole.

Here’s my story that people are probably tired of hearing: When I was five years old, a family friend took me and their son to an Orioles game at old Memorial Stadium. This was my first game. I was excited and I talked a lot, almost constantly. As it happened, the seats were really good, right next to the visiting team’s dugout. After a few innings, a player from the other team (the White Sox) came over and said, “Hey, kid, why don’t you shut the hell up and buy me a beer?”

He turned and walked off. On the back of his jersey it read “KITTLE,” for Ron Kittle, who ever since that day has been my least favorite baseball player of all time. Thanks to Baseball Reference, I have figured out the game was this one from May 14, 1989, and I guess he had good reason to be feeling cocky because he went 4-5, including a seventh inning, two-run, go-ahead home run. He’s going to have to keep waiting on that beer.

So, that’s me. Who are you? If you’re a longtime Camden Chat commenter, thank you for having stuck with us through all of the strangeness that 2020 and its shortened baseball season brought. If you’re returning after a long time gone, welcome back! And if you’re brand new, welcome to the party. I hope that CCers old and new will have some exciting Orioles moments to talk about together as this season goes along.