Good morning, Camden Chatters.
It’s a holiday in all of Birdland today. This afternoon the gates open at Oriole Park at Camden Yards for the first time in 2023, with a one-day postponement doing little to dampen the enthusiasm of what’s sure to be a packed house of raucous O’s fans.
The home opener is always a festive experience, from the pregame pomp and circumstance of the Orioles jogging down the world’s largest orange carpet to the shared joy of 40,000 spectators welcoming their favorite team back into action for another year. Of course, in many recent seasons, the home opener was pretty much the last time the O’s were worthy of any excitement. The fanfare would die down, the team would almost immediately tank, and the rest of the season would be an interminable slog to 100 or more losses. Last year’s surprise success changed that mentality, and this season, Baltimore’s Opening Day could mark just the beginning of a potentially memorable Orioles campaign. With any luck, today’s festive atmosphere and sellout crowd at Camden Yards will just be a precursor to what we’ll see in October.
If you’ll be among the crowd at the ballpark today, we’ll see you there. If not, take off early from work and tune in to MASN. And if your job won’t let you leave early, just quit! (Please note: this is terrible advice. Do not quit your job.)
Welcome home, Orioles. We’ve been looking forward to this.
Orioles announce 2023 Home Opener celebrations & new features at Oriole Park - MLB.com
Here's a quick rundown of what to expect on Opening Day and throughout the season, including the new food items. I think I’ll pass on the Yard Dog. I promised myself I would never again eat three foot-long hot dogs in one sitting.
Breaking down the most interesting position group at each of the Orioles’ minor league affiliates – Baltimore Sun
Even with most of the Orioles’ top 10 prospects stacked at Triple-A, there are plenty of intriguing talents elsewhere on the farm. Jacob Calvin Meyer breaks down who’s worth watching up and down the O’s system.
Orioles’ Holliday doesn’t feel ‘too far away from big leagues’ - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Jackson Holliday talks about some of the players he enjoyed watching as a little kid, including George Springer. Who made his MLB debut when I was in my 30s. And now I feel older than I ever have.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Born on this day was the late right-hander Tom Phoebus (b. 1942, d. 2019), a Baltimore native who pitched five years for his hometown team, including the World Series winning 1970 Orioles. Phoebus threw a no-hitter for the Orioles in 1968. Other ex-Orioles with April 7 birthdays are right-hander Ricky Bones (54) and two lefty prospects whom the O’s traded before they reached the bigs: Eduardo Rodriguez (30) and Josh Hader (29). In hindsight the Orioles probably should’ve held on to those guys.
On this date in 1970, the Orioles began their eventual championship season with an 8-2 comeback win in Cleveland. Trailing 2-1 in the seventh, the O’s scored seven unanswered runs in their final three frames, with Paul Blair and Davey Johnson each lashing two-run doubles in the eighth and Frank Robinson homering in the ninth. Dave McNally threw a complete game for the Birds, striking out 13.
And on this day in 1977, the Orioles lost on Opening Day to the Rangers, 2-1, in a sensational pitching matchup between Hall of Famers Jim Palmer and Bert Blyleven. Each hurler worked a 10-inning complete game, but the Rangers broke the one-all tie in the top of the 10th on a Bump Wills RBI single. Most notably, it was the major league debut of a 21-year-old Orioles designated hitter named Eddie Murray, who singled in the seventh for his first career hit. There’d prove to be 3,254 more where that came from.