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The best photos and videos from the Orioles postseason clinching celebration

Orioles player Jorge Mateo, wearing an orange “Take October” shirt and goggles over his eyes, shouts as he flings beer from a bottle around the plastic-covered clubhouse Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports

If you’d asked me 24 hours ago, I would have said that the Orioles probably shouldn’t spend any time celebrating whenever they clinch a wild card spot because that’s not the end goal. Winning the division has to be what matters. That’s what I thought, and I was wrong, because the Orioles reacted with unbridled exuberance upon reaching the postseason (plus getting a walkoff win that for today’s clinching purposes wasn’t even necessary) and that was awesome.

As clubhouse veteran Kyle Gibson said on MASN’s post-game show, you celebrate because you don’t know when you’ll get to do it again. Adam Frazier, speaking to reporters amidst the celebration, added, “You take it all in. ... Any time you get a chance to pop some bottles, you don’t take it for granted.” Younger Orioles players who have made it to the far side of the grim rebuilding years, along with even younger players whose arrivals helped make things as great as they are now, certainly didn’t reject that advice.

Let’s start with what got the party started, a Cedric Mullins walkoff sacrifice fly, as called by MASN’s Kevin Brown:

My absolute favorite part of this video is actually Austin Hays, who’s single-handedly hauling the cooler from the dugout into the pile. After he gets there, he drenches Mullins, raises the empty cooler with a triumphant shout, then drops it like it was a mic drop.

Orange shirts bearing a “Take October” slogan were ready to be donned as soon as the game ended with the clinch official. The Orioles posed for a team photo in these shirts before getting into the real mayhem:

The entire Orioles baseball team wearing orange t-shirts that say “Take October’ over their uniforms, on the field at Oriole Park at Camden Yards Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports

Did anyone in the world have more fun than these guys on Sunday afternoon? I think you would be hard-pressed to find anyone. The on-field stuff was all preamble, because while the O’s were donning these shirts, clubhouse attendants were covering up the clubhouse with plastic and tarp and hauling out the champagne and beer that is the hallmark of these celebrations.

Orioles players wearing orange “Take October” shirts stand in a circle around manager Brandon Hyde, also wearing this shirt, with plastic to protect clubhouse carpet and lockers visible Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports

Before the party really got under way, manager Brandon Hyde gathered his squad and reminded everyone that this is only the first step, that it would be the first of many celebrations.

From the photos, videos, and comments from reporters who were trying to get pictures and interviews in the middle of all of this, it seems that reliever Shintaro Fujinami was the most naturally primed to celebrate the champagne spraying. He was all over the place, as in the top left above, spraying Félix Bautista (who must have had a hard time with that cigar) and in the background of the lower right photo that features Austin Hays, Dean Kremer, and Adley Rutschman.

Fujinami was on the prowl getting selfies to commemorate the occasion:

That’s a lot of beer bottles waiting in reserve. Or maybe those were the ones that already got emptied. But seriously, just look at this guy:

Orioles player Shintaro Fujinami, wearing a soaked orange “Take October” shirt and holding a phone in camera mode, screams with arms outstretched as beer is poured onto him Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Fujinami’s 2023 season began with four disastrous starts in the rotation of the Oakland Athletics, currently the team with the worst record in all of MLB, and in September he is here. doing this. I think we can safely say he is appreciative of the change in circumstances.

It’s tough to top general manager Mike Elias taking a rip from the homer hose:

Orioles general manager Mike Elias, wearing a drenched black polo shirt, drinks from an orange and black hose as players look on Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Admittedly, I don’t watch other teams clubhouse celebrations, so maybe it’s normal for the GM to really get in the mix like this, but I don’t think you’re going to find many GMs mixing it up quite like this.

Elias was not the only non-player to get to participate in this, as MASN’s Kevin Brown, egged on by his colleague Ben McDonald and it seems the players too, took his turn drinking from the hose as well:

A whole lot of bad baseball players came and went through the 2019-2021 seasons while the team was building up the infrastructure and making the draft picks and trades that would eventually allow them to have a season like this. Players who made it through all of that without getting released or traded have done something special, and it certainly seems like Hays, Mullins, and Santander know it as they share a hug in this video:

Translator Brandon Quinones was among the non-players who were gleefully invited into the celebration, with Santander dragging “Q” in to his post-game interview even though he’s moved past needing the translator this season:

Television and radio broadcasters who were on duty on Sunday afternoon were also roaming the clubhouse, and they all posed for a nice photo together as well:

Jorge Mateo is a player who seems like he exudes continuous joy and his celebration in the clubhouse certainly matched that:

Orioles player Jorge Mateo, wearing an orange “Take October” shirt and goggles over his eyes, shouts as he flings beer from a bottle around the plastic-covered clubhouse Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports

There was only the one homer hose to go around and a lot of beer to be poured, so sometimes that meant players, like Rutschman, just got a pour directly from the bottle:

Orioles player Adley Rutschman, wearing an orange “Take October” shirt, stands with head tilted back and mouth open as beer is poured from a bottle into his mouth. He has goggles on his forehead that are not shielding his eyes. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Heston Kjerstad has been a big leaguer for all of three days and he was hitting the homer hose too:

Orioles rookie Heston Kjerstad, wearing an orange “Take October” shirt and surrounded by teammates wearing the same shirts, drinks beer out of an orange and black hose while kneeling Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

They also made Kjerstad get dowsed with some, uh, other liquids, for reasons that are not immediately clear but surely make sense if you’ve been in Orioles clubhouse all year:

Have you ever thought about what Times Square in New York City looks like at 2 o’clock in the morning on January 1? This is the Orioles clubhouse version of that:

The Baltimore Orioles clubhouse, with no one left inside, covered in plastic tarp that has puddles of beer and champagne on the floor, with empty beer bottles all over the place Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

I do hope they’re all ready to take on Justin Verlander on Monday night. But if they’re not all the way ready, you know what, I won’t hold that against them too much. Like Frazier said, any time you get a chance to pop some bottles, you don’t take that for granted. Let’s hope they get another one of these during the next homestand for clinching the AL East.