BALTIMORE - As a kid growing up in Rosedale, the Orioles were my life. When the sun would go down I'd entertain the neighborhood by imitating Earl Weaver. I'd storm off my porch to argue with the lamp post. I'd take a wiffle bat and pretend to be Paul Blair, the Blade, Boog and Elrod. I would fall asleep every night listening to Chuck Thompson and Bill O'Donnell on the radio.
When I'd hear the beer cups popping in the background I knew it was time for bed.
Every game I went to at Memorial Stadium, Brooks hit a homer. He must of had 1,785, lifetime. My hero today and forever will be Brooks. My dad would spent nights in our kitchen scribbling out the September schedule, explaining what the Orioles needed to do to make the playoffs.
Here's a secret I'm telling for the first time: I was never sick, but I faked it so I could stay home from Red House Run during the 1969 World Series. Then, I really got sick when the Mets won. I remember numbers, lineups, games. 1970 World Series. The 1983 team. I grew up with Cal, Eddie,"B", Singy, Richie, and Flanny. They were my guys.
What the Orioles are doing to me this year, is making me feel like I'm 12 again. Making me feel what the Septembers of my youth used to feel like. This club is a team. Earl Weaver used to walk up and down the bench and ask, "Who's going to be the hero tonight?" We've had plenty of them this year, Manny, Wieters, Adam, Nate, JJ, Reynolds, Davis.
Those of you who have never experienced a September like this, allow me to tell you what it's going to be like. You will know the score before bed. You will study the box score on your I-Phone. You will check to see what the Yankees did and Oakland did. You will read tweets from Roch and Britt. You will watch them on a Friday night in a crowded bar. You will have them on your car radio. You will high five anyone walking down the street wearing Orange. You will text friends about "That Catch" or "That Hit."
And, and when the playoffs arrive, oh, the air will be crisp. The afternoon shadows will swallow home plate. The crowd will be in on every pitch, every at bat. I'll be the first to admit, we've had a rocky relationship over the past 15 years. But, your true love always comes back, doesn't it. Now as a grown man, I walk out of my house to my car imitating Buck Showalter.
Kids, enjoy this September.
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