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Thoughts regarding the Orioles and the younger generation of fans

Thoughts regarding the Orioles and the younger generation of fans

PostPost #1 by Jordan Tuwiner » September 11th, 2012, 10:36 pm

As most of you know, I'm a freshman in college and this is really the first year of my life that the Orioles have been good.

I'm a Ravens fan as well, so I know how it feels to follow a winning team, but I've never had that feeling about a baseball team. The weeks seem long when you are waiting for NFL Sunday, and the games feel super important each week because as we all know the Ravens are usually pretty good and each game means a lot.

It's weird. Now, with the Orioles contending for the vision, every single game feels like a Sunday. Knowing that each game is so important is great, and I now feel that anticipation of Sunday football every single day because of the Orioles.

When I watch the Ravens, my phone is in my pocket and I watch without a computer. When the Orioles used to be terrible, I usually just watched while doing homework or talking to friends. Not anymore. Knowing what each game means it's pretty much impossible for me to use the computer or do homework at the same time.

I've been on campus for two weeks now here at Towson. The amount of Orioles gear worn around school compared to Ravens is pretty remarkable. I thought there would be buzz, but it's great to see the younger fans really into this team.

Everywhere you go you can find students talking Orioles baseball. Even today after the Ravens win, the Orioles talk didn't fade too much.

It would be pretty disappointing if the Orioles fail to reach the playoffs. But either way, I'm thankful they've given me the opportunity to experience following a winning baseball team, and they have without a doubt restored the interest of their younger fans.
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Re: Thoughts regarding the Orioles and the younger generation of fans

PostPost #2 by Matt P » September 11th, 2012, 11:17 pm

I'm 22 and live in North Eastern Pennsylvania and I wear an O's shirt, hoodie, pull over, hat, etc. pretty much every day. I've been wearing them for years and every now and then people (usually older guys like 35+ years old) would say something to me about them. For the past few months everyday someone says something to me either about how good the O's are or how much they hope the O's win the East and how much they hate the Yankees. Most people around here are Phillies or Yankees fans. I constantly get "hey the O's won again last night" or something along those lines.

I have to work Thursday/Friday/Saturday evenings so I always listen to the games on At Bat 12 and don't say a word to anyone during the game. I watch the games Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday. On Tuesdays I have a class from 6-8:30 so I record the game and start watching it when I get home.

I was always a nerd with the Orioles though so even if they were 20 games under .500 I'd still be watching or listening every night. My dad has had the MLB package for as long as I can remember and as a kid we always watched them and as I grew up whenever I was home during a game I would watch them.

This is also the first time in my life I can remember them winning. I remember the Maier incident because it was all over the paper, news, and my dad was furious. I don't remember them playing the Indians in the playoffs or anything else from my youth other than things like Ripken, Mussina, Alomar spitting on an umpire, Brady hitting 50 HR, etc.
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Re: Thoughts regarding the Orioles and the younger generation of fans

PostPost #3 by A_K » September 11th, 2012, 11:36 pm

I'm 28, so I was a young kid but fully aware and very involved in what was going on back in the late '90s, before things fell apart. Even for me, it's really bizarre to look at my watch all day waiting for the O's game to start, while paying attention to multiple other games per day to keep track of the implications on the Orioles. I was a really little kid the last time following the Orioles like this was possible.

I wish people in the national media were willing to consider the psychological and sociological effects of losing for 15 years on a fanbase. 50 year old journalists think about 15 years of losing, and the reality is they might have already been married with kids back when the ugly stretch began. They seem incapable of realizing what 15 years of losing means to an 18 year old kid-- and 18 year olds happen to make up a large and vocal portion of most fanbases.
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Re: Thoughts regarding the Orioles and the younger generation of fans

PostPost #4 by Tucker Blair » September 12th, 2012, 1:41 pm

I am 22.
I've always loved baseball so the Orioles were the only thing I really did in the summer (besides actually playing baseball myself)
When I was at York College, there was a miniscule amount of Orioles fans for the most part. There were fans, but I was the only jack-wagon walking around wearing an O's cap every day.
I went up there about a week ago and saw at least 30 Orioles hats the entire day. A far difference from my 4 years there.

I'm in the same boat as Matt essentially. I vaguely remember the 96/97 teams, but it's only because of my father and the media.
I know a large portion of people that simply don't follow baseball because they never were given an interest. Of course, they are all Ravens fans. It's so easy being a Ravens fan (I am too). It's funny, I always said I would make fun of the bandwagon fans when the Orioles started to win...But now I am just glad to see them and welcome it. Of course I also just matured over time too.
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PostPost #5 by legmason » September 12th, 2012, 5:27 pm

I'm 30 and I remember watching the O's in the playoffs when I was in high school and they were soo much fun to watch back then with Ripken, Surhoff, Alomar, Palmeiro, Mussina etc. They always seemed to get the big hit and homerun when needed. The point at which I realized how cool it was that we had two winning teams in Baltimore again was when the preseason started this year and I didn't even give it any thought to who I was going to watch. The O's were the obvious choice over some lame preseason game in which the starters didn't play the whole game. What's sad about that is that the last several years I always chose to watch the Ravens preseason instead even though my heart really belongs to the O's first and foremost.

I love the Ravens but seeing the O's in contention and sticking it to the Red Sox and Yankees this year is really something special. Over the past 14 years going to the games in which they played the Red Sox and Yankees were rough. I just knew that no matter how much of a lead we had in the 9th inning we would find a way to blow it and I would immediately feel like part of the minority in the home ballpark.

This year sure is something special to watch and I can't help but feel like this is just the beginning of a series of winning seasons to come.
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Re: Thoughts regarding the Orioles and the younger generation of fans

PostPost #6 by osforlife » September 12th, 2012, 7:13 pm

I'am 14. I know my mom would watch the games every now and again when I was real young like 6. I guess thats where I got hooked. I like in Southern Maryland so I'am closer to DC. I am an all Washington fan(Caps, Wizards, Redskins) and I'd probably be a Nationals fan if they were in DC by the time I had an interest for sports. But I couldn't just switch after liking the O's for a couple of years. Around here, most baseball fans are Nats fans, but I saw some buzz all over Facebook when the O's were tied for first a week ago. Every year it was kind of like a given that they'd lose more than they'd win. So this year I was so skeptical when they started out so good. I was born in 1998 and that is the year they started losing. I'am not sure if anybody was watching the game Thursday, but in the first inning the crowd was alive and so loud. I've never seen it like that before and immediatley felt good inside. Go O's !! Wasn't alive for this either but I did some research..WHY NOT? :D
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PostPost #7 by Zach » September 12th, 2012, 7:22 pm

Like many of the other 22 years olds that have commented I have vague recollections of the 96 and 97 seasons. I was nuts about baseball growing up and distinctly remember the Maier incident and absolutely screaming at the television (i was a passionate kid haha). My biggest memory of those years was my dad going to the playoff series against the Indians and not taking me because it was a school night. I still hold it over his head.

Having moved away from the DC-Maryland area at 11 I wasn't able to watch the orioles as much, but still was that kid that monitored them through the mlb.com gametracker. Having gone to college with Red Sox fans and constantly hearing about how the orioles were a "aaa team" it feels really good to be able rub this season in their face. Now that I am back in the area I get excited to get home after work to put on the game. Also, I have made it back to Camden Yards a few times since coming back up and the environment reminds me of what I remember from the 90s. It is fun to have that oriole's magic back!
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Re: Thoughts regarding the Orioles and the younger generation of fans

PostPost #8 by dan72 » September 12th, 2012, 9:01 pm

I am 35 and I do remember the '83 world series championship team and the '89 why not birds......As a young kid you take for granted what it takes to get to the post season. What I remember most about the '83 team is that they were close in '82 and it was expected for the Orioles to be in the thick of things come September and October. By '89 that feeling was gone. The why not team felt very much like a fluke, not a truely talented team claiming what was rightfully theirs....The reason I make this point is because the golden era of Orioles baseball was still fresh in the minds of fans back in 83, particularly my dad. The Orioles were a long term dynasty. For the better part of 30 years (mid 60's-1983) the Orioles were in the hunt most years.
The '96 and '97 teams were fun because we basically fielded half of the AL all star team and we paid for those teams. Most of those players were not home grown guys. The thing I remeber about those teams is that we had a dominate #1 starter in Mussina. Veterans leaders like Jimmy Key, Randy Meyers and Roger McDowell. Again we expected to compete those years so it was not a suprise like this year is. As a long time season ticket holder and eternal optimist would I ever have predicted the success that we are having this year.
As one of the "older" posters all I can say is appreciate this years team because I have learned, there is no telling when we will be in the hunt again. We are not gauranteed anything next year.
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Re: Thoughts regarding the Orioles and the younger generation of fans

PostPost #9 by birdwatcher55 » September 17th, 2012, 2:55 pm

I go back to the Frank and Brooks days so this is very refreshing after 14 years of losing. I look forward to the future and the likes of Machado, Bundy, Nick, JJ, Wieters, Schoop and AJ carrying this franchise. If we can add some pitching, we could be a dominant force in the AL East for the next two or three years 8-)
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