I feel compelled to write about Baltimore today. My first conscious thoughts about Baltimore were at age nine. The Orioles. Their four game sweep of the Dodgers in the World Series in 1966. Upstarts, LOL!
So I will start with the Orioles. The original Baltimore Orioles were a 19th Century team. Then the original Orioles in the American League moved to New York and became the New York Highlanders, then a team you may have heard of. The New York Yankees.
The modern Orioles went to Baltimore from St. Louis, where they had been the sad second. St. Louis team the Browns.
In 1969, the Orioles were tearing the American League up. I grew up as a New York Mets fan. My great uncle Max was visiting from Baltimore to see my grandfather. Max just smiled at the idea of the Mets defeating the Orioles in the World Series. I got the last laugh, but is it nice to get a laugh on your Great Uncle?
In 1988, the Orioles started out 0 and 22. I remember a circulating joke from when I was living in Virginia.
A young runaway is seen by a policeman in the wee hours. “Son, why aren’t with your Mama?”
“My Mama beats me.”
“What about your Daddy?”
“He beats me too.”
“Son, you can’t wander the streets of Baltimore all night, where were you headed anyway?”
“Memorial Stadium. I hear the Orioles don’t beat anyone up.”
I know, it’s for the birds, I said it for you.
Fast forward to the 1990’s and Cal Ripken, son of Maryland and Orioles hero. Got to watch the game on TV, where he broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games record.
In 1998, I attended a Toastmasters conference. I stayed with my cousins and took them to an Orioles game. I loved Camden Yards. The feel of an old ballpark with Boog Powell‘s barbecue stand. (Boog Powell was an Orioles star during my childhood).
Growing up otherwise, Baltimore was a place to ride through on my train journeys to Washington. I remember the rundown row houses with the white steps. (White steps are a major part of Baltimore row houses and in better neighborhoods are very well kept).
Portrayals of Baltimore:
Ed Burns, retired Baltimore Homicide Detective who is also a writer along with David Simon.
Ace of Cakes on Food Channel. A fun side of Baltimore, Duff brings joy to baking. And you thought I was only going to show the gritty side.
I enjoy Lexington Market, Crabs with Old Bay seasoning, beer, the B&O Museum and Fells Point. No longer just a place to go through, and only three hours from where I grew up in New York City. Take the trip and check out Charm City.