Orioles Home Opener vs. Tigers

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The Orioles home opener was all you could ask for it to
be.  Huge crowd, celebration, and most
importantly, a W.

 

I got to the park around 11:30 (gates opened at noon) after
taking a midterm exam in the morning and rushing down.

 

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A bunch of friends were already there, waiting first in line
(as expected).  Romeo had been there
since who knows when, and with him at this point was (I hope I don’t forget
anybody) Zevi, Brittany, Nick, Amanda, Tim, Ben, Stan, and Stan’s wife.  I think that’s it.  (Romeo, Zevi, and Brittany got interviewed by
WBAL before I got there, check that out here. 
58 second mark.  Three quotes,
then you see the initial group of them). 
So, I joined them, and the crowd started forming by quarter of noon or
so.

                                             

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Batting practice was not set to start until 12:25 or so, but
we still ran in at 12 to go see the Orioles stretching down on the field.  My first view entering the seating area
(though a bit blurry, taken as I was running):

 

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During this time, I took about 50 photos of the Orioles
stretching and talking.  Here are some
highlights.

 

Brittany took a picture of me and Zevi talking to Ronnie
when he first came out.  He asked me
about my college experiences and some random stuff, then we yelled at him for
not having high socks on, in which he told us that in ST, Mark Hendrickson also
yelled at him for it (and said: “Who ARE you, man?!”).  Then Ronnie went off to throw.

 

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Zach Britton sighting (1-blurry first shot of him, 2-talking
with Mike Gonzalez, 3-talking with bullpen coach Rick Adair, 4-talking with
athletic trainer Richie Bancells):

 

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More guys (1-Matt Wieters throwing, 2-Pie, Guerrero,
Izturis, 3-pitchers stretching circle, 4-Adair talking with Matusz and Tillman
with Ronnie on the side (minus high socks)):

 

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And more (1-guys throwing, 2-media by/in the dugout, 3-Mark
Reynolds and DLee throwing, 4-Pie and Jonesy):

 

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Then guys started hitting, so I made my way around the seating
bowl to the left field seats:

 

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As I settled into my usual spot in the aisle for snagging,
Luke Scott tossed a ball towards 3 kids begging (more like shrieking profusely)
for one (arrow pointing at ball in midair):

 

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Guys started off with their bunts and oppo hitting, so I
snapped this quick shot of Buck talking with Tillman and Matusz:

 

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Then guys hit for real. 
And I have no more photos from Orioles BP.  They were hitting scarcely to the LF seats,
and all of them were landing in clusters of people in 86 and 80.  Asking the other guys around I knew, we think
only about 5-10 came in the mid-sections of 82 and 84 during all of this
session.  And the 5 or so of us were
spread out, but nobody ended with more than 3 on the day.  I got one ball during O’s BP, my first of the
season and it was Vlad’s first home run into the LF seats (he hit 2 into the
bullpen before it).  It was a real blast,
hitting off of the signs on club level and bouncing back down (easily 420+
ft).  With guys all running up the
stairs, I watched from mid level, and got it off the rebound.

 

Then the Orioles went in, and Tigers pitchers came out to
warm up.  I headed over there, and lost
out on one ball to Tim who had a Tigers shirt on, so I moved aside and let him
go for it, knowing that the shirt would get him it anyways.

 

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Later, as Brad Thomas was heading in, he responded to my
request for a ball, chucking it in my general direction.  (Picture of him throwing before this moment,
#36) Turn your head sideways for this one:

 

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As I gloved the ball, I felt my back being hit at, and a kid
(probably about 12) had hopped on my back, throwing us both into the wall in
front of us.  No physical damage done,
and I was more just really confused than annoyed.  But when I got back out to left field, I
noticed one thing:

 

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The hit into the wall broke my camera screen.  Wonderful. 
Whatever.  The right side of the
screen sort of still works, so I’ll live (at least until I find the money to
buy a new camera).  So for the rest of
the day, I had to take pictures mostly guessing that I was getting the picture
taken.  They came out pretty well for
having to use this tactic.

 

I got annoyed when I walked away and saw the kid going back
to his dad.  Why did this annoy me?  Check out what he was wearing:

 

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Seriously?!  God damn.

 

Anyways.

 

I left halfway through Tigers BP to wander the concourse and
Eutaw St. to see the festivities and new stuff around, knowing that with the
rush and all, I wanted to be back at the seats by 2:30 for the ceremonies.

 

New at the ballpark (1-Natty-Boh stand, 2-Natty-Boh Bar,
3-Polock Johnny’s, 4-Grille 54):

 

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Oh, and a funny looking band:

 

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So I got back to the seats (in section 86 next to the
bullpen, yes, we actually bought seats there for once) just as Jim Hunter
started the pre-game ceremonies.  I took
over 100 pictures of the happenings, so here are just a few to show what it
looked like:

 

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So yeah.  Taking the
pictures with a broken camera the rest of the day was difficult.  But all is well on the western front.

 

Otherwise, we stayed in our seats on the bullpen wall for
the rest of the day.  With so many
people, it would have been hell to get up to go around, so we stayed put.  Don’t worry, all season we will be doing all
kinds of random interesting stuff, but today was about chilling at Opening Day.

 

Here are some shots from the seats I got of both bullpens
and the field (1-Arrieta warming up, 2-Porcello warming up, 3-players on field
for the anthem, 4-Jose Valverde getting annoyed by the hecklers in front of
us):

 

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And more (1-Romeo and some of the crowd, 2-guy on the field,
3-Ronnie and bullpen guys during God Bless America, 4-the outfielders jumping
together when the game ended):

 

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My ticket from the day with my 2 baseballs (left is toss
from Thomas, right is the hit from Vlad):

 

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Oh, and by the way, the Orioles kinda messed up during
pre-game ceremonies on the jumbotron. 
See for yourself:

 

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The Orioles won the game 5-1.  Jake Arrieta got the W.  Brian Roberts hit another home run.  Yada yada. 
I’m not here to discuss the on field stuff.

 

 

A few other videos to check out:

 

During the game, a guy hopped over the CF wall and onto the
field.  He rand around then dropped down
to the ground, got cuffed, and finally taken out.  See it here
on Youtube.

 

And this video
which randomly includes Zevi, Tim, and Ben entering the park at noon.

 

And I am back at the ballpark for this entire home
stand.  Should be interesting.

 

Season stats:

 

Baseballs: 2 (1 hit, 0 on fly, 1 toss up, 0 found)

Autographs: 0

Orioles home games attended: 1

Orioles total games attended: 1

Total MLB games attended: 1

Total baseball games attended (MLB+MiLB): 1

 

 

 

 

Follow me on Twitter:
@2131andBeyond

2 Comments

Congrats on your quick start. I’m sure you’re just as ready as me for the balance of power to shift a little in the AL East…
http://letsplay162.mlblogs.com/

Definitely excited to see the Orioles starting off with some W’s, and should be interesting with the Jays and their combination of slugging and solid pitching. Could come down to the Rays in 5th even!

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