There’s just something soothing about turning that calendar over to a new year. I love setting goals and love the openness of the blank canvas that is those beautiful 365 days ahead.
However annoying it may be, I’ve always been that “new year, new me” type person. In fact, my resolution list for 2017 includes over 20 items. I know, I know, I’m insane. Some of them are simple though — I want read at least a page of a book per day this year. Some of them are more complex — I’d like to travel to cities across three different continents.
It’s always been fun for me to jot down my goals in a note on my iPhone and look back on them 12 months later. Last night I completed that list and I have a few that I feel are relevant to you, as a Baltimore sports fan.
So here ya go.
1. I Finally Want To Visit Ed Smith Stadium
I consider myself to be a pretty big Orioles fan. The O’s are by far my favorite sports team. When I lived in Baltimore, I used to love hearing Joe Angel come on the radio from Sarasota for the first broadcast of Spring Training. It gave me hope that the terrible winter would come to an end and made me look forward to a summer filled with watching baseball every night. It’s the greatest feeling ever.
Last year, I finally got a chance to watch the Orioles play Spring baseball, but it was at the ESPN Wide World of Sports where they faced the Braves on the road. I’ve always wanted to make the trek to Sarasota to see those Camden Yards-esque green seats and hear Thank God I’m A Country Boy during the seventh inning stretch. Now that I’m in Florida, there’s absolutely no excuse not to go — although I said that last year too.
2. Visit A New Baseball Stadium
Over the past few years, I’ve been great about seeing new stadiums. When living in Maryland I took advantage of the ones nearby and saw Nationals Park in D.C., Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, and Citi Field and Yankee Stadium in New York. My dad and I have also traveled to watch the O’s play in Chicago against the Cubs, Miami against the Marlins and most recently to Tampa against the Rays at the Trop. Beaches and baseball has become an annual tradition for the whole Wilt family now. We’re almost finished planning the 2017 trip.
This year, I’ve got to get a little more creative. Perhaps I can take a weekend and drive north to Atlanta to see the Braves new stadium. Nick Markakis deserves a few more cheers anyway.
3. Consolidate My Collection Of Baltimore Sports Memorabilia
Over the years, I’ve accumulated some pretty cool and meaningful pieces of Baltimore sports memorabilia. I was fortunate enough to get every miniature statue when the Orioles gave them away for their Hall of Famers during their yearlong legends celebration in 2012. Art Donovan signed a can of Schlitz for me when I met him back in 2011. I also have my ticket stub from the first ever Ravens’ regular season game at Memorial Stadium back in 1996.
In addition to that stuff, I have a Brian Roberts bobblehead in which he’s supposed to be high-fiving Melvin Mora — except I don’t have Melvin Mora. I have a whole bunch of irrelevant Ravens bobbleheads that were sold at gas stations over the years and baseballs signed by guys that had a few forgettable seasons with the Orioles.
It’s time to decide what to keep and display and what to say good bye to. Surely, someone on eBay will want an Aubrey Huff signed baseball. Or maybe they have that Mora bobblehead, but desperately need B-Rob to complete the high-five. I’m here to help.
So that’s what I’ve got. I’m looking forward to 2017 and to accomplishing my three sports related resolutions. Have you set any goals for yourself?