I’m not sure what the Orioles record is in the games I attended this season. I have a drawer full of ticket stubs, but I know I only kept the ones from the games they won.
Last night’s stub was added to my collection. Section 81, row 3 — although my dad and I sat in section three. I think we only sat in our season ticket assigned seats once all season. Sometimes we traded in our tickets and upgraded to something better or other nights (like last night) we’d upgrade our seats ourselves.
27,498 was the announced attendance of Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays. Camden Yards was just 59.8 percent full, but it felt like it was much closer to capacity.
Last night’s crowd was vibrant and full of great baseball fans. You have to be if you want to come to a game in late September between two teams that have been mathematically eliminated from postseason play.
Sure it was a t-shirt giveaway night and there was that one guy in the blue collared shirt that was way more excited to cheer for ketchup in the hot dog race than either of the two teams competing on the field, but overall I was impressed with the attentiveness of the crowd. Adam Jones made a stellar running catch on a Munenori Kawasaki fly ball to center field that easily saved two runs in the top of the eighth. The fans gave AJ a standing ovation.
A couple girls a few sections over tried to get the wave started in the sixth inning, but no one seemed interested. They were much more concerned with the actual game. I never heard anyone do the Seven Nation Army chant or yell at me for standing up and clapping in the top of the ninth when Jim Johnson came in for the save.
These 27,498 were the diehards. They were the fans that were supporting the Orioles before the playoff run in 2012 and they’re the fans that will be here long after. Through thick and thin.
This home stand the Orioles posted a banner behind home plate, as they do every year, that reads “Thank You Orioles Fans.” Thursday night, the fans came to the Yard to thank the O’s. I wanted to see them in the postseason again more than I can explain, but I’m grateful to watch winning, competitive baseball in Baltimore again.
That’s what last night was all about.