Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Orioles Victory Card Number 19: Deep in the heart of Texas

Baltimore Orioles Victory Number 19: 12-11 over the Texas Rangers

1994 Score Jamie Moyer

We have our first reader submitted card! I'm 90 percent sure I own this card, but since I'm on the road right now I can't be absolutely certain. So, Saint Leo Mike happened to text this card to me and I'm using it.  (Normally if I'm heading out of town during the season I post a couple of drafts ahead of time, but I just plumb forgot this time.

The good news is that I was actually at the game! My first Orioles game of the season and it's in Arlington, TX. Globe Life Park, formerly The Ballpark at Arlington, is on it's last season of existence as a baseball stadium. With Link in town for work, I decided to meet up with him for a quick couple of nights of baseball.

What a night it turned out to be. The Orioles's bats, especially Pedro Severino, came alive and we were one triple from Dwight Smith, Jr. away from a cycle, something neither one of us has seen live before.

Of course, the Baltimore bullpen being what it is, the Orioles needed all 12 runs to secure the victory as reliever after reliever struggled to keep the Rangers off the scoreboard. The game ended with the tying run on second as Michael Gyvens struck out Elvis Andrus (kudus to the "Baby Shark" walk up music). The strikeout came on a slider in the dirt that skipped by Severino and all the way to the backstop.

As it was happening I was dead certain that Severino's throw was going to end up in right field and the Rangers were going to tie the game. Alas, the Orioles' bad luck extends only so far and the animated catcher made a perfect throw to Chris Davis to end the ballgame.

Walking back to the hotel, Link mentioned that he had never seen a game end like that. Therein lies the beauty of sports. Between the two of us, Link and I have been attending professional games for the better part of 60 years combined and still we see new things. 

There are also things, Holy Grail type of things, that we haven't seen yet. Neither one of us have seen a professional pitcher throw a no-hitter. Nor have we seen anyone hit four home runs in a game or for the cycle, both of which were in play last night.

I can't be sure, but I believe I've never seen a game live that ended with a 12-11 score, but based on the number of Devil Rays games I attended back in the late 90s and early 2000s I can't be sure.

Never knowing what's going to happen after you walk through the turnstile is part of the fun of going to a game. Every single time I've walked into a major league game I've hoped to see a no-hitter. It doesn't matter which team. In the back of my head there is as sense of anticipation until that first hit finds a safe landing spot in the outfield grass. Last night, it didn't take long for that anticipation to be quashed, but still we saw some fun stuff.

As I'm getting older, the exact details of games are fading away so I can't remember some of the accomplishments I saw in my younger days, if I saw any at all. There were a couple of Jake Arrieta appearances in 2015 were he flirted with no-hitters that were fun. Other than that, I would have to dig through the ticket collection to see what else I witnessed.

Now that I think about it there was also the 2015 NLDS Game 3 Cubs/Cardinals game that I attended (standing room only ticket). It was the first playoff game at Wrigley in years and one of the loudest games I ever witnessed in my life. The Cubs became the first team to hit six homers in a postseason game as they won their first postseason game at home since 2003.

I have that game recorded somewhere in my scorebook (currently tucked away in a box somewhere) and is one the reasons I keep score when I go to games by myself. As you can tell, my memory isn't the greatest so it's nice to look back and see the scoresheet. With that prompting I can remember the plays from there.

I can remember Derek Jeter's last appearance at Wrigley that went into extra innings and the applause that he got for what would be his "final at bat" growing smaller each time he came back up after the ninth inning. 

So yeah, it's fun to go to live games.  

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