Baseball’s American League Championship Series (ALCS) begins Friday. And, I know you’re rooting for the Kansas City Royals, but hear me out.
Baltimore is a fine, fine city, and the Baltimore Orioles are a fine, fine ballclub. There’s plenty of room on the train to Birdland and I’ve saved you a seat!
I checked StubHub Wednesday morning and Standing Room tickets for Friday’s game at beautiful Oriole Park at Camden Yards can be yours for just $98 a ticket. Looking for standing room tickets to Monday’s game at Kauffman Stadium in KC? $196.
(Dear Slowpoke, all those “cheap” “seats” are now gone.)
Baltimore is the birthplace of Babe Ruth.
They built Camden Yards – and centerfield – over the spot where he lived. He is the greatest baseball player ever.
Cal Ripken, Jr. and brother Billy were born close by. So were Harold Baines and Buttercup Dickerson. (Buttercup!)
Born in Kansas City? David Cone.
Advantage, do I need to spell this out?
Hint, it starts with a B, as in Babe.
Here are a few more things in Baltimore’s favor.
America’s first professional sports organization was born in Baltimore in 1743 – the Maryland Jockey Club.
The first hot air balloon to go up in the air with a person in a basket? 1784. Baltimore.
The first sugar refinery (1796), the first electric refrigerator (1803), and the first ice cream freezer (1848). All Baltimore. Yes, thank Baltimore next time you wolf down an entire container of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie with an oversized tablespoon after a crappy day at work. (What? Just me?)
Bottle caps. Duck Pin Bowling. John Waters.
Baltimore. Baltimore. Baltimore.
You know that song Kansas City? There’s this famous lyric:
I’m gonna be standing on the corner
12th Street and Vine
With my Kansas City baby
And a bottle of Kansas City wine
Guess what? There’s no corner of 12th Street and Vine. The roads don’t meet.
Nice song, though.
Still, it’s no National Anthem.
Stay for the “OH!” at the 1:05 mark.
And, let’s not forget … there’s Dancing in the Streets in Baltimore, baby!
Baltimore, Maryland is known for Old Bay seasoning and Maryland crabs. Kansas City is known for barbeque that is sweet and saucy.
Hey, I’m a vegetarian, you’re going to have to score this one yourself.
It was in Kansas City that Walt Disney dreamed up Mickey Mouse. It was in Baltimore that David Simon dreamed up The Wire.
I’m sure that Kansas City is a lovely place. Although, most of it lives in Missouri, not Kansas, which seems a bit shady, if you ask me.
Still, Kansas City is home to the first suburban shopping center – The Plaza. Kansas City’s Swope Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country – more than twice the size of New York’s Central Park.
If it weren’t for Kansas City we wouldn’t have Teflon-coated frying pans and electric hair clippers. Really. Those are really important things.
I mentioned that Baltimore gave us ice cream freezers, didn’t I?
Both cities have rich baseball histories.
The Baltimore Orioles have been a part of baseball – in one iteration or another – since the late 1800s. In just the past 40-odd years, these greats have played for Baltimore: Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Mike Flanagan, Mike Mussina, and Cal Ripken.
The Royals’ long and storied baseball history began in 1969, as an expansion team. It has its share of greats, too, I’m sure. Like George Brett and outfield-wall-climbing Bo Jackson. I’m sure there have been others.
The Royals have a big, lovable lion mascot named Sluggerrr.
The Orioles have a big, loveable oriole bird mascot named … um … I think he’s just called The Bird.
Both, awfully cute. Battle of the Mascots … Tie.
Both cities celebrate baseball’s history. Baltimore has the Babe Ruth Museum. Kansas City has the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and considers itself the birthplace of the Negro leagues. Both cities honor baseball well. They both win on that count.
Hooray for history!
So, does one team deserve to win more than the other?
The Royals last won the World Series in 1985. The Orioles in 1983.
Both are underdogs. Small-market teams that are regularly bullied by teams with far bigger payrolls (Tigers, Yankees). Both were expected to finish last (or nearly last) by almost every baseball “expert” this spring. Both are hard-working and drama-free. Both have excited, fired-up, feisty fans.
Really, both are deserving.
But, wait. Before you pull on that Royal blue sweatshirt.
I can’t promise you a puppy … or Stevie …
Not for sale.
But, there is this …
America loves an underdog, right? Who doesn’t?
Let’s look at the map again.
Nearly everyone in America is rooting for the Kansas City Royals.
So, who’s the underdog?
“I think it helped being the underdogs. It’s just going to get more fun.” ~ Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy
Let’s all have fun.
Ahh, who am I kidding?
May the underdog Orioles have a little bit more fun.
Let’s Go O’s!
Photo: J.J. Hardy. Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland. Royals at Orioles. April 27, 2014.
Some very persuasive arguments there, I’ll admit. You almost–almost, I say–tempt me, but I’ll stick by my guns and continue to root for the Royals to win it in the eleventh inning of Game Seven.
And hey, if the Royals win, I’ll stake you to a pint of Ben & Jerry’s (your choice of flavor).
Book it! (And, no sending my ice cream through the mail …) “Your” puppy-buying Royals vs. my O-mazing, underdog, scrappy, never give up, rescue-a-stray Orioles. Yay!
Nah, if it comes down to it, I’ve got some experimental technology liberated from a startup out here that will let me e-mail the ice cream.
One game in the books. Six more to go!
What’s the perfect shape? Why it’s an O of course! No beginning, no end, just perfect. Go O’s!
It’s baseball Zen! :)
And it’s the shape you attain if you eat too much ice cream and neglect to exercise. Uh… not that I’d know anything about that.
Boo, Casey! Hurray, Gloria (and Bloggess, of course)! Go Os!!! CheeriOs!
Rather have the win than the ice cream, though that’s almost a close call….
Thanks, Lynne … I think it’s ok to win AND eat ice cream. I’m hoping for that!
There’s still ice cream. Even in the darkest times, there’s ice cream. And cats–give Stevie a pat.
My sympathies. Goddess knows I understand how frustrating it is when your team just can’t put all the pieces together for days on end. C’mon over next time you’re on the left coast–I’ll take you to Double Rainbow and we can swap tales of “Next Year”.
Double Rainbow … Ice cream … Cats! Next Year! Feeling better already! (If the Orioles can check the sofa cushions for pennies, nickles, and million-dollar bills, and re-sign Andrew Miller, I’ll be just fine.) :)
But KC has Oklahoma Joe’s BarBQ. Best in the land.
KC vs Baltimore? I say, Go Cardinals (but I’m putting my money on San Fran).
I trust you on the BBQ … I know it’s an important KC tradition. But, all of my North Carolina friends assure me that tomato sauce as a BBQ base is heresy. All my Maryland friends assure me that the only “real” food must be pounded open with a mallet and doused with Old Bay. I eat Tofurkey for Thanksgiving, so ultimately, no one takes me seriously.
I would be delighted to see an Orioles/Giants World Series. Orange & Black & Orange & Black! :)
And my Texan friends (yes, I do have some, despite my comments about the Rangers) assure me that mustard and vinegar are anathema to BBQ sauce.
I’m agnostic when it comes to BBQ. I’ll eat any variety. And enjoy it, damn it! Hmm. I think there’s a blog post there. Regional BBQ in a steel cage death match…
Virginia BBQ hews to the vinegar-NC kind for the most part, but there’s plenty of dry rub and tomato kinds around, too. There is a local BBQ joint nearby that takes pity on vegetarians like me … it’s grilled tofu slathered with BBQ sauce. It’s not bad. Really. It’s name? The FU-Q. Yeh, we Virginians, we crack ourselves up.
“Some people are easily amused,” he thought as he tried to figure out how to question that name without sounding like an Abbott & Costello routine.
Oh, to heck with it.
“No, What’s on second. FU-Q’s on third.”
Maybe it’s only funny with a Southern accent. Anyhoo, some of the waitresses refuse to call it by its FU-Q name. You may pronounce the FU as in Tofu … or as in fun. Either way, if you say it fast and live in Virginia, guffawing abounds.
“It’s such a fine line between stupid and … clever.” ~ Spinal Tap
Nice Job! I’m pulling for the O’s!!
Thanks Nancy … What we lose on fan quantity … we more than make up for in quality!
As a Dodgers fan I understand how you feel right now. You have my deepest sympathy. As Bill Clinton used to say, “I feel your pain.” Sorry about the O’s.
Aww … thank you! I got to one of the ALCS games at Camden Yards over the weekend … that was pretty special. If you’re going to lose in heart-breaking fashion, it’s nice to be surrounded by 47,000 of your closest friends.
The O’s did good. Better than anyone expected … except me, of course. :) They played hard til the end, and were gracious in defeat. And, next season, we’ll win the World Series. I’m sure of it.
But, even in the off season, there’s still lots of baseball to talk about and write about, right? Looking forward to your posts!
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