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September 6, 1995

With Cal being voted in yesterday, I was thinking of my favorite sports moment. That’s right, September 6, 1995.

It’s hard to believe it’s been a over a decade. At that time I was in seventh grade, which does seem a long time ago. The Baltimore Orioles and the then California Angels.

 At that time, before MLB Extra Innings, XM radio, and MLB Gamecast, the only baseball games I got to watch were the ESPN games, WGN (Cubs), and TBS (Braves). Naturally, do to my location and the fact of TBS, I watched a lot of Braves. I still have a soft spot for them and get down to 4 or 5 games a year. But I got to see very few Oriole games back in the day. So this made it even more special.

When the game became offically 2131 and the number 1 dropped down from the B & O side, it was such an electric moment. The flashbulbs were going off like fireworks. The roar of the fans was akin to the roar of a giant tidal wave. The applause sounded like thunder. Cal waved and tipped his hat. More applause. Even the Angels and the umpires were applauding. The moment was so right that even Chris Berman didn’t annoy me that night. Then he did the lap around the field, shaking hands with as many fans as he could. It was truly one of the most magical moments in sports that I will ever see. Even though I was just a kid at the time, I knew the greatness of this moment. I knew this because my eyes were starting to resemble a pair of leaky faucets.

The game was almost an afterthought that night. It was one of those events you had to savor because the likes of which are few and far in between. You knew to watch ESPN that September Sunday night. It was going to happen. It’s not like a 3,000 hit or a 500th homerun. Those are scheduled. You might have to watch ten games in a row to finally see it. But with the streak, as long as Ripken had a pulse, you knew he’d be on the field. I don’t think we’ll see anything like this again. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Barry Bonds will likely break Hank Aaron’s home run record this season. There will be a celebration, I will assume even if it’s on the road, but will it be anything like this? No and it’s sad. It should be a milestone magical moment, but because of the cloud that hangs over Bonds’ head and his rather stormy relationship with the media, it will likely be a hollow celebration.

Back to the streak, it was one of the nights were I will always remember where I was when it happened. I was sitting in the living the room at my parents. My parents were watching too. My Mom is a huge baseball fan and my father could care less about sports. But he was watching too and I could see him wiping his eyes.

It’s one of the most special moments ever in sports and it’s one of the great things us Oriole fans, and baseball fans everywhere, can hold on to forever.

2 Responses

  1. I couldn’t have said it better.. although that’s probably because I was bawling my brains out watching the game. 🙂

  2. I was born on September 6 1995. Thats how I became an oriole fan all the way in Nebraska.

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