Saturday, December 13, 2008
Orioles No-Hitter, 1991 Stadium Club Members Only
I just finished reading "It's Gone!...No, Wait a Minute" by Ken Levine. It's the memoir of a Hollywood screenwriter who realized a childhood dream by becoming a baseball radio announcer. In 1991, he made his major league debut on Orioles telecasts, teaming with Jon Miller and Chuck Thompson. It sounds like nice work if you can get it, but the Birds were godawful that year: 67-95, 24 games back of Toronto in sixth place. One of the things that struck me about his witty, honest account of that long season was just how many memorable moments there were in such a lousy campaign. He marveled daily at the otherworldly MVP exploits of Cal Ripken, Jr. (.323, 34 HR, 114 RBI), witnessed two no-hitters (one a four-pitcher combo against Oakland, the other a Wilson Alvarez white-washing of the Birds), and of course broadcasted the emotional final ceremonies at Memorial Stadium. Whenever the O's fall apart in another endless summer, I try to remind myself of the positive aspects of the long baseball season. Even the worst teams win 65 games a year, and there will be dozens of nights when it seems like your team is on top of the world.