my first home opener...not that I was in attendance at Memorial Stadium that day. But there's a chance it was on the TV or radio at our old rowhome in Middlesex. It wasn't a pretty game by any definition. The O's lost to the Royals 7-2 in a sloppy game that featured two errors by each team. Kansas City hit three home runs (Jerry Martin, Willie Aikens, and George Brett); Baltimore hit into three double plays. Dan Ford, of all people, was the only member of the Birds with more than one hit. He went 2-for-4 with a double and scored both Oriole runs, but also muffed a fly ball to plate the first Royals run. Of course, the 1983 season ended on a much happier note, with the Orioles hoisting their third World Series trophy. I didn't know what was going on, but my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles were all happy. Every one of them rooted for the O's; some day, I would too.
I'm doing this bit of navel gazing tonight after reading a great blog post by Matt Taylor of Roar from 34. Yesterday Matt watched the home opener in his living room with his newborn son and reflected on the lessons from the game that he would want to share with his child. As you might expect, these lessons are about being not only a good fan, but also a good person. I love the turn of phrase in his opening sentence: "Orioles baseball has been a conversation between generations in my family". The same is true for me, and I suspect it's the case for many of you. Let's keep the conversation going, whether the subject is Dan Ford or Brooks Robinson or Zach Britton.