September 1, 1996, the Orioles lost at Seattle by a 5-1 score. Bobby Bonilla's solo home run off of Terry Mulholland produced the lone run for the O's offense. However, it wasn't a lost day for Charm City, as the Ravens beat the Raiders 19-14 in the first NFL game in Baltimore in 13 years. That game was also notable as the NFL debut for linebacker Ray Lewis.
Today, Lewis played his last home game in an illustrious 17-season career. Number 52 went out on top, as the Ravens exorcised a few demons by beating the Colts 24-9 in a wild card playoff game. Next week, he'll try to keep things going a little while longer in a divisional round game in Denver. Though baseball and the Orioles are my first sports love, I've had the benefit of watching and rooting for one of the best defensive players in NFL history for more than half of my life. I would have to say that Ray is calling it a career at the right time, but it's still going to be strange to watch the Ravens next fall without seeing him on the field or the sidelines. So for one day only, I'm turning this blog over to football cards so that I can pay proper tribute to Ray Lewis. Thanks for everything, 52.