2:56 PM EDT, October 9, 2012
It's October and you can color Baltimore a joyous sports city. And you don't need your purple crayon. An orange one will do just fine.
It's football season and the Ravens are off to a promising start. But wait ... the O's have not left the stage. It's post-season and, for the first time since 1997, the Orioles are in the playoffs.
Orioles Magic is back. And the fans, along with the rest of Major League Baseball, can only look on in wonder.
In offices, pubs and living rooms — not to mention online chat spaces — there are new names (new, at least, to Orioles neophytes) to speak of with awe and marvel. Machado, Wieters, McLouth, Ford ... the list goes on.
How did it happen? How did manager Buck Showalter do it? How did the bloopers turn into home runs? How did the rotation become such a powerhouse? How was the bullpen able to keep slamming the door?
(Actually, we at the Towson Times would like to credit Connor Schoenwetter, the 5-year-old Cockeysville youngster who was picked by Orioles staff on Opening Day to be the team's 10th man — but it may be a bit of a stretch to suggest his youthful energy rubbed off on the team. Maybe.)
At any rate, who cares how it happened? When given a gift, the proper response is "thank you." So, this October, Baltimore is grateful.
At press time, it was unknown how far they will go — as of Tuesday morning, the Orioles had pulled even with the Yankees in their five-game series, and were headed to New York. We wish them luck for the remainder of the series, and hope the result brings them back to Baltimore for at least a few more games.
Regardless, as the chill winds arrive and attention settles on the Ravens, Orioles fans can bask in the glow of an amazing 2012 season — one that, for many, rekindled those bright orange embers of baseball love.