In 1971, the club lost a memorable seven-game World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Huggins was a part of two more World Series, another seven-game loss to the Pirates in 1979 and a five-game triumph over the Philadelphia Phillies four years later.

That final World Series winner featured three future Hall of Famers: Palmer, Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr.

"In '83, I remember taking a personal day from teaching to go downtown and watch the parade," Huggins said. "There were thousands of people lining the streets, and the World Series trophy was at City Hall. That was a lot of fun."

But even though the franchise has struggled recently, Huggins has seen plenty of unforgettable moments. His most special memory was Oct 6, 1991, when the Orioles and Detroit Tigers played the final game at Memorial Stadium.


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"It wasn't the game so much, but the ceremony afterward," said Huggins, still emotional about that day. "Nobody knew what was going to happen. When all the old players came out and took their positions, it was beautiful. The Orioles have always done ceremonies like that extremely well."

In 1994, Huggins retired from teaching at Glenelg High School. But he stayed active with the Orioles, and also became a volunteer at the National Aquarium.

On Sept. 6, 1995 against the California Angels at Oriole Park, Cal Ripken Jr. passed Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played. Huggins was there for when the Oriole shortstop broke what was thought to be an unbreakable record.

"We knew that the number (2,131) was going to change on the warehouse, but nobody knew what was going to happen after that," he said. "Then Cal started his run around the warning track. That was a great evening."

Huggins has watched the careers of six Orioles who earned induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame and will be honored with statues this season at Oriole Park. While the exploits of the Robinsons, Palmer, Ripken, Murray, and manager Earl Weaver have impressed him, he also admires many of the opposing players who have come through Baltimore.

"George Brett seemed to always come through in the clutch, back when Kansas City had all those good teams," he said. "Derek Jeter always seems to find a way to get a hit against us. Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox second baseman) and Mariano Rivera (Yankees closer) are in the same category as Jeter. And (Rangers outfielder) Josh Hamilton is a really terrific player.

"One of the problems in my section is keeping the aisles clear from people who constantly want to take pictures of Derek. I'm down there probably dozens of times when the Yankees are in town."

While Huggins was honored with an on-field ceremony, his every day work is what gets him noticed and earns him the respect of fellow Oriole employees.

"Gordon comes to work with a great attitude," said Kevin Cummings, now in his third season as the Orioles' director of Ballpark Operations. "He enjoys the interaction with the fans and wants to make sure that they have a good time, win or lose.

"When I came here, I was stunned to find out that anyone had been here for that long," Cummings said. "He's had to stand in 95-degree heat and rain and we appreciate what he's doing in an unsung role."

Huggins admits that even after 50 years, he still enjoys his job — and loves working at Oriole Park.

"The park has all the modern conveniences, with much more space than at Memorial Stadium," he said. "It's still so much fun for me."