As the end of the Major League Baseball regular season drew to a close this year, something that hadn't happened in a long time came to pass: the Baltimore Orioles made it to the postseason, winning the wild card playoff with the Rangers and then dropping their divisional round playoff with the Yankees.
All-in-all, the 2012 season was a success for the Orioles, who hadn't make the playoffs since 1997.
Some credit the team management, some the players, most likely both. This is baseball, though, a sport notorious for its legendary superstitions. Shaving a beard will break a winning streak. Stepping on a foul line will bring bad luck hitting in the next half inning. There are plenty of superstitions to go around, so deep down we all know it was the switch back to the old cartoon Oriole bird that brought about the first really strong season since, well, since the old days when the cartoon bird was in use.
Unfortunately in Aberdeen, the Orioles 2012 success didn't rub off on the IronBirds. For the hometown boys, 2012 was just the team's latest last place finish. The IronBirds, an Orioles farm team, were hatched in the midst of the Orioles non-cartoon bird era, and they have followed in the losing flight path ever since.
Come 2013, though, there may be hope: As the Orioles did last year, the IronBirds this year have gone with a new look for the IronBird. While both old and new are in the cartoon style, the new one is more of a stylized serious comic book creature. It has an all business look.
If it worked for the Orioles, who knows, maybe it will work in Aberdeen. Let's hope so. A winning season at Ripken Stadium sure would be nice.