With a new baseball season here, longtime writer gets to cover Orioles, revel in his first book

Community Times

The Orioles are preparing to start the 2017 season, which means that Reisterstown resident David Ginsburg will become busier. He's the Maryland sports editor for the Associated Press and will spend much of the next six months sitting in the open-air press box at Oriole Park at Camden Yards watching baseball.

In fact, Ginsburg, 63, has spent much of his 42 years in journalism at ballparks, writing about teams like the Orioles and Ravens. He also covers the University of Maryland, Navy and whatever else of note happens in Maryland and Delaware. However, during more than four decades as a reporter, Ginsburg never found the time to write a book — until now.

Ginsburg connected with former Oriole Rick Dempsey to pen "If These Walls Could Talk —Baltimore Orioles Stories from the Baltimore Orioles Dugout, Locker Room and Press Box." The book is scheduled for release in April, and Ginsburg recently received some early copies. Getting them in his hands made him smile.

"It wasn't easy, but it was fun," said Ginsburg, who lives in the Chestnut Ridge section and has made Reisterstown home for almost two decades. "I'm very proud. I had a great time doing it because [Dempsey] made me laugh every day we spoke."

The pair talked 25-30 times last year while putting together the book. Since Dempsey works on the team's pre- and post-game TV broadcasts, he and Ginsburg often spoke in the afternoon before the game.

Ginsburg knows the Orioles' history as he's been on the Baltimore sports beat since 1990, and that helped with this project. The book, published by Triumph, talks about Dempsey's life and times with the Baltimore Orioles and his take on the team now as a broadcaster.

This let Ginsburg fulfill one of his career-long goals in an enjoyable way.

"This was perfect ... and Rick was extremely accommodating," Ginsburg said. "He couldn't have been nicer. It was all out there. All I had to do was put it together."

Plus, Ginsburg, who points to Cal Ripken, Brady Anderson and Luke Scott as among his favorite Oriole players to deal with, was able to write a book on the sport he enjoys covering so much. His fellow reporters also know how much Ginsburg loves writing about baseball generally and the Orioles in particular, as well as the effort he put into the book.

"Dave has long been considered the dean of Baltimore sports," said Todd Karpovich, a local writer who often works with Ginsburg on Associated Press assignments and other projects. "Dave's talent especially shines with his coverage of the Orioles. His book with Rick Dempsey should be a fun read for all Orioles fans who want to get a look inside the clubhouse."

Said Pikesville native Ron Snyder, a digital editor for wbaltv.com who also spent several years covering sports: "While this can be a cutthroat business with reporters going after scoops, David is also the type of reporter willing to offer reporters advice on covering a beat. I've learned a lot from him over the years."

Ginsburg has been a baseball fan since his childhood days in Silver Spring. Back then, he followed the Washington Senators — Frank Howard and Mike Epstein were his two favorite players — and would ride a few buses into the District to see them play.

He's always loved baseball and especially covering it at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the place many feel remains the top spot to watch a game.

"I love it because it's unique," Ginsburg said. "Even though they can jam 45,000 people in there, there really isn't a bad seat. It's beautiful and hasn't aged at all. They knew what they were doing. They did take a risk, but it turned out to be the blueprint for many ballparks after it."

As for this year's Orioles, Ginsburg remains hopeful but wary. He believes the starting rotation will be the key, one way or another, and could determine how far the Orioles go in 2017.

Working on this book took up a lot of his time before games in 2016 and on other occasions. This year, Ginsburg won't be worrying about that, but he's accomplished his task. Ginsburg finally achieved a long-awaited goal, something he realized when some boxes of the book recently landed at his front door.

"I opened the box, and I glowed, and I picked one up and I smiled," Ginsburg said. "The fact that I could squeeze this in between O's games, Ravens camp, Maryland starting their first football camp under [a new coach] and Navy football, I didn't have time for myself. But it was worth it."

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