Baseball fever carries Towson crowd to Orioles Park for Opening Day

Ain't the beer cold? Well, at 11 a.m. it was still on ice, actually.

Still, the nearly 100 faithful fans who gathered at Souris' Saloon on Friday in Towson were feeling plenty refreshed anyway, ready to play hooky from school or work for a round-trip ticket to baseball season to catch the Baltimore Orioles' home opener against the Minnesota Twins.

Ginger Johnson, 62, of Glen Burnie, was among the first in the door at 11 a.m., and was happy to have found a ticket. She couldn't find any through the traditional channels, but when one of her son's friends found the trip leaving from Souris, they jumped on it.

"I couldn't believe what we were getting for $20," she said.

The bus trip, organized by Bethesda-based Lindy Promotions, offered round-trip transportation from Souris' Saloon, a ticket to Orioles game, and two beers at Frank & Nic's in Baltimore — for $20.

The trip, like the Orioles game, was a sellout.

Johnson and her son, Andrew, 24, were beginning their 15th straight opening day pilgrimage to Camden Yards.

"She used to pull me out of school for it," Andrew said.

It began as just a mother-son trip, but eventually, his friend Andrew Stewart, 26 of Catonsville, joined the group.

On Friday they were joined by Tierney Johnson, 24 of Baltimore City, and Angie Didier, 25, of Towson — all appropriately decked out in Orioles orange and black.

"I'm an Orioles fan, win or lose," Ginger Johnson said, a trait her son comes by honestly.

"She always roots for the underdog," Andrew said. "She instilled that in me."

Next in the door was Joe Golczynski, 22, a recent graduate of Towson University who attended Parkville High.

He and his friends were interested in going to the game, and when they saw the trip from Souris — which was originally scheduled to depart from Charles Village Pub — they jumped at the chance.

"I figure if it's a nice day out, we might as we go hang out and watch some baseball," Golczynski said.

When it comes to the Orioles, he's "devoted, no matter what."

But despite the recent run of poor results, he said opening day is still a chance to get out with his friends and enjoy each others' company.

"Might as well live it while it's here," he said.

For Towson University students attending the trip, spring break at the school already occurred — March 18-25. But opening day counts, too — at least as an unofficial holiday.

Lauren Furey of Lindy Promotions said the trip was first opened up to students, though perhaps unsurprisingly, Souris' 11 a.m. start time was a touch early for the college students to arrive.

Furey anticipated that the two buses full of fans would leave for Frank & Nic's around 11:45 a.m. — so at 11:20 or so, there was still plenty of time for the late-rising students to get there.

But shame on those who registered and missed the departure — you can't start the season with an error.

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