Remembering 2012: The year in Baltimore sports
Baltimore Sun reporters and columnists highlight their most memorable sports moments of 2012.
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Teagarden delivers in extra innings( Baltimore Sun photo by Lloyd Fox / July 14, 2012 )
This was my 12th season covering the Orioles, and the highlights for the first 11 were limited primarily to canned anniversaries of past triumphs. But the 2012 baseball season in Baltimore, one that culminated with the first postseason appearance since 1997, was different.
The moment that stands out in my mind was Taylor Teagarden's 13th inning, walkoff homer on July 14 in front of a nearly packed house and national TV audience on Jim Palmer Statue Day that gave the Orioles an 8-6 victory over the eventual American League champion Detroit Tigers. Teagarden was making his Orioles debut; that homer was his first hit for the team. He was only playing because starting catcher Matt Wieters had been removed for a pinch-runner. That was when the already crazy season officially soared off the cliff of reality.
Perhaps the most surreal time for me was the 18-inning victory in Seattle on Sept. 18 that was the longest, frames-wise, of the 18 extra-inning contests the club endured in 2012. I didn't cover the 17-inning marathon in Boston that featured Chris Davis pitching, but that one was an afternoon game. This one started at 10 p.m., East Coast time, and lasted nearly six hours. By the time I arrived at my hotel from the park, the morning newspaper was leaning against my door and my family was heading to work and school on the East Coast.
Yet, for pure excitement, nothing beat the energy at Camden Yards on Oct. 7 and 8, when playoff baseball finally returned to Baltimore. Although I had covered postseason games previously, doing it in your hometown has a little more meaning. And the winning-starved fans of Charm City couldn't have been louder or more energetic. It was a long time coming, and they embraced it tremendously.
-- Dan Connolly