The Hall of Fame features one glass case devoted to the Orioles' powerhouses of the 1960s and 1970s, and it proved a favorite gathering spot for Baltimore fans yesterday as they streamed into town for the induction.
It was hard to move 3 feet anywhere in the museum without bumping into a person in orange. But traffic was thicker at the case, where scores of fans stopped to gawk and point digital cameras at jerseys of Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Eddie Murray, Earl Weaver and Jim Palmer.
"I'm a child of 33rd Street, where the thunder roared and the magic happened," said Steve Frederick of Upperco. "Cal was a part of that and kind of the last part, so I wanted to celebrate that."
Frederick and his wife, Shirley, drove up Thursday and camped 20 miles outside Cooperstown. They agreed before they married 17 years ago that they would travel to Cal Ripken Jr.'s expected induction.
Steve Frederick grew up a Ripken fan. As a freshman in college, he roomed with a Bucky Dent supporter, whom he eventually won over to the Orioles' powerful young shortstop.
A year later, Frederick recalled, the roommate was "Cal-crazy, asking me for posters and everything."
Frederick wore a Brooks Robinson jersey and, like many, spoke mournfully of his team's decline.
"But you forget that this weekend," he said. "This is a celebration of what a great man did."