If you weren’t at Camden Yards on Thursday night, it’s hard to truly explain what the atmosphere was like.
Simply put, it felt like a playoff game against the New York Yankees, one in which the Orioles' fans outnumbered the Yankees' fans roughly 90 percent to 10.
In other words, it’s something we haven’t seen around here since 1997. Something that the current players have never experienced.
Part of it, of course, was the bump from the Cal Ripken Jr. statue unveiling.
But it also has something with how this team is playing – and the fact there are finally meaningful games in Baltimore in September.
So enough of my words, here’s what the Orioles players said about Thursday’s win at Camden Yards, starting with a great one from Jason Hammel.
“I figure on Cal Ripken Statue Night we can’t lose right? That’s not allowed. So the baseball gods might have had a part in it.”
Hammel on the atmosphere: “Coming out, after I got pulled [in the sixth], it was amazing. Standing O. We appreciate that. The fans may or may not know but we need them. They are part of this as much as we are. The more they come out, the better we are going to play.”
Hammel, again: “That’s the way it should be. We are playing well and we can use that. They bring a whole different, whole new feeling to us when we go out there. We are down and they push us through it. Obviously the fans were electric tonight and through the rest of this run we’ve got to have them.”
Adam Jones: “Honestly, this is what the 90s must have been like here. I've always asked our trainer, Richie Bancells, how loud can this place get? I always asked that. After I hit that home run, he came up to me and said, 'That's how loud this place can get.' This place is loud. Having that support behind you is a plus.”
Jones on the explosion from the crowd after his eight-inning, tie-breaking homer: “That was the loudest I’ve ever heard Camden Yards.”
Jones on the sheer number of Orioles fans: There was like a little pocket of Yankee fans, a thousand of them. There were some scattered out. Usually, it's our fans in a pocket of about a thousand scattered out. This city is a baseball city, and it's the first time I've got the feeling of that in my five years here. I understood it, growing up and enjoying the sport of baseball that the city is a baseball town first and foremost. You've got to win. We're playing good ball now. They're here and we just have to continue to do what we're doing on the field.”
Mark Reynolds on the excitement: “It was unbelievable. The first inning, they’re on their feet. I was trying to talk to [Johnson] in the ninth inning. I was 10 feet away from him. He couldn’t hear me. It was pretty special. It was a fun night.”
And manager Buck Showalter: “You couldn't ask for better. A special environment. Really appreciative. It helped. It was a real difference-maker for us. We need a little pick-me-up after getting in at... I think these guys got in bed at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning. So did the Yankees, but it's a tough, challenging road trip, and that's the type of thing that really gives you a little extra boost. You could tell there was a little added something in the air, especially with Cal being here. I know how much our players respect what he's accomplished.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun