"I wasn't sure if I was insulting people," he says. "At first some people thought it was real."
But the act quickly became a huge hit. A professional magician, he began doing magic tricks, too, always between innings or during pitching changes and rain delays, because the lifelong baseball fan always knew the game came first.
Most of his tricks had baseball themes. He'd take orange and black paper, tear it into strips, sprinkle the strips with "magic dust" and turn them into Orioles' floppy hats. He'd take a pack of saltine crackers and a jack from a deck of cards and turn it into a box of Crackerjacks.
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Sports Legends Museum, 301 West Camden Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
The fans loved it. And between his Zillbilly skits and magic acts, it was as if Charlie Zill had found his calling.
"I love making people smile," he said. "Always have."
Zill was weaker than ever. The chemo had robbed him of his hair. Fans were telling him they were praying for him.
But it was the final home game of the season. And on that rainy, chilly night, just as the Orioles dug deep to win 3-2 and tie the series at one game apiece, Charlie Zill willed himself to put on another show.
The seventh inning came and "Country Boy" blared and he launched into the full Zillbilly dance, feeling the adrenaline kick in as it always did.
"They flashed it on the video board and the crowd went wild," he recalled. "The Oriole Bird was on the dugout playing the orange fiddle I gave him."
But the moment was bittersweet. The whole time, Zill wondered if it would be the last time he'd dance in the aisles at an Orioles game and wave his straw hat and feel the love from the crowd.
"I had a feeling it might be," he says. "I was really weak then. I was going bad on the chemo, too."
But there won't be any more of that. The last round of chemo scarred his lungs so badly he had to stop treatment. His lung capacity is down to 20 percent of normal.
Now he sits in the house in Red Lion with all these great Camden Yards memories, hoping and praying for a miracle.
The new baseball season is almost here. Maybe he gets a couple more games in the warm sunshine.
That would be nice to see.
Listen to Kevin Cowherd Tuesdays at 7:20 a.m. on 105.7 The Fan's "The Norris and Davis Show."