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Bernard Malamud

Opening act

Opening act

The day the Orioles arrived in Baltimore, trolleys clanged down cobbled streets. Kids rushed to see Pinocchio at the Hippodrome. Banana boats dumped their bushels onto weathered wharves where the Inner Harbor now stands. On April 15, 1954, Baltimore had no Beltway, no Harbor Tunnel, no Jones Falls Expressway. Working farms still prospered inside the city; ditto, a row of bustling department stores. Nationally, April was a month of firsts. Hank Aaron hit his first home run. Elvis cut his first single. America suffered its first casualty in Indochina. But in Baltimore, the focus was on its new big league baseball team, a group of exiles from the Midwest hitting town for their first home...