Lance Lynn

Orioles, Hardy write fitting farewell script in 9-4 win over Rays in home finale

Orioles, Hardy write fitting farewell script in 9-4 win over Rays in home finale

J.J. Hardy definitely wasn’t expecting the reception he received when he stepped to the plate for his first at-bat Sunday in the Orioles’ regular-season home finale at Camden Yards.

Over the past seven seasons, Hardy manned the shortstop position in a way that was truly blue-collar Baltimorean. He didn’t seek the spotlight, but his steady play and leadership stood out — setting an example for younger players to follow — even as he’s battled through injuries that have limited his playing time in recent years.

So Hardy wasn’t prepared for the standing ovation he received from the announced 23,424 fans, as well as both dugouts, before his first at-bat in the Orioles’ 9-4 win over...