xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Baltimore County rally roots for the O-R-I-O-L-E-S

Even the legendary fan, the late Wild Bill Hagy, turned out for Baltimore County's Orioles pep rally on Wednesday afternoon.

"Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated," said Baltimore County Public Works Director Ed Adams impersonating the reknowned Hagy, who died in 2007. Adams wore a fake beard and straw cowboy-style hat like the one worn by Hagy. "I'm feeling pretty good right now."

Advertisement

Dozens of county employees and Baltimore Orioles fans crowded into Patriot Plaza outside the Baltimore County Circuit Court in Towson for the rally. This, as the Birds gear up to face the Detroit Tigers in the opener of the best-of-five American League Division Series Thursday at Camden Yards. First pitch for the sold-out game is at 5:37 p.m. on Oct. 2 and the game will air nationally on TBS.

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz emceed the rally, which featured a cheer led by Adams as Hagy, who joked that it was in section 34 at old Memorial Stadium where "we learned how to spell." Adams then misspelled Orioles in Hagy's famous cheer, O-R-I-O-L-E-S, before nailing it on take two.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Hagy, who became an icon associated with the Orioles, was known for leading the raucous "Roar from 34."

But Wild Bill was far from the only one who bled the Orioles' colors, black and orange, on Wednesday. The county held a contest to find the biggest Orioles fan in the crowd based on who was wearing the most outrageous gear, ultimately crowning Nancy Cox, of Catonsville, the winner among five finalists.

Cox, who works in the Baltimore County Office of Budget and Finance, donned a wig of orange and a homemade shirt using an applique of a heart-shaped cutout from the Orioles' "We Won't Stop" giveaway shirts and also incorporating a picture of her favorite player, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones.

"This is excitement for the World Series," Cox said. "We have to believe, right? They deserve it, truly deserve it."

Advertisement

Cox won an autographed photo of Orioles relief pitcher Darren O'Day and the runner-up won one of reliever Tommy Hunter. Cox and the other finalists also each took home a pair free tickets — not to the American League Division Series, but to the Sugarloaf Craft Festival later this month at Timonium Fairgrounds.

Diane O'Brien, of Parkville, now works in the county's department of aging but in the 1970s worked as a minor league secretary for the team. She was at the rally wearing an orange jersey.

"There was nothing like it, nothing like sitting out there in those stands" during the playoffs, she said. O'Brien said she was working for the Orioles in 1979 during the playoffs and the World Series.

Coworker Lynn Wenzl, of Cockeysville, said she felt good about the team's chances as she waved a giant orange foam finger.

"Fabulous," she said. "It's been how many years — 20-something, right?"

The rally also featured music including the audio from the recent We Won't Stop team video (featuring Cassio Monroe's "Under the Lights") and classic songs like "Orioles Magic," "Talkin' Baseball" and "A World of Orioles Baseball."

Also appearing: The Bird, who joined Kamenetz to toss beads and shirts into the crowd. The orange shirts read "Baltimore County O's Fan."

Though the Oriole Bird attended the rally, the appearance was not officially sponsored by the team. Rather, it was supported by the Baltimore County Office of Tourism and Promotion as well as the county's business associations and chambers of commerce. In fact, while fans were celebrating in Towson, the Orioles held a rally at Baltimore's Hard Rock Cafe.

The official We Won't Stop rallies will continue through at least Sunday, Oct. 5. A team rally will be held Saturday in Lutherville from 11 a.m. to noon at the AT&T store at 1803 York Rd.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement