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Baltimore's Birds flock together

Orioles manager Buck Showalter walks off the field before the Ravens Oct. 14, 2012 win over the Cowboys.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter walks off the field before the Ravens Oct. 14, 2012 win over the Cowboys. (Dylan Slagle/Staff photo , Carroll County Times)

On the top shelf of Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin's locker at the Ravens' practice facility in Owings Mills sits an orange, black, and white Baltimore Orioles cap. The support the Ravens and Orioles have given each other over the past year has been well-documented.

And for good reason. Both teams made the playoffs in the same season for the first time. The Orioles reached the American League Division Series for the first time in 15 years; the Ravens are in the Super Bowl for the first time in 12 years.

On Oct. 14 at the Ravens' game against the Dallas Cowboys, Orioles manager Buck Showalter was the honorary captain for the Ravens, while many players were in attendance just a week after the Orioles had been eliminated from the playoffs.

At Orioles FanFest in January, outfielder Nate McLouth said those players who aren't from the area have adopted the Ravens.

"Now that I'm here in Baltimore, might as well be the Ravens," McLouth said.

Many fans wore their Orioles gear at FanFest, but there was also a good showing of Ravens attire the day before their AFC Championship game win over the New England Patriots. Orioles first baseman Chris Davis was another player who said his football allegiance has changed.

"It's hard to be a part of Baltimore and not be a Ravens fan," Davis said. "I'm obviously a Cowboys fan growing up in Dallas, or not far from Dallas, but they're in a different conference and their season was over a long time ago.

"With Ray Lewis getting set to retire and the way the team's playing," Davis continued, "I'm rooting for them all the way."

The Orioles player who has given the most support to the Ravens has been center fielder Adam Jones. Jones flew from his home in San Diego to Denver to watch the Ravens' divisional round matchup against the Broncos.

"It was freezing, but it was worth it," Jones said. "They appreciated me coming out there and I appreciate them going out there and taking that game to double overtime."

After attending FanFest, Jones flew from Baltimore to Foxborough the day of the Ravens' game against the Patriots. Jones and Baltimore's Olympic star Michael Phelps were on the Ravens' sideline and in the locker room after the game.

Early in the Ravens' season, late in the Orioles', several Ravens wore orange "BUCKle Up" Orioles T-shirts following an October practice. Safety Ed Reed alluded to the popular Orioles slogan at his news conference following the AFC Championship victory.

"Stay buckled up Baltimore," Reed said. "Didn't we tell you?"

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