My grandfather was an Orioles fan who watched every televised game and then listened to every other game on his transistor radio while working away in his vegetable garden.

When we would visit him or for the short period that we lived with my grandparents, if I wanted to spend time with him I had to learn to love the Orioles as he did. It was pretty easy with four American League pennants and two World Series wins in my first 10 years of life.


My favorite was Brooks Robinson, but I loved to follow their daily lineup with names like Powell, Belanger, Johnson, and that other Robinson. Pitchers like Palmer, Cuellar, and McNally walked to the mound every four days and pitched complete games, win or lose, with little relief from the bullpen.

My love affair with the O's deepened when I could make the decision on my own on whether to follow them and arrange my own transportation down to 33rd Street or eventually to Eutaw Street. The names didn't carry the same aura as the ones in the late 1960's and early 1970's, but the results were still pretty good.

Singleton, Roenicke, Dempsey, and Lowenstein drew us to the ballpark on a regular basis and although Palmer was still in the rotation, McGregor, Martinez, and Flanagan took command of the mound to bring Baltimore a couple more pennants and a World Series championship.

And of course those two Ripken guys and Murray did a pretty good job themselves.

It wasn't the names that drew the crowds any more, it was something that developed during that time called "Orioles Magic."

No matter the situation, no matter how late in the game or how large the deficit, everyone in the ballpark knew the Orioles still had a chance. The players knew they were still in the game. Their opponents knew the game was far from over.

And the fans, well we NEVER expected anything but a "W" for the O's game in and game out. There was electricity in the air like nowhere else I've ever experienced. A love affair between the hometown team and its fans developed and they expected us to stay involved in the game and we expected them to play the full nine innings, nothing more, nothing less.

I raised my sons the same as I had been, making it to a few games every year and catching as many of the other ones on television or on the radio as was possible. We went to spring training and FanFest. I was a member of 65 Roses, a partnership between the Orioles and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, where my boys got to meet some of the players. And I was lucky enough to take my middle son to Cal Ripken's last career game, where he collected his golden ticket and a high five from the legend himself.

My interest in the Orioles waned as my involvement in coaching increased and they suffered through some tough years. I was a little, well a lot, bitter about the Davey Johnson fiasco and stopped following them on a regular basis.

Stopped going to FanFest. Never went back to spring training.

I even failed to renew my membership with 65 Roses, a group that does some incredible work for the CF patients and their families.

Buck Showalter has given all of these Orioles fans — the ones that have stuck with them through thick and thin and others like me who stepped away for a while — reason to believe in Orioles Magic again.

Camden Yards is buzzing with excitement as the Orioles head in to the final two weeks of the season, trailing the Red Sox for first place in the AL East and on solid contention for a Wild Card berth. The fans are doing what they are supposed to do by filling the seats that even a month ago sat nearly empty.

This team is different than recent ones because it gives itself a chance to win every game, which is what they are supposed to do. It's a team built by Buck with solid defense, tough pitching, sound fundamentals, and power and speed in the lineup to generate runs. They keep finding a way to win the tight games and holding on to late leads which bodes well for their homestretch run to the playoffs.


Buck has works his players like a magician, meticulously making moves that disrupt the momentum of his opponents, allowing his bats to give them the lead and his bullpen to shut the door on a comeback.

Bestselling author Blaine Lee once wrote, "The great leaders are like the best conductors — they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players."

Buck has brought back that Oriole Magic.