One of my favorite memories is from the early '50s when my sister and I were taken to Memorial Stadium to see the Cisco Kid. He rode around the infield on his pinto horse, followed by his laughable sidekick. I remember how great it was to see someone person that we had only seen previously on a small black-and-white TV screen.
My sister, Sally Turcotte, who now lives in Contoocook, N.H., has a different memory. She remembers asking my father why we never arrived at an Orioles game before the middle of the first inning.
My father decided to show her.
We went to a game and got there at the end of batting practice. We all stood up when it came time for "The Star-Spangled Banner" and my mother started sobbing.
My father turned to my sister and said, "See?"
D8 After that we went back to our first-inning routine.
Pat Messick Towson
Our family held season tickets for all Orioles games from 1954 to 1964. In 1955, on my 12th birthday, I -- a cowbell-swinging, whistle-blowing, avid Bird fan who knew all the players' stats -- had a magical moment to remember at Memorial Stadium.
On that night in early June 1955, my family had just been seated when up the ramp of our section came Gus Triandos, in full uniform -- knee pads, chest protector, face mask and all.
He stopped at my aisle seat, handed me a baseball autographed by all the Orioles and said "Happy Birthday!"
I collected hundreds of baseball cards in those 10 years. I finally threw them out in my 20s. But I still have my wonderful baseball with its faded ink, and I still have my wonderful 85-year-old dad. To this day, I have never asked my dad how he arranged such
magic for his 12-year-old daughter.
Joelle Horn Baltimore
My favorite memories of Memorial Stadium definitely occurred in the general admission wheelchair section.
In 1977, I began my employment at the William S. Baer School as a certified occupational therapy assistant. I have worked with many amazing kids at Baer School who are physically challenged and use wheelchairs. Some kids were interested in baseball but never attended a game.
One night in 1982, I attended a game with one of my students who has cerebral palsy.
Tyrone C. is an intense baseball fan who absolutely adored Eddie Murray. Tyrone's mother worked at a concession stand and we met her after the game. We decided to ask an usher where Eddie's car was.
To our great surprise, he showed us.
Although it was a school night, we waited next to Eddie's car for 40 minutes -- Tyrone seated patiently in his wheelchair while his mom and I paced and the three of us chatted. Finally, a freshly showered and dressed Eddie emerged from the direction of the players' locker room.
I was astonished at how big and tall Eddie was up close. He was very nice, and bent down and autographed a baseball for Tyrone. He spoke to him for a short while. Then Eddie entered his car and drove away, leaving us with one of our fondest stadium memories.
Nancy Papa Doran Baltimore
As we bid adieu to Memorial Stadium, I remember someone who never donned a uniform, never picked up a bat or glove, never threw a pass or made a block or a tackle. Someone who was there for so many years to tell us what was happening. Someone who never forgot that the stars were on the field and not in the broadcast booth.
B6 Thanks for the wonderful memories, Chuck Thompson.
Leon Reinstein Baltimore
On Labor Day, Sept. 5, 1988, my husband, his father, his stepfather and myself (being eight months pregnant) went to the ballgame.
During the second inning, I started to have contractions that were one minute apart. My husband and I got up to leave as my water broke.
I had a police escort to St. Agnes Hospital and delivered my son before the game was over.
WBAL radio announced the birth of my son, which is how my brother, who lived in Washington, found out that he was an uncle.
D8 That memory will always live with me and my husband.
Donna Kieffer Baltimore
I shall never forget the day I was at Memorial Stadium enjoying the game as usual, when someone in the back of me dropped a lighted cigarette down my back.
I jumped up and was twisting, trying to make it drop out. Well, people thought I was doing the twist, since the dance had just come out. I was on fire that day!
Almeter Finley Baltimore
In an effort to encourage my children to play soccer, we took a trip to see the first Baltimore Bays outdoor team.
Not much of a crowd, I recall, but I do remember when the first goal was scored. The ball went into the stands. True to a football fan's mentality of keeping the ball (in the days before the nets were behind the goal posts) the kids grabbed it and ran. Of course, the players from various nations and cultures stood by, incredulous, and all but refused to resume play until the ball was returned, which it may never have been. I wonder if that ball is still around in someone's attic or if it was played to death in the streets of Baltimore.
Frank J. Verde Towson
Even from the Memorial's lofty upper deck
We saw the muscles in Mantle's thick neck
Saw the awesome height to which his homers soared
One belted over right-center -- struck the big scoreboard
The new '54 Orioles (old St. Louis Browns)
Hated the Yankees, with the World Series crowns
We were often there when Detroit came to town
Saw Kaline throw out a runner while sitting down
We remember Freehan, Cash and Kuenn
Hard-nosed competitors for the Bengals team
We remember the Bosox's Piersall and Jensen
Who roamed the old outfield's vast dimensions
Four hundred twenty-seven feet to straightaway
Long outs of yesteryear are homers today
We knew Williams' stance from wherever we sat
Saw his intensity and the day he spat
into the left-field-corner stands
In answer to the jeering fans
But mostly, we remember the Orioles through the years
The good years, the bad years, the boos and the cheers
Early years when they were expansion-team bad
Glory years when their lineup was the best baseball had
We remember Gene Woodling and Billy Loes
The way this one hits, the way that one throws
Can it be thirty-eight years?
How fast the seasons go!
Times change, players change
But the game remains
Mostly unchanging, a link between generations
With sometimes a hero worthy of admiration
Franchises are born, live, move and die
Faithful fans laugh, cheer, jeer and cry
Times change, stadiums change
Millionaire owners chart demographic range
Vividly we recall the green, green grass
And the feeling that we wanted this to last
That the world would stay young, clear and clean
And somehow the game was the best of the dream
When pitchers batted, nine against nine
Just eight daily box scores, reviewed line by line
Farewell to Orioles baseball at Memorial Stadium
All the memories and magic down at old 33rd
And best wishes for baseball at Camden Yards
New home of that proud old Baltimore Bird
Written by Barry H. Conner of Worton, Md.