Let's see now. One, two, three . . . 42 days until Opening Day.
You could smell it yesterday in the 69-degree air around Oriole Park at Camden Yards and feel it in the sunshine that bathed the promenade between the stadium and the warehouse.
But you knew it as a stone-cold fact when people lined the promenade outside Pastimes Cafe looking for jobs -- seasonal jobs, that is, the season being baseball.
Supervisors for ARA Leisure Services Inc. accepted applications from 640 people yesterday and Saturday for 300 to 400 jobs during the Orioles season. And many of the 1,600 or so returning employees showed up to have their identity photos taken.
"I'm ready," said Madeline Stansbury, who has worked 13 seasons at Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards serving in buffet lines.
Mrs. Stansbury, 55, and her husband, Bernard, 58, drove in from their Dundalk home. Mr. Stansbury is the bar manager at Bambino's Pub in the warehouse. He retired from Bethlehem Steel Corp. four years ago after working there 34 years. Now he and his wife work while the Orioles play baseball.
"We're hoping they'll go all the way this year," Mrs. Stansbury said.
That optimism was shared by others, including the unemployed who sought jobs such as cooks, bartenders and vendors, jobs that pay from minimum wage to $8 an hour. They filled out applications and were interviewed.
"We've had people with master's degrees looking for something to do at nights and on weekends, and people with no jobs whatsoever looking to make some money and have fun," said Erika Rucker, ARA's personnel manager.
Kirsten Somers and Raymond Mann applied for jobs at the exclusive Camden Club in the warehouse, and not jobs as waiter and waitress.
"We prefer 'server' these days," said Mrs. Somers, 38, of Dundalk. "I'm a professional server."
She's married, has two children and attends Morgan State University full-time, studying food and nutrition. She hopes to become a dietitian.
But she needs a job now. And one at Camden Yards would be special.
"Who wouldn't want to work at the stadium?" she said.
Her friend and fellow server agreed. Mr. Mann, 32, of Baltimore, works full time during the week at a residential center for mentally ill people. But he's available for ballgames.
"I'm a huge baseball fan, a huge Oriole fan," he said. "I'd like nothing more than to work up there [at the Camden Club]. Just think, I could see a World Series game and get paid for it. . . . Is this a great country or what?"
Mr. Mann and the other applicants received a keepsake, one that will come in handy if they get hired -- an Orioles schedule.
Unfold it and look inside. There it is, April 4. Opening Day.