Hard to believe that the "boys of summer" are 60.

True, however, it is. The Orioles organization recently hosted a star-studded 60th anniversary celebration of the start of the American League Orioles, Baltimore's own "boys of summer."


Opening Day for the big league Orioles was in the spring of 1954.

1954: Turn back your mental clock.

Many Baltimoreans were concentrating on the Birds. What else involved their time and interests?

Do I consult an encyclopedia as I would have done in 1954? Of course not; I go to the Internet, which in 1954 wasn't even a word in my vocabulary.

First of all, Eisenhower was president. Almost everybody liked Ike, a two-termer.

Families gathered in front of their not-flat TV screens to enjoy varied laughs from "I Love Lucy." The wacky antics of Lucy, Ethel, Ricky and Fred were weekly favorites.

Saturday night TV fans applauded Jackie Gleason, not to mention sidekick Art Carney.

Other 1954 families played Yahtzee for the first time, and young brothers raced just-introduced matchbox cars.

So back to baseball. The new Orioles struggled unsuccessfully in that first season. The New York Giants won the World Series.

My own mental clock goes back to that 1954 Opening Day. As a young reporter assigned by a newspaper city editor to cover opening day from a feature angle, what do you think I looked for first upon entering the now-gone Memorial Stadium? A telephone, then a reporter's friend.

Later, calling a city desk staffer, I would dictate a feature on Opening Day.

Today would I locate a telephone? Of course not. I'd use my cell phone and not even have to drop a dime in a slot.

Bygone also are those men's snap-brim hats worn by many fans. And what happened to loafers and bobby sox, then on teenaged girls who took holiday from school?

Even in the 21st century, however, there are some constants.


Baseball fans still dream of a World Series victory and they go wild when one of our 2014 "boys of summer" hits a home run.