Orioles greats Cal Ripken Jr., Mike Bordick, and Brady Anderson swapped stories of their successes in the mid-1990s, reflected on where the franchise went after those boom years, and savored the fact that the roar has finally returned.
It's been 17 years since followers of the Baltimore Orioles had to worry about altering their plans for mid-October, but local fans are happy to do it this season after the ballclub swept Detroit and advanced to the American League Championship Series.
As the Orioles get ready to play in the ACLS, orange fever permeates Baltimore County offices. Among die-hard fans are Anne Marie Humphries, who work's in the county executive's office, has decorated portraits of past county executives with O's garb.
As of 2013, 23.3 percent of Harford County's population of nearly 250,000 is 18 years old or younger, according to U.S. Census data, meaning almost a quarter of Harford's population has little to no memory of when the Baltimore Orioles made their last appearance in the American League Championship Series.
Despite ranking last in the major leagues in home runs and ninth in the AL in runs scored, the Kansas City Royals' 153 stolen bases in the regular season led the major leagues, and they had an 81 percent success rate. But Orioles catchers are primed to stop them in their tracks.
Call it karma or mojo or the most overused word in the sports lexicon -- destiny. There's going to be at least one team in the World Series this year that will have no logical explanation for its presence on baseball's biggest stage.
Former Orioles manager Davey Johnson, who was the last Orioles manager to lead the team to the ALCS and managed four other clubs, including most recently the Washington Nationals, seemed to pick Baltimore over his most recent stop in an MLB Network Radio interview this morning.
Hundreds of fans turned out to Oriole Park at Camden Yards Monday afternoon to welcome the Orioles back to Baltimore, a day after the team finished a sweep of the Tigers in Detroit to clinch a spot in the American League Championship Series.
Nelson Cruz broke a scoreless tie in the sixth inning with a two-run homer off left-hander David Price, giving the Orioles a 2-1 clinching victory over the Detroit Tigers in Game 3 of the American League Division Series.
Behind the scenes, the Orioles front office relies on a range of contributors, from old-school scouts who gauge talent by watching players compete to younger executives adept at the statistics-driven approach captured in "Moneyball," the best-selling book and motion picture.
Because he has spent most of his six-season career with the Houston Astros, Orioles right-hander Bud Norris has never had the opportunity to pitch in the postseason. That changes Sunday, when Norris will start Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Detroit Tigers.
With his team up on the Detroit Tigers two games to none in the American League Division Series, Orioles manager Buck Showalter adjusted his starting rotation, tabbing right-hander Bud Norris to start a possible series clincher in Game 3 on Sunday.
The Orioles hit two homers and then battered the Detroit Tigers bullpen for an eight-run eighth inning -- turning a one-run game into an all-out rout in a 12-3 win in Game 1 of the American League Division Series.
Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez said he was somewhat surprised that he was added to the Orioles' American League Division Series roster, but he thought he might have a chance after the way he had pitched down the stretch.
In considering his American League Division Series roster, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said this weekend in Toronto that his biggest decision was whether he would carry 10 or 11 pitchers in the best-of-five series against the Detroit Tigers.
The Orioles hadn't even thrown a postseason pitch in 2014, and already Orioles manager Buck Showalter has rolled out the heavy artillery. Brooks Robinson, the 1970 World Series MVP, met with the club on Wednesday.
For many Baltimoreans, the story of the Orioles is the story of their family. It's a way for fathers and sons to talk, for mothers and daughters to celebrate, for grandparents to share an interest with grandchildren.
Adam Jones and Nick Markakis have different personalities, but when the two take the field together -- as they have on most summer days for the past seven seasons -- they become unified partners for one purpose: capturing the Orioles' first World Series title in 31 years.
The Orioles have hit at least 200 home runs in three straight seasons for the first time in franchise history. But as the club embarks on its second playoff run in three years, there is a question whether their biggest offensive weapon will work in the postseason.
In the first year under pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti, the Orioles posted a 3.43 ERA this season. That was the third-best mark in the American League in 2014 and the club's best since a 3.28 ERA on the way to the World Series in 1979.
Sales in Birdland are soaring, as the team advances to the post-season. Team merchandise sales leapt 80 percent in the last four weeks, according to SportsOneSource, which collects data from major retailers. In the last 13 weeks, sales rose 33 percent compared to the same period in 2013.