Belle time line

Opening Day 1999

April 06, 1999|By Bill Free

11 a.m.: Albert Belle dresses for his first game at Camden Yards and puts on a warm-up jacket without his No. 88, making him the only player on the team without a number on his jacket.

12: 10 p.m.: Belle walks on the field for pre-game warm-ups and batting practice. He doesn't disappoint the fans during batting practice, hitting several shots into the left-field and right-field stands.

1: 33: Dundalk's Ron Kropkowski appears behind the Orioles' dugout during batting practice and salutes Belle with a sign that reads "Think World Series: Ring Belle 88."

1: 45: Belle walks into the batting cage tunnel near the Orioles' locker room for more batting practice.

2: 15: Belle sits in the clubhouse and watches replays of Wilson Alvarez pitching against the White Sox, Belle's former team, last season. Alvarez started for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays yesterday.

2: 50: Belle is introduced to the crowd and receives a loud ovation from the fans as he runs down the orange carpet from the center-field fence to the infield.

3: 20: Belle catches his first fly ball at Camden Yards, drifting slowly back in right field to make a routine catch off the bat of Devil Rays catcher John Flaherty for the third out in the top of the first inning.

3: 25: Belle walks to the on-deck circle for the first time at Camden Yards.

3: 27: Belle strolls to the plate for first time in the first inning and gets a generous ovation.

3: 30: Belle hits 1-1 pitch into a second-to-short forceout at second base, with Tampa Bay second baseman Miguel Cairo making the pickup and throwing to Kevin Stocker to force Mike Bordick.

3: 37: Belle battles the sun in short right-center field to catch a pop fly by Wade Boggs in the second inning.

4: 06: Belle comes to the plate for second time and hits a 1-1 pitch from Alvarez over the scoreboard in right field for a three-run home run that travels 349 feet and gives Orioles a 4-2 lead in third inning. Belle then comes out of dugout for a curtain call and raises his arms high over his head in a happy response.

4: 15: Belle gets an ovation from the fans in right field when he takes his position for the top of the fourth inning. He responds with a wave to the fans.

4: 50: In his third at-bat, Belle flies out to fairly deep right field, with Dave Martinez making the catch for the final out of the fourth inning.

4: 57: Belle digs Fred McGriff's double out of the right-field corner in the fifth inning and makes a perfect, one-hop throw to second that was impressive even though the play wasn't close.

6: 00: Leading off the Orioles' seventh, Belle strikes out on a high 3-2 pitch from former Oriole Esteban Yan.

6: 30: Belle hits a two-out, run-scoring single to left on a 1-0 pitch from Roberto Hernandez in the eighth inning, giving the Orioles a 10-5 lead.

6: 55: Belle finishes his first day in an Orioles uniform with four RBIs and a 2-for-5 performance.

Pub Date: 4/06/99

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