Pirates-Orioles series brings back memories

ON BASEBALL

June 15, 2008|By DAN CONNOLLY

It's '70s weekend at Connolly's Corner Sports Bar - in celebration of the Pittsburgh Pirates being in town for real games for the first time since 1979 when, well, you know what happened.

That means Rich needs to break out the bell bottoms and Martha has to dig out the halter tops, miniskirts and knee-highs and distribute them to Jennifer and some of the other younger ladies.

We're playing all '70s junk on the jukebox. Some Donna Summer, some Bee Gees, some "Born to Run" so we don't all get sick on disco. And the SWAT theme. I loved the SWAT theme.

But there will be no Sister Sledge. There will never be Sister Sledge in here. I'd rather burn down the bar for the insurance money.

Anyway, the Buccos are back in town, and it's amazing how the memories are still so vivid for the guys who played in the 1971 and 1979 World Series. I had the pleasure of talking to some of them, and they were looking forward to the games this weekend. Jim Palmer broke down several ways the Orioles could have won in 1979. That man's memory is simply incredible.

Now I'll share some memories from when I was a fan, well before I became a jaded journalist. I was 9. It was Tuesday morning, Oct. 16, 1979. The Orioles were up three games to two on the Pirates and I was eating my breakfast in our dining room. And my dad, as he did every morning, had the radio tuned to WFBR and Baltimore DJ Johnny Walker.

Walker talked trash about how the Orioles were clinching the World Series that night and then played "Heartache Tonight" by the Eagles. I left for school convinced the Orioles would cause the heartache.

It didn't turn out that way. That night or the next. The kid in me still blames Johnny Walker almost as much as Willie Stargell. Anyway, that's mine. Share your thoughts on the Orioles, the Pirates, 1971, 1979, the Steelers, the Ravens. An open forum. We'll keep this one going all weekend, so check in and respond to the responders.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

For more "Connolly's Corner Sports Bar," go to baltimoresun.com/cornersportsbar

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