The Oriole Bird led the crowd in the 7th inning stretch song,… (Gene Sweeney Jr., Baltimore…)
The orange rally towels turned to white. Another capacity crowd filled Camden Yards -- and endured another rain delay.
But this time the Orioles rewarded their home crowd with a win, a 3-2 victory over the Yankees that tied the American League Division Series at 1 game apiece as the series heads to Yankee Stadium.
The win was monumental for the Orioles' postseason hopes – especially since the O’s have won six of nine games in the Bronx this season – but giving their home crowd something to celebrate was also a huge victory.
“It was unbelievable,” center fielder Adam Jones said. “I think for the fans here, waiving those white towels, I told you last night, it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. The national anthem, just the whole entire game, and I think tonight, to close it out with a win, it was even better than last night.”
Manager Buck Showalter, who has often compared his team’s resilence to that of this city, realized how much a win meant for Baltimore after 14 straight losing seasons.
“It means a lot, it means a lot to us, because I know it means a lot to them,” Showalter said. “There’s not a city in America that loves their baseball team more than this city, and I’ve seen it on both sides. It’s a great feeling for out players to give back the faith that they’ve had in them this year.
“We put them through some tough times,” Showalter added. “And the challenge will be after this season is over keeping that feeling. It’s not chemistry. It’s W’s. Show me the end game. They like good baseball. They like this team. The city is a lot like this team, and I think they share a real kinship with the way our guys approach competition.”
Even some of the newest Orioles, like left fielder Nate McLouth – who joined the team in August – have taken notice.
“It’s blown my doors off to be honest with you,” said McLouth, who played his entire career in the National League before joing the Orioles. “I had no idea that there was this fan base and this kind of passion. You kind of understand that after a lot of years of losing that it gets rough and it beats down on people, but they’re coming out and you can tell how much they appreciate it and just how they’re just taking their frustration from the last decade and a half out in these last two games. It’s been really neat."