FSB In The Stands: The 20th Anniversary Of Cal Ripken, Jr’s 2131st Consecutive Game At Camden Yards

IMG_5221
Warehouse on Eutaw Street with the 2131 banners. Photo: Taylor Adkins/FakeSportsBar.com

BALTIMORE, MD —

In September of 1995, baseball was in rough shape.

The strike of 1994 had bled into 1995, creating a slightly shortened season and no defending World Champion since the prior years World Series had been cancelled.Β 

The World Series had only been cancelled once before (1904), and plenty of fans did not welcome back baseball with open arms.

Baseball needed a savior, and Cal Ripken, Jr. was the man for the job. Having not missed a game since May 30, 1982, Ripken was on pace to break Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games played streak in September of the 1995 season.Β 

The Nationals and Orioles; Rivals Everywhere Except On The Schedule

IMG_4514
Photo: Taylor Adkins/FakeSportsBar.com

Rivalries in sports are usually cut and dry. They consist of two franchises, from their fan bases all the way to the front offices, that flat out don’t like each other. When the two teams get together, it’s always a different feel from a game versus any other opponent, even if both teams are having down years.

The recipe for a good rivalry should include most of the following:

  • Consistently on the schedule, particularly in the final 1/4 of a season. Obviously helps if teams are in the same division
  • Geographic proximity

Looking Back: The Orioles Playoff Run To The ALCS

 

The Baltimore Orioles fantastic 2014 campaign catapulted them into the playoffs with the look of a team that could not be beat. Two sweeps later and the O’s are heading home, four wins short of their first AL Pennant since 1983. The loaded Tigers proved no match for The Birds, as Baltimore swept Detroit out of the ALDS by besting the past three AL Cy Young winners: Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and David Price. However, the script would get flipped in the ALCS, as they were swept tonight by the unlikeliest of teams, the Kansas City Royals. This is the same Royals team that trailed 7-3 in the 8th inning of a win or go home Wild Card game versus the Oakland A’s (and playoff goliath Jon Lester).Β 

Just How Likely Is The Beltways World Series Between The Nationals And Orioles?

 

photo(16)

38 miles separate Nationals Park and Camden Yards; this past Tuesday 21 minutes separated the final outs that would clinch the NL East and the AL East for the Nationals and Orioles respectively. Not since 2004 when the Dodgers and Angels clinched on the same night, had two teams in the same metro area locked up their divisions within a couple commercial breaks of each other. It made for great television, as MASN and MASN2 featured extended post game shows that covered both celebrations.

photo(3)

First Place in Birdland: The Baltimore Orioles Hunt for a World Series

As this past February was drawing to a close, the Baltimore Orioles were in Sarasota preparing for Spring Training, their fan base was bickering over a disappointing off season, GM Dan Duquette was searching the leftovers of the free agent market and Nelson Cruz was sitting in the Dominican Republic, weighing his future.

photo(15)

A cold, empty Camden Yards eagerly awaited what the 2014 season would bring.

Things sure have changed in Birdland, as the Orioles have the biggest division lead in baseball (7 games at this moment) and Nelson Cruz, the man without a home in February, is tied with Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Abreu for the league lead in home runs.