Note: This is the first in a series of posts I’m planning on memorable games I’ve attended over the years.
I can’t remember half the games I’ve gone to. And the moments I do remember, I’d have a hard time locating the exact game. But there are a number that stand out. My first Memorable Moment is one of those occasions where I simply didn’t expect what happened given the time period.
The game: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BAL/BAL200607300.shtml
Date: July 30, 2006
Location: Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Final score: Orioles 8, White Sox 7
The Orioles were mired near the bottom of the AL East, in the midst of yet another losing season. The White Sox were streaking along, 20 games above 500. I was about a month into a new job in Arlington, VA, and decided to make the trip up to Baltimore and spend some time hanging out with my sister. And in my family, if you can go to a baseball game as part of any trip, you do it.
So we found ourselves sitting along the third base line, probably 20 rows up. Or in the upper deck, I can’t really remember those details. Heck, the only thing I really remember is the 8th and 9th innings. The O’s had been up 6-4 headed into the 8th, before Jermaine Dye hit a 3 run bomb off of Todd Williams. Talk about turning a sweet day into sour in a hurry.
Heading into the bottom of the 9th, I remember blabbering to my sister about this Bobby Jenks fellow. Young guy who had just been to his first All Star game. Unhittable at times. I was convinced there was no way we could get even a hit off of him. I just kept talking about how good he was, though my sister remained optimistic. For me, it was about to be 1-2-3 and time to go home with the L hanging around our necks the rest of the day.
But then the unthinkable happened. Jenks imploded. After an out by Melvin Mora took the White Sox’s win expectancy up to 88%, there wasn’t a single out recorded. Miggy Tejada hit by pitch. Gibbons single, Tejada to third. Conine single to drive in Tejada, Tatis (PR for Gibbons) to third. Intentional walk to Corey Patterson to load the bases. Seriously, Corey Patterson. And the game winner, a single up the middle by Javy Lopez. This was his next-to-last game as an Oriole, in his last season.
The pure emotion that flows out of your body at that moment when you go from losing a game to winning it is incredible. It has to be one of the reasons so many of us follow sports, baseball in particular. You shout, you high five, you dance around. Nothing’s quite like it. And that day, that game, provided such an opportunity to exult in us beating them.
Do you have any memorable games you’ve been to over the years? I’d love to hear from you…