It’s not every day that the Oriole Bird is on the steps of City Hall, leading the Mayor, the City Council and several hundred downtown workers through a chant of “O-R-I-O-L-E-S,” but these are special days in Baltimore.
After making the playoffs for the first time in 15 seasons, knocking off the two-time defending American League champion Texas Rangers in the Wild Card playoff, and beating the hated New York Yankees in Game 2 of the Division Series Monday night at Camden Yards, the O’s head up I-95 tonight for a battle in the Bronx.
“How amazing has this month been?,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake asked the crowd, adding that the rally would send a message to the O’s players, letting them know that Baltimore stands behind them.
City Council President Jack Young said this year’s season reminded him of 1966, when the O’s swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. “I am looking forward to the World Series right here,” said Young to hoots and hollers.
Then, Rawlings-Blake and the Oriole Bird, in construction buckets, were lifted to City Hall's balcony where they unfurled a huge "Good Luck, Orioles” banner as streamers shot above the crowd. John Fogarty's "Centerfield" blared from nearby speakers.
Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke said she was literally praying for the Orioles to beat Texas so the teams could return home and play more baseball in Baltimore this season. Of course, now she’s praying some more.
“I said that if they beat Texas, I’ll never ask for anything again,” Clarke said, laughing. “But now I find myself praying again for us to beat the Yankees.”