First place Orioles! How sweet it is!

orioles two orioles number one

So I’m watching the Orioles beat the Yankees 5-3 tonight and a kaleidoscope of thoughts and images smacked me in the face. It was great to see a sellout crowd at Camden Yards. The fans of Baltimore deserve a first place team. Seeing the brick walls and the warehouse brought back memories of Brady Anderson lifting long drives over the right field fence, Cal Ripken doing his thing day after day after day and only fully appreciating how great he was until I attended his Hall of Fame induction in 2007. I thought of my broadcast partners John Lowenstein, Jim Palmer and Mike Flanagan and how fortunate I was to work with them and call them my friends.

Mel Proctor with Cal Ripken

With Cal Ripken just before 2131

How strange that Rick Sutcliffe was calling the game for ESPN. He pitched the first game in Camden Yard’s history, which I called and was later my broadcast partner in San Diego for five years He’s great and I’m glad that I could have contributed to his success.

Talkin' ball with Brooks Robinson and Rick Sutcliffe

Talkin’ ball with Brooks Robinson and Rick Sutcliffe

How strange. I’m sitting in San Diego watching the Orioles. I’m in San Diego because I believed in former Orioles President Larry Lucchino who brought me to the Padres. I’m still here while Larry and his boys left me high and dry when they headed for Boston.

My head is already spinning when Adam Jones hits the deciding homerun for the O’s. He’s a San Diego kid. What’s going on here? San Diego, Baltimore, San Diego, Baltimore.

The  collection of thoughts, regrets, images, hopes and dreams of both Baltimore and San Diego overwhelmed me.

Mel Proctor (L) son Billy and John Lowenstein Orioles TV 1995 001

    Me, my son Billy and my partner and friend, John Lowenstein                     

People thought I left the Orioles in 1997 because Peter Angelos fired me the same year he canned Jon Miller. Not true. I had a great relationship with Peter and I’m so happy that he’s finally experienced baseball success.  I left because the status of my employer, Home Team Sports, was uncertain and my contract had run out. Shortly after I grabbed Lucchino’s offer to go to San Diego, one of Peter’s guys called and said, “Peter wants to know what he can do to get you to stay.” If only, he had called earlier. But I had given my word to someone I respected and trusted and so I headed to San Diego.

So, here I am in San Diego, watching the Orioles, feeling great about the happiness of the fans and ownership and wishing I was part of it. I think I’ll go to Sabatino’s for some pasta and wine. Hold a table for me Vince.

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