Here I sit in the pressbox of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. I am not a journalist, I'm just a teacher, a 29 year-old lifelong Orioles fan and I am here. 30 minutes before game time the groundscrew is cleaning up the field and the crowd is starting to file in. I'm sitting here, still in my work-clothes from today, wondering one thing: How did I get here?
What have I necessarily done to deserve this treatment? I mean honestly, I made some shirts, got noticed a bit, and here I am doing call-in shows for sportstalk stations in Long Island and sitting here, in the pressbox watching my team try to put an exclamation point on the most amazing season I have ever experienced.
I am in awe.
I have to contain my emotions, as per the custom of my surroundings. However, on the inside, I am bubbling over with excitement. MY first truly cognisant memory of an Orioles season was 1989, the "Why Not?" year. The year the Birds fought to the wire but were beaten out by the Toronto Blue Jays. I was six years old for that season. That was the season of my first games at Memorial Stadium where I fell in love with this team, this city and this game.
It has been a long time coming, and for the beginning of this crucial series I get to sit with a group of consumate professionals and I am endlessly thankful to the Orioles for allowing just another fan with a keyboard a chance to have this experience.
In half an hour the Orioles will begin the final chapter of this amazing regular season effort. I can't wait to see how this one ends.