Orioles Make Senior Fans 'Home Run Happy'
Residents at St. John's Towers and St. John's Commons celebrated the Orioles with an afternoon picnic recently.
The occasion of this picnic? Celebrating the Orioles success. The residents, some sporting Orioles gear, snacked on peanuts, hot dogs, and lemonade.
The Orioles visit Texas Friday night in an American League Wildcard showdown. The winner advances to play the Yankees on Sunday.
On the day of the picnic last month, Helen Zengel, who’s lived here some 40 years, solved the town’s problem of picking either purple or orange to wear on Friday’s by sporting a shirt that cheered both the Raven’s and the Orioles.
See shirt in the slideshow with this post.
“We’re the only state who has birds as both mascots,” Zengel said.
Zengel loved taking her kids to games but has yet to see the new stadium.
While a majority of the residents had a love of the game, especially for the Orioles, Richard Carter lost that love years ago.
“I’ve got a very sad story to tell, when I was 16 I was going with this girl in town named Patricia and we went to a church picnic and I pitched to her and she got a homerun off of me and she pitched to me and struck me out. I’ve never liked baseball since then. I won’t go near it. That’s a true story."
Ida Roberts took grief from friends sitting at her table all because she is a partial Mets fan.
“I’m originally from New York, so if it ever came down to the Orioles playing the Mets, I would have to cheer on the Mets. Besides, they (team) don’t listen to me. I tell him to remove the pitcher and they don’t hear me,” Roberts said.
The residents seemed to enjoy today’s players, but really focused on players from the past.
“I think I like Jim Palmer before he started wearing pantyhose," Zengel said. "Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson, I liked them, too.”
Charles Smith, a resident of St. John’s Commons, has been a fan for years and thinks the team should keep improving for the next several years with Buck Showalter as manager.
When asked for just how long Smith has been a fan, a nearby resident yelled, “Since Babe Ruth!”
Smith was quick to respond, “Oh lord, I aint that old.”
Bernice Govans, has been watching the Orioles for a “loooong time” and enjoyed attending the games when Cal Ripken played.
“I liked Cal Ripken when he was playing; he was really good. I like Eddie Murray, and Mark Reynolds. Boy he is good at knocking those balls out of sight," she said. "They got some good players this year. I also like the manager this time because he is considerate of all the players. He’ll let the young play as well as the old timers. And give them a break. Some of their rookies are good.
"Yes indeed. They’re knocking the heck out of them,” Govans said. “They’re home run happy.”