It all seemed to change when Buck Showalter arrived during the 2010 season. Here was someone who knew how to build a winner. He had done in New York. He had done it Arizona. It did not happen immediately but you could tell change was in the air. The nucleus of Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters, and Adam Jones was already in place but new parts were being added. Chris Davis. J.J. Hardy. Wei-Yin Chen.
And they were back in the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. Playing the dreaded Yankees. This was the last gasp of the great Yankee teams of the late 2000s. Teixeira, Granderson, Andy Petitte giving it one more go. And Derek Jeter while he was still a ballplayer and not the annoying icon he would soon become.
The temperature was in the 40s with rain a distinct possibility. It was an exciting game with lots of tension as the O’s hung on for a 3-2. But the thing I remember most were he rally towels. Most teams hand them out now for playoff games but this was the first time I had truly experienced them. Every seat taken and as far as the eyes could see and the ears could hear was an ocean of waving rally towels with a never ending cascade of sound from the crowd. You can’t really explain if you weren’t there but it was an experience I’ll never forget.