Having grown up in Anne Arundel County, a kid whose mood was dictated by the Orioles' score, I can't quite describe what it's like, this many years later, to turn my head and see Brooks Robinson, Paul Blair and Davey Johnson walking toward me. Or to have Brooks shake my hand as if we're old friends.
Earl Weaver also walked past. So did Frank Robinson, Boog Powell and Jim Palmer in the next wave, all of them headed inside the auxiliary clubhouse for today's 40th anniversary celebration press conference.
I stood in the back, behind the television cameras, because I needed to duck out after a few minutes and race over to the Bud Light Warehouse bar for the pre-game show on 105.7 The Fan. I didn't realize that I'd have the best spot in the house.
I asked Boog whether he could still play first base.
"I can still hit," he said, "Can you run for me?"
"If I hit it right," he added after a slight pause, "you won't have to run far."
I only heard a few questions before leaving the clubhouse. Weaver was asked what the group talked about the past few days.
"How much they made fun of me behind my back when I was working my fanny off," he replied.
What made the 1970 team so great?
"Look behind me," Weaver said.