Hall of Famers return, O's win and "there was greatness in our clubhouse"

I have mentioned a few times lately that not all days at the ballpark are created equal. Some are more special. We keep getting days like that around Birdland lately, and Saturday was sure one of them.

To have Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson and Eddie Murray at the Yard was pretty awesome, for the fans and the Orioles team too. The ceremony for the 30th anniversary celebration of Oriole Park at Camden Yards was well done, and brought back some nice memories of some wonderful moments over the years.

Then the Orioles' winning streak continued with a 6-3 win over Pittsburgh as 41,086 cheered them on. It was awesome to see Oriole Park rocking like it was Saturday. When I headed home the fans at the Yard were still rocking at the postgame concert.

I was just excited I had recognized a few of the songs. Had set the over/under at two and I went over. Yay for me. But that just capped off a great day and night for the fans of Birdland.

The Hall of Famers, No. 33 and No. 5, spent time talking to the Orioles players before the game. And after that they talked with reporters, and Murray was asked if this current club reminds him of the 1979 team that made Oriole magic a thing.

“Haven’t quite seen enough of it to say that (this group is like the '79 squad),” said Murray. “They have some guys here that you’ve seen take steps. They’re definitely getting better, and that is what it takes, is to get better and for your teammates to know it, but then get to see how you work and go about your job. That’s what works. Then they put in their work, and that’s a fun thing when everyone is pulling the same direction. This team, (there are) some guys worth looking at. They really are playing and doing it in an exciting way.

“In ’82 when we lost the last day of the season, all I know is Earl (Weaver) told Joe (Altobelli), ‘Don’t screw it up.’ He said, ‘They’re ready to win. Don’t mess it up. Just make the lineup up.’ And that is exactly what we did. There was not a doubt in anyone on that team’s mind we were going to win.”

During his talk to the team, Robinson told the Orioles, “you absolutely have been thrilling me … and the people of Baltimore. They’ve been waiting for this for a while.”

Later he told reporters the significance to the fans and city of having winning baseball return.

“It means a lot,” said the 16-time Gold Glover and MVP of the 1970 World Series. “I think the people really get turned on when the club plays like they are playing right now. I can just see it when I watch the games on TV. How the fans really show you what is going on, the young people especially. It excites me.

“I have been watching a lot of games and I think the community is getting into it now. As Mike Elias said, it’s liftoff time, and I believe that too.”

Robinson said “it’s been wonderful” in discussing how the fans still adore him.

Murray was honest to in pointing out that it wasn’t always smooth for him when he played here.

“For me, it wasn’t all ups. There were some downs here," he said. "Me personally, I loved proving people (wrong). There were some reporters that didn’t particularly care for me. But we played. And that is all I was brought here to do was to play. Those guys will tell you there was not one person on that field who had more fun than me. It might not have looked like it, but trust me, I had a lot of fun out there."

I hope he can trust that the fans in Baltimore are still excited to chant “Eddie, Eddie” and he is still loved by Birdland.

Murray was asked about the left-field wall at Camden Yards being moved back.

“Still hit it over it,” he said, and we know he would. The man is one of six players all-time with both 3,000 or more hits and 500 or more homers.

After the game was over, O’s manager Brandon Hyde talked about his team interacting with Orioles greats such as Robinson and Murray.

“Priceless day for our guys,” said Hyde. “We were so honored to have Brooks and Eddie in our clubhouse to say a few words of encouragement. Just greatness in our clubhouse. Our guys felt it, they were appreciative. The whole ceremony was fantastic. I think our whole team was out there for it to recognize some great moments here over the last 30 years and the people that were a part of it. Really impressed with everything, but the cherry on top was Brooks and Eddie being in our clubhouse.”

Earlier in the day, during his pregame interview on WBAL Radio and the Orioles Radio Network, Hyde discussed how big it was going to be for his team to hear from Robinson. He also let it be known the former Orioles are welcome in the clubhouse anytime.

“Eddie has been around a little bit here the last few years. I’d love to have these guys around more, honestly," Hyde said. "I talked to (Mike) Mussina yesterday and told him as much as he’d like to be around we’d like to have him around. I know they have lives outside of the Orioles, but they are incredibly important to us and this fan base and the history of this great franchise, and we definitely want to honor them as much as possible.”

Hyde continues to show he is a pretty great leader for the ’22 Orioles in myriad ways. Like yesterday, in how he handled and embraced the Hall of Famers and let them know what they mean to organization today and every day.

The win streak is at five: The Orioles got another well-pitched game, extending their win streak to five and improving to 56-51. During their win streak the team ERA is 1.91 and O's pitching has allowed three earned runs or fewer in six consecutive games.

The bottom of the order came up big yesterday, with the No. 7, 8 and 9 spots going a combined 4-for-7 with three walks, four runs and four RBIs. Nice production from Rougned Odor, Jorge Mateo, Brett Phillips and Ryan McKenna.

The O's bullpen combined for four hitless and scoreless innings in relief of starter Austin Voth, who got the win to improve to 2-1 with a 3.19 ERA in 12 games, eight starts with the Orioles.

Today the O's go for their second straight three-game sweep.

On the farm: High Single-A Aberdeen left-hander Cade Povich, acquired from Minnesota in the Jorge López deal, threw six scoreless innings Saturday on just one hit with no walks and eight strikeouts. The IronBirds beat Wilmington 3-0 as he made a strong O's organization debut.

Outfielder Kyle Stowers continued to make his case for a call-up, driving in all three runs as Triple-A Norfolk beat Nashville 3-2. Stowers ended the game with a two-out, two-run, walk-off double in the last of the ninth. He is batting .328 with 21 RBIs his last 17 games and has a .902 OPS for the year with 68 RBIs. Stowers has 47 extra-base hits to lead the International League.

Red-hot Double-A Bowie won again, 8-0 at Harrisburg. The Baysox got back to .500 at 50-50 with that win, but they are 23-8 in the second half. They have won seven in a row and 10 of 11 games. Joey Ortiz extended his hitting streak to 14 games. 

Orioles lineup vs. Pirates
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