We’re heading toward a holiday season fraught with uncertainty as we continue to hunker down and try to ride out the pandemic that has turned our lives upside down and is surging again. Thanksgiving is a week from today and many of us are praying for mild weather so that we can, as a means of minimizing risk, re-enact the outdoor feast that the pilgrims had back in the 17th century.
Whatever happens in the coming weeks, MASN will keep “Orioles Classics” coming as you await the start of spring training in February 2021 (fingers crossed).
Among this week’s offerings are a couple of games to remember from the crazy season of 2020, including the loudest breakout game you’re ever likely to witness. You can also relive a glorious moment for an Orioles prodigal son in the 1990s.
So skip the leaf-raking for now and settle in for some simulated springtime with “Orioles Classics.”
Thursday, Nov. 19 - 9 a.m. - Before he took up residence in the National League, the Orioles chose Matt Wieters with the fifth overall pick of the 2007 draft. The switch-hitting catcher played eight seasons in orange and black. On June 24, 2012, Wieters hit a two-run homer off Sean Burnett at Camden Yards to give the Birds a 2-1 win over the Nationals, with whom he’d sign as a free agent prior to the 2017 season.
Friday, Nov. 20 - 6:30 p.m. - DJ Stewart had a memorable 2020 in more ways than one. After he went hitless in his first eight games of the COVID-shortened season, the club sent him to the alternate camp in Bowie to get straightened out. And on Sept. 5, shortly after his return to the bigs, the work he did there began to pay off. Stewart tagged two solo homers that day in the O’s 6-1 triumph over the Yankees to begin a tear in which he’d go yard in four straight games while going 8-for-14 (.571).
Saturday, Nov. 21 - 11:30 p.m. - Wieters gave the Orioles a walk-off win on July 27, 2015, homering in the 11th inning against the Braves at Camden Yards. Kevin Gausman spread six hits over 7 2/3 innings for the Birds, and Brad Brach pitched a scoreless inning to collect the win. J.J. Hardy’s sacrifice fly in the ninth kept the Orioles alive before they went on to a 2-1 victory.
Sunday, Nov. 22 - 1 p.m. - We set the wayback machine to the 20th century for this one. Sept. 9, 1996, to be exact. The Orioles were battling for a playoff spot (they’d make it to the American League Championship Series that year) and kicking off a four-game series against the Tigers. The O’s lost on that rainy night in Baltimore, but Orioles legend Eddie Murray, back in the fold after six and half years with the Dodgers, Mets and Indians, hit a career milestone with his 500th homer.
Monday, Nov. 23 - 11:59 p.m. - David Lough cashed in the comeback against the Red Sox on April 25, 2015. The visitors scored a run in the ninth to tie the score 3-3 and send the game to extra innings, and Xander Bogaerts put the Sox up 4-3 with a homer to lead off the 10th. In the bottom half, though, Adam Jones led off with a triple, and Chris Davis’ sac fly brought him home. Then with the count full, Lough hit a liner off Koji Uehara that had enough lift to clear the right field wall and give the O’s a 5-4 victory.
Tuesday, Nov. 24 - 7 p.m. - It might seem longer, 2020 being the kind of year it has been, but this game happened just a bit over two months ago. The O’s enjoyed a 14-1 romp over the Braves on Sept. 14. We think you’ll enjoy it too, especially the third inning. That’s when Stewart, Ryan Mountcastle and José Iglesias all homered (the latter a grand slam) as the Birds plated nine runs.
Wednesday, Nov. 25 - 11:30 p.m. - This year’s Thanksgiving feast might be more sparsely attended than in years past, but you keep thinking about little details left to handle and don’t feel like you can sleep just yet. No problem. What could be more soothing than watching the O’s pummel an opponent? With a total of 26 hits, the Orioles offense thoroughly massacred Athletics pitching on Aug. 16, 2015 to record an 18-2 win.