I remember September 21, 2006 like it was yesterday.
For Miguel Tejada and Co., this ballgame was a fairly meaningless one. But for Detroit this game meant everything.
At 91-61, the Tigers were engaged in a fierce battle for its first postseason appearance since 1987. At the start of this game versus the Orioles, the Tigers were barely a step ahead of the Minnesota Twins for first place in the AL Central.
Now readers who have gotten to know me on Bleacher Report, know I was born and raised in metro Detroit. Prior to enlisting in the U.S. Air Force in 1998, I supported the Tigers when rooting for this futile team was tough.
But being stationed in Maryland, and living in Fells Point at the time, the Orioles had naturally grown on me. Thus, catching a game at Camden Yards this night was a great experience, to say the least.
After all, it was the same ballpark I watched Cal Ripken Jr. do his victory lap on TV from my hometown nearly a decade before.
But on this afternoon in 2006 I could not help but religiously watch the scoreboard, as the Tigers battled the Orioles.
As a famished Tigers fan, this was entirely natural—and admittedly, thrilling.
Minnesota was at Fenway Park that night playing Josh Beckett and the Boston Red Sox. Never before had I been a bigger Beckett fan. Take note I said Beckett and not the Red Sox.
The Tigers lost 4-3 to the Orioles that day, when Melvin Mora doubled home two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Fortunately for the Tigers, Beckett tossed a gem in a 6-0 Boston victory.
Detroit’s loss to the Orioles was a short setback, for the Tigers clinched the wild card that year, en route to riding a magic carpet all the way to the World Series.
Six summers later, I look forward to scoreboard watching at Camden Yards once again, especially after watching the Orioles beat Beckett and the Red Sox 7-1 Tuesday.
This is because this Orioles team is inspiring; for while it boasts nowhere near the talent the 2006 Tigers had, Buck Showalter and Co. house the heart of a lion that transcends box scores.
Add Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy to the mix (who per MILB.com pitched well in his Double-A debut), and we may be looking at an exciting team for years to come.
To watch these Orioles rise from misery and earn their first postseason spot since '97 would be a blessing.
I just hope the Orioles do not have to play the Tigers in the postseason. This is because I would be torn—even though it would surely be a dream come true.
Again, I appreciate your readership and welcome your comments.
Finally got a Twitter Account! You can follow me here.
Other Baltimore Orioles Articles You May Enjoy:
Baltimore Orioles: This is Birdland, Damn It
What O’s Can Do Now To Succeed in 2013
Showalter Deserves AL Manager of the Year
O's Legends Incomplete Without Boog Powell
Machado on National Hype Machine's Radar