I’m reminded this snowy Wednesday of the Orioles Opening Day game from 2003. The O’s won 6-5 over the Indians, in a game stopped in the 3rd inning for snow. That’s right, snow.
I still remember laughing with my friends about the thought of snow in Baltimore during baseball season. This winter being the exception, Baltimore generally doesn’t see snow outside of January and February.
I also remember being quite perturbed at the decision-making of the umpiring crew that afternoon – even after the Orioles won. In the midst of the worst of the snow in the 3rd inning, the Indians’ Ellis Burks hit an RBI single to right field. Except that, nobody quite knows where the ball landed or how the ball was hit – just that it eventually wound up in right field in front of Jay Gibbons.
Mike Hargrove, the Orioles Manager at the time, rightfully threw a fit at the idea that a ball hit into a white haze could somehow be ruled ‘in play’ and, worse, score a run. Immediately after that play, the game was delayed briefly to let the snow move out of the area.
Looking back now, the quotes coming out of the game are just fantastic – at least in terms of comedic value. From Ellis Burks himself: “What ball? I couldn’t even see it at the plate. I told the umpire I couldn’t see it. I asked him if he could see it and he said, ‘A little.’”
Bonus odd fact – the O’s won that game in the 13th inning. 13 innings of Opening Day baseball? Who could ask for better?
More fun time machine facts:
O’s Starting Pitcher: Rodrigo Lopez
O’s Winning Pitcher: BJ Ryan
Indians’ Starting Pitcher: CC Sabathia
Indians’ Losing Pitcher: Jake Westbrook
Also pitching for the Indians: Danys Baez
The Orioles Starting Line-up Read:
Hairston, 2B; Matthews, CF; Surhoff, LF; Conine, 1B; Gibbons, RF; Batista, 3B; Cordova, DH; Gil, C; Cruz, SS.
Deivi Cruz? … Wow.