As we sit here on Christmas Eve, my thoughts circled back to former Baltimore Orioles’ manager Buck Showalter. First and foremost, I hope that he and his family are well and enjoying the Christmas season. But the reason he crossed my mind is in essence because the era in Orioles baseball that he represents is over. This much we know.
But Christmas is a very reflective time for a lot of people – myself included. But I find myself looking back years as opposed to just into this year. Buck Showalter and the era he oversaw didn’t just bring winning back to Baltimore. It brought pride.
Anyone my age or older had known the Orioles as a winning team in the past. Obviously the franchise fell on hard times – for 14 years. However there were a whole other generation of people who had never known the Orioles as a winner or contender. Buck Showalter changed that.
I would argue that it started in earnest when the Orioles knocked Boston out of the playoffs on the last day in 2011. However they also had two immediate winning months under Showalter when he arrived in August of 2010. 2012 officially returned them to contention and to the postseason for the first time since 1997.
While that’s all in the past now my hope is that the memories last Orioles fans for some time. Those years should never be remembered for the cold and abrupt end they saw in 2018. They should be viewed through the lens of the magical era that they collectively were. My hope is that’s how Orioles fans look at it. And with that said…TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!