Over the last fifteen years I've gone from fanatical Orioles fan to anti-MLB curmudgeon. I find the sport in its current state unwatchable. And no, my lack of interest has nothing to do with the anemic Orioles; my most fanatical baseball years included the late 80s, wherein Baltimore achieved abysmal lows uknown in their previously storied history.
But despite my detestation of the game, I was horrified to read in the Baltimore Sun yesterday about the plight of Sammy Stewart, who was one of my favorite players back when the Orioles were loaded with strange-looking and loveable characters who could just fucking play. Half the time the team looked like roadies for the Allman Brothers. Reading about Stewart brought a lot of that joy back, and I felt the first nostalgia for baseball I'd felt in a decade. Screw the polished Camden Yards, with its comped seating for execs who like Toronto, Boston, and New York better than the Birds. I'll take the cheap seats at Memorial Stadium any time.
And Sammy-I hope you can pick yourself up, man. Every time I see Wild Bill Hagy drive around Towson in his Jimmy's Cab I think of you and that hair do and that ass-kicking slider.