Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Booing the Yankees? It's an Oriole Tradition

This post comes a bit late as the Yankees just left town but I discovered an interesting tidbit for juxtaposition.

The Baltimore reaction to Mark Teixeira when he made his Yankee debut on Opening Day:

Judging from the way the fans treated Teixeira, you'd think he had just issued a personal manifesto against crab cakes -- or Francis Scott Key. When he came out for a pregame media session in the visiting dugout, a fan in the front row waved a sign that read, "Severna Park Hates U Tex.''

The crowd booed him during pregame introductions, booed him when he left the on-deck circle and booed him again when he jogged back to the dugout after outs.

Now and account from Baseball Digest of Baltimore fans behavior during the 1958 All-Star game that was held at Memorial Stadium:

Everybody hates the New York Yankees, but no one hates them more than the Baltimore fans...Baltimore's fans never forgave the Yankees for doing them out of Pitchers Don Larsen and Bob Turley in a 1954 trade.

The Baltimore venom exploded at the All-Star game in 1958, which was played in the Orioles' park. The fans booed the Yankee's Yogi Berra when he batted for Baltimore's own Gus Triandos and cheered when he popped up. They booed the Yankee's Gil McDougald when he batter for Chicago's Early Wynn and greeted his game-winning single in behalf of their club, the American League team, with only scattered applause. And they booed Manager Casey Stengal of the Yankees every time he stuck his shaggy head out of the American League dugout.

In Baltimore, the fans have some of the characteristics of both the Milwaukee and the Philadelphia fans. They have the same wild-eyed devotion for their Orioles as Milwaukee people have for the Braves. And they can be as vicious in their abuse of visiting ball players as the good burghers of Philadelphia...*


*excerpt from "Where Are The Last Angry Fans?" by Al Hirshberg, Baseball Digest, July 1959

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