Reporting Rochelle Ritchie
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The Birds are back home. After being knocked out in the Bronx, O’s fans rush to thank their torn-up team. The loss still stings but the season was O-so-sweet, culminating in the team’s first playoff appearance since 1997.
Rochelle Ritchie has more from fans and players who say they’ll be back next year.
Fans are calling the American League Divisional Series (ALDS) the comeback season. Despite the loss to the Yankees on Friday night, fans are saying it has brought the spirit of baseball back to the city.
They cheered all the way to the last inning, all the way to the last play.
“I really wanted them to beat the Yankees and I am bummed they didn’t,” Burton Hathaway said.
Still, the Orioles winning season came to an end, losing 3-1 to the Yankees.
“We went out there and gave it our all,” Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said. “There’s no excuses. Obviously, we would like to be on the other end of it but we gave it our all.”
Despite the loss, the Orioles have not lost the support of their fans.
“It reminded everybody what it was like to have baseball,” Barry Clifford said.
It’s a season no one expected, after 15 years of not being in the playoffs. Players say the support from fans this year indescribable.
“As you can see from the two playoff games we had here, I don’t think there’s going to be a home crowd as wild and crazy as our fan base,” Orioles catcher Matt Wieters said.
On Saturday, players cleaned out their lockers preparing for some much-needed time off.
Even though the Orioles didn’t go all the way, fans say it’s still a winning season for Baltimore.
“People are going to want to start playing in Baltimore again,” Maxwell Armstrong said. “A lot of free agents will want to come here. We have a great history here in Baltimore. The baseball season surprised me in ways I couldn’t imagine and I love that.”
While it may not have been a World Series presence this season for the O’s, there is always next year.
“This town wants to have a winning baseball team and it’s going to support a winning team,” Wieters said. “So if we can continue to improve, continue to do better, you’re going to see that same amount of people at every game next year.”
The opening day for next year’s season is March 31. Click here for the Orioles’ 2013 schedule.