Why The O’s Are Winning, Part 1
GLEN SAINT MARY, FL – What follows in the next several days will be a series of posts about the intangibles that make the Baltimore Orioles a winning team. You won’t see too many stats and figures. Just thoughts about some of the things that changes the mindset of players, coaches, and fans from loser to winner. Comments are welcome (Twitter @ACHefty).
Part 1, The Cartoon Bird
Fact: The Baltimore Orioles haven’t won a World Series since 1983.
Fact: The final year the Orioles had a cartoon bird on their logo was 1989. Until 2012.
While it’s true the Yard Birds had some other seasons that were victorious, they haven’t hoisted the holy grail of baseball since Cal Ripken Jr made the final out in Philly. When the O’s brought back the newly updated cartoon bird, fans took notice. Sales of hats, t-shirts, and stickers proved the desire for something new.
And using the “cuckoo bird” from 1968 (or as I call it the Original Angry Bird) is a great additive. There’s an edginess back in the mindset of O’s fans. They’re tired of being the cellar dwellers.
It started filling the stands in 2012. And when you have an engaged, cheering fan base, the team reciprocates. The uniforms looked crisper. And that has a bearing on the players. Deion Sanders said it this way:
“If you look good, you feel good, If you feel good, you play good, If you play good, they pay good.”
While I won’t argue the rest of Sanders’ life on and off the field, that is a wise quote.
Superstitions aside (and let’s face it, baseball players are extremely superstitious), switching to the cartoon bird is a small part of the success and new attitude at Camden Yards.