Saturday, June 9, 2012

Those Philly Phans

Our rivals on the other end of the parkway had an interesting appeal to their fans during the offseason.   Professing to be embarrassed by the domination of Philly fans during Philadelphia's appearances, the front office played to hometown pride and loyalty to defend the fort and rally 'round the ballpark to keep those dastardly foreigners out.

(Makes you wonder where they were in 1814 when the British torched the place with nary a peep of protest.)

As a marketing ploy, it was worthy of Don Draper. But as "Natitude," it seemed just a bit defensive.  At least from 30 miles away, overlooking a stadium that is routinely overrun with Yankee and Red Sox fans.

(Remember, these are also the same folks who squawk about our "O" during the Star-Spangled Banner.)

But it must have struck a responsive chord with someone, because even the Mayor and City Council proclaimed a call to arms to defend the stadium the weekend of May 4-6, the first Philly invasion.

Naturally, there was push back.  Philly fans were even more determined to raid the ramparts and claim the park.  They even published their battle plan on one of the booster sites.

In the end, both sides declared victory (again, not unlike the War of 1812.)  Turnout was high, the Nats took two, and they were successful in containing Philly fans -- keeping them dispersed, if not completely out of their kingdom.

But some still considered it a bit extreme and (dare I say?) jingoistic towards the City of Brotherly Love.

I bring this up because this Orioles home stand is the annual crossover series with the National League.  And guess who's in town?

That's right.  By the busload.  There must have been a convoy on I-95, because by 1:00 pm there was a red tide sweeping the complex. And the game didn't begin for several hours. 

This line stretches all the way to Dempsey's, and the doors don't open for another half hour

Because it's a weekend and school is out, families are here in force.  Once Eutaw Street opened, a lot of them enjoyed picnic fare under the canopy.

This young lady brought along her Phanatic's hat, despite the 80+ degree weather.

These folks were the first ones to grab seats in Dempsey's.  They were very complimentary about the great ambiance and convenience to the field. 

I really liked this one of the Philly Phamily, assembled under the Leroy Neimann classic of Cal Ripken in the Warehouse lobby.

(Mom admitted they were big Cal fans, too.)

One reason we enjoy those out-of-towners who spend their weekend/vacation time with us is that they also spend $$$$$.  In the nearby watering holes and restaurants, of course.  But many enjoy taking something of our ballpark home with them.

This young lady is sizing up her friend for a Ripken jersey as a souvenir of their trip to Baltimore. 

When I took this picture, the Majestic team store was completely filled with Philly fans shopping for merchandise.

It's 3:55 pm now, almost game time.

I just snapped this picture from my window.  As you can see, they're still pouring in.  These folks came from downtown, but the light rail near the top of the picture was also unloading carloads of fans.

It's going to be a full house today.  Beautiful weather, and everyone seems to be anticipating a good time.

What are those Nats complaining about?

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