Monday, March 10, 2014
Yes, so, the Polar Bear Plunge. Saturday was a beautiful day, with temperatures near 60 and clear, sunny skies. The Missus and I parked at the Navy Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis and took a shuttle bus to Sandy Point State Park. We had enough time to register and do a quick once-around of the various sponsor booths and food and merchandise stands before the 1:00 PM plunge. As we reached the shore and I stripped down to my plunging gear - a "Wild Bill" Hagy Orioles promotional tee, swimming trunks, and an old pair of Airwalks that I didn't mind immersing in the icy waters of the bay, I noticed that the air coming off of the bay was a bit cooler than the 60-degree temps I'd felt elsewhere that day.
Before I knew it, the first wave of plungers was already entering - and emerging from - the water. Janet and I tentatively made our way up the sand from our initial position in the back of the crowd, and she asked if I was ready. In response, I started awkwardly chugging toward the Bay, so my wife had to remind me that we weren't supposed to run. Safety first when you're dunking yourself in a large, frigid body of water, after all.
And frigid it was. I waded in about thigh-deep, hesitated for a moment, and then squatted down to soak the rest of my body up to my chin. I popped back up as soon as I could, most of my body feeling shocked and invigorated from the icy bath, but my sneaker-covered feet were practically aching from the cold. Janet had followed me in, and asked if I was ready to go completely under and then head for the safety and warmth of our gender-specific changing tents. I was completely unprepared to dunk my head under, as we hadn't discussed anything of the sort ahead of time. I told her so, my voice raising several octaves, and she acquiesced. Maybe next year...we are planning to partake in this madness again.
By the time I'd changed into my dry clothes, I felt completely fine and still a bit exhilarated. We joined up with a friend of a friend and his wife who had also just plunged, availed ourselves of the free Wawa coffee and complimentary hot dog lunch, and then shuttled back to our car. The story ends there, so I'd like to offer one final note of thanks to the handful of kind and generous readers who made donations in my name, thereby helping out the Special Olympics. You folks are awesome.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Friday, March 7, 2014
Tomorrow, I take the Plunge into the Chesapeake Bay. For real this time! I'll report back with pictures and any relevant stories.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
in the last row of the stadium. Uecker, a longtime play-by-play announcer for the Brewers, is clearly thrilled and honored, saying: "This will be great for fans and even better for pigeons."
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
a blog post by High Heat Stats contributor Doug, ol' Sheetsy had the biggest-ever dropoff in single-season slugging percentage between his best season (.563 in 1987) and any other season in his career (second-best was .343 in 1988). Considering that this 220-point drop in his slugging mark came immediately on the heels of that great 31-homer effort, it's no wonder that the 1987 and 1988 seasons were the only two years that Larry got enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title. Those putrid '88 Orioles could have used the Larry Sheets of 1987, and instead he hit one-third the home runs in almost exactly the same number of trips to the dish. That's enough to sour a team on a player right quick.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
June 15, 1983 in a 10-inning, 11-8 O's victory at Milwaukee. Batting leadoff for the Birds, "T-Bone" reached base five times in six tries, with a pair of walks, three singles, two runs scored, two batted in, and a stolen base. His efforts helped the Orioles rally from a 7-0 hole in the seventh and eighth innings, though the biggest blow was a Cal Ripken three-run homer. But Shelby was right there again as Baltimore put up a four-spot in extras: his single off of Brewers reliever Bob Gibson (no, the other one) scored Joe Nolan with the go-ahead run, and John subsequently stole second and scored the eventual winning run on a Ripken double. Not a bad day's work for the center fielder.