When the Boston Red Sox face the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards, everyone knows the deal: O’s fans will show up, but they likely will be outnumbered and drowned out by Sox fans, who famously travel well.
So, what’s it like to be a Birds fan when a bunch of Red Sox diehards invade your home ballpark?
“It’s kind of depressing actually,” O’s fan Gary Zebrowski told The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey before Boston’s 6-4 win Tuesday night. ” … I think they flex their muscles a bit like ‘Haha we’re better than you,’ and taking over your park. It’s the ultimate insult as an Oriole fan.”
Now, Red Sox fans aren’t always the vocal majority in Baltimore. In fact, things were quite different in 2014, a season in which the Orioles won the American League East for the first time since 1997 and Boston finished in last place.
“When the Orioles are doing well the (Red Sox fans) are actually pretty easy to get along with,” longtime Baltimore fan Lauren Speelman, who added Yankees fans are nicer than Red Sox loyalists, told McCaffrey. “But when they’re bad they pretty much berate you the whole time.
“In 2014, they didn’t say a whole lot but they also didn’t show up as much. But now it’s just pretty much all Red Sox fans. You stand up and cheer for a home run and they’re yelling ‘Sit down!’ and it’s like, ‘What ballpark are we in?'”
And what’s it like being an invasive Boston fan?
“Do we take over? Yes,” Kevin Miller said.
His wife, Lisa, added: “It kind of feels like going to a home game but not going to Boston.”
Unfortunately for the Orioles and their passionate, long-suffering supporters, things might not change anytime soon. The O’s currently have the worst record in Major League Baseball at 19-47 and might lose their best player after the season — if not sooner.
Thumbnail photo via Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports Images