Vacation fun times

I really don’t know what it is, but whenever the family goes to visit my sister in Baltimore, eight days seem to go by like it’s half the time.

The old adage that “time flies when you’re having fun” might be true, but every day still has 24 hours in it and goes by a second at a time.

Out of everything we did during an extremely-busy and fun-filled week, there were quite a few good memories.

Topping the list was last Thursday’s game at Camden Yards when the Orioles were finishing up a four-game series with the Cleveland Indians.

Even though local Nick Swisher got the day off for the Tribe, I was able to watch one of my favorite young players, Indians’ third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall, blast a solo home run, But the highlight by far was watching Orioles’ third sacker Manny Machado get thrown out.

During the fifth inning, Machado swung at a pitch in the dirt and home plate umpire Will Little called him out. Machado argued that he actually got a piece of the ball with the edge of his bat. But whatever he must’ve said to Mr. Little led to a very abrupt end to his night as he got the heave-ho and everyone in attendance got to witness Machado’s first career ejection from Major League Baseball.

Not until I started reading up on the ejection after the fact did I learn that it snapped Machado’s streak of 1,206 consecutive innings played. In fact, since he was called up to the big leagues on Aug. 9 of last year, Machado at that point had played in 130 consecutive games without missing a frame.

One doesn’t go to a Major League game expecting to see something like Aaron Hill’s first career home run in Toronto or Aubrey Huff hit for the cycle at Camden Yards, but first-time events or rare feats do happen and that’s part of the fun in going to the game.

Speaking of fun, it was quite an experience to finally make it to Aberdeen, Md., to watch the short-season Class A IronBirds play inside Ripken Stadium. This past Friday, we made the short trek from Baltimore to watch the IronBirds take on the Staten Island Yankees.

Thanks to horrific traffic, we missed the top of the first inning, but I was rewarded when I kept begging for extra innings and the Yankees tied the game at one apiece in the top of the ninth.

Things ended rather quickly, though. in the home half of the 10th when the IronBirds got the bases loaded and scored the best walk-off victory possible via the old wild pitch. It’s something I’ve never seen at any level that I can recall, but both of Aberdeen’s runs crossed the plate on wild pitches.

It was kind of cool to see former Michigan Wolverine Michael O’Neil play for Staten Island. The center fielder, a third-round pick of the Yankees in this year’s draft, inked a cool $500,000 signing bonus out of college. If the name O’Neil sounds familiar, it should because Michael is the nephew of Paul O’Neil, who spent time with both the Bronx Bombers and the Cincinnati Reds.

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