• Feb

    Bumbry a class act on and off field

    Thanks to the Hangout I've gotten to meet and talk with a lot of ex-Orioles including my childhood hero Brooks Robinson last year thanks to my good friend Roy "Freakin" Firestone. Each player is a little different and some are more cordial then others. Brooks of course was amazing, but Al Bumbry is one of my favorites as well.

    I think all of us have a special place in their hearts for the Orioles of their childhood. They were more than just names and faces on baseball cards, they were the guys you idolized.

    I guess my earliest real memories of being an Orioles fan go back to 1975 when I was five, although I do have one memory when I was four where we stood outside the lockroom waiting for the "Orioles" to come out and sign my program. Finally each guy came out of the lockerroom and most were happy to sign my program. It wasn't until I was older that I looked at that program and noticed the signatures of John Mayberry, Lindy McDowell, and several other Royals before realizing we were outside the wrong lockeroom.

    Either way, the mid to late 70s and into the early 80s, those Orioles were my Orioles which meant MY center fielder was Al Bumbry. I don't care what the stats say nowadays, but The Bee was the best center fielder/leadoff guy in the game by my estimation back then. He was always one of my favorites.

    Over the last few years I've been lucky enough to be in the manager's office after games a few times in Bowie when Al decided to visit with then manager Brad Komminsk.

    I always enjoyed the give and take between Al and Brad and always enjoyed listening to Al tell his stories. You can honestly tell that Al is a good guy and that he certainly supports his son without being unrealistic.

    Here's to Al Bumbry. One of the great Orioles on and off the field in Baltimore.

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Tony Pente

Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.