In 2018, Glenn Clark introduced his first "Five Tips For Surviving Orioles Opening Day." While much has changed since then for the Baltimore Orioles, his advice still rings true -- and he's added a few updates.
Whatever your opinion of this year's team may be, the Orioles' home opener represents a sort of civic holiday in these parts. As a veteran of many Opening Days here in Charm City, I know well that mistakes can be made while participating in the sea of Halloween-colored revelry. With that, I offer my top five tips for surviving the Orioles' home opener.
1. No matter how old you are, there is no reason for you to be drinking at 6 a.m. -- or doing much of anything else that you're not being paid for.
This has long been the most insane part of Opening Day to me. I know that morning radio shows will be broadcasting from various establishments starting at 6 a.m. I just don't understand why you'd be there with them. The game doesn't start until nine hours later. The game won't end for another actual half of a day. What are you doing?
Perhaps you're thinking about going into the game early for some reason. Sure, there are pregame ceremonies and perhaps you just want to bask in the aura of the stadium or whatever, but seriously, you can start at like 10:30 a.m., drink for a few hours and still be at the game in plenty of time to devour 13 different food items covered in Old Bay.
If you start drinking at 6 a.m., you're going to end up being left by your friends to sleep for a while in the corner of a bar. They're going to ask a friendly bartender to make sure you don't die. Best-case scenario, you get into the stadium and fall asleep in your seat. You miss the chance to meet the governor or take a selfie with Cedric Mullins. But it's cool; you'll always get to tell everyone about the time you were at a bar at 6 a.m. for no apparent reason at all.
2. Don't have a ticket? No reason to stay away.
Speaking of that guy who started drinking at 6 a.m., when he does pass out at noon, his friends might be more than willing to sell you his ticket for like $10. Hell, they might just give it to you.
If you don't have a ticket and really want to go to the game, there are plenty of possible ways to get in. Considering the lack of confidence fans rightfully seem to have in this year's team, scalpers probably won't be able to get the sums of money they're looking for on the street.
But even if you can't get in, you'll probably spend your afternoon guzzling brews at an establishment that suddenly has a little elbow room and still enough fellow fans to be able to high-five someone after Trey Mancini goes yard. You could do far worse.
3. Hydrate. Then hydrate again. And again. And again.
This is far easier to remember on a huge drinking day in the middle of the summer. But Opening Day weather is such a wild card that it's easy to forget. It could be 85 degrees and sunny. It could be snowing. But as much as you're going to be drinking, you need to mix in water. Identify a hydration partner when you arrive downtown. Look after each other. Every time you go to the bar, get a water, too. Someone needs it.
4. Wear a jersey ... but don't wear the new $250 authentic jersey you bought at FanFest. Maybe save that one for a quiet Tuesday evening affair.
If you're planning to drink, this should be a no-brainer. Even if you're not, you're going to be in a city with more drunk people than a Kid Rock concert crowd has regrettable tattoos. If everything goes well, you'll just end up having that Trey Mancini jersey you invested in covered in beer and mustard. If things go south, the thing will somehow end up being ripped apart and fashioned into some sort of skirt after your roommate pees his pants. If you want to just toss away that much money, my Venmo is open.
5. For one day, do everything in your power not to talk about baseball.
This is the hardest of all. You're at a baseball game. You're surrounded by tens of thousands of baseball fans. Every inclination you have is to talk about baseball. It would be like going to Preakness but not talking about horse racing. Wait. Sorry, no. That's a terrible example.
Look, Opening Day is the one day all year that presents reason for actual optimism -- even if it can be misguided. Why spend such a glorious day screaming about how they should've traded Manny Machado much earlier when you can just push around a laundry cart and have strangers gleefully allow you to pour beers all over them instead? You don't have to pretend like the team is going to win the World Series. It would just be nice to not end up getting into a fistfight about whether Chance Sisco should have started the season at the major league level.
Just talk about something else. Anything else. When someone brings up how they're mad Brandon Hyde didn't leave David Hess in the game with a no-hitter, respond by saying: "Hey, did you know Sliders made a
Fancy Clancy beer
? Yeah, THAT Fancy Clancy! I know, I love that guy too!"
And have a wonderful Opening Day.
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox