As the temperature begins to slowly go up my mind turns to one thing: Baseball. Sure I love March Madness as much as any red blooded American, but for me baseball is forever linked to my childhood. In just under three weeks XL and I are going to be going to Orioles Opening Day at Camden Yards. For me, a trip to the ball park is not complete without one of my many jerseys.
I wish I could say that I've been wearing the same one to every game since I was a in high school, or even college, but that's not the case. I bought my first O's jersey in April of 1992 (pictured above on the left) along with a "new style" O's hat that I wore for many years. The jersey was just as plain as you could get. No number, no player name, just the then-new, now-old Orioles script on the chest. I meant to get my name and my favorite number on it for years but I never got around to it.
Then, in 1998 my mom and dad got me a grey road jersey with my name and number on it as a graduation present. It's the one above on the right. I opted for the road jersey, in part, because of how easy it was to stain the home one, but also because I've always liked the look of the grey, which is one of my favorite colors. In the six years since I got my first one they had knocked the tail off the "O" and changed the piping on the sleeve but not much had changed. For the Orioles.
For me one big thing had changed. At the time I got the white jersey I was wearing a size 48, which fit me well when I first got it and then after a few years was loose thanks to some late teens weight loss. By the time I graduated from college I had to get a bigger size. I didn't get the freshman fifteen, but I did get the Sophomore through Senior 40ish. I went from my size 48 to a 52 when I got the grey jersey in 1998.
Over the intervening years that 52 got tight on me and then was down right unwearable. I got another jersey a few years later that was a 56, which was too big, but it at least allowed me to feel like I could breathe. Every time I would look at those old jerseys in my closet I would be angry at myself for not being able to fit in to them any longer.
Well, now that's not a problem any longer. I've busted my hump at the gym during my career interregnum and now I can easily fit into the grey jersey with room to spare. I've made it my goal to wear the white one to opening day with XL in three weeks, but that's a bit presumptive on my part. At the very least I'll be sporing my #5 jersey to a game for the first time in about a decade, and that's no small thing.