I have always followed the Baltimore Orioles because in high school I caught for Dave McNally one of their star pictures.

But this story is not about Dave. It is about Cal Ripken, the guy who always played and set the record for the most consecutive games. There probably should be an asterisk in the record book from a story I was told here by a former well-connected resident of Baltimore.

It seems Cal came home to find that his wife and the gardener, or tennis player, I forget which, were having an affair. He beat one or both of them up, got arrested and was tossed in jail overnight. Which meant he couldn't show up in time for a game.

So what happened? He was loved so much by the local people, as being really one of them, one of the working class, that the electricians went to bat for him.

At game time there were problems with the lighting, they flickered on and off. I actually remember seeing this because of following Dave Nalley's Orioles. So that part of the story I know it's true. My friend here said once the electricians heard that Cal had some problems getting to the game they began to see what they could do. There was a rumor he had been released and was on his way to the stadium so the lights came back on. Then they found out he had not been released. So the lights flickered a little bit more, then turned off with the electricians saying there was a major electrical outage problem and they would not be able to get the lights back on for that game.

Cal was released the following morning and able to play the next day's game, keeping his streak intact. That ladies and gentlemen of the dailyspec, and Orioles fans, is the story of "The night the lights went out in Baltimore.





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  1. Walter Iooss – The Festival of the Photograph – The Paramount Theater | Charlottesville Wedding Photography by Rob Garland on December 21, 2015 12:11 pm

    […] OK – I do have a great story that I was a part of.  August 14, 1997 – the lights went out in Baltimore, Maryland for an Orioles game.  I was on the field with a press pass.  It was against the Seattle Mariners with Ken Griffey Jr. and Randy Johnson was supposed to pitch.  I actually stood next to Cal Ripken for the national anthem and have one of my favorite photographs from two feel away.  It’s a profile of Cal with his cap over his heart.  There is just something about the iron man humbling himself in front of the American flag that I loved being a part of for a minute.  Back to the story – there were many rumors as to why the lights went out, like this: “The Night the Lights Went Out in Baltimore” […]


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