When last night’s news of a pending sale of the Baltimore Orioles to private equity billionaires, rumors quickly followed that there would be some local investors included as minority owners.
One name that surfaced almost immediately was that of O’s legend and Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr.
This afternoon, those whispers were confirmed by none other than Calvin himself.
The Orioles have been a part of my life since I was a child, and this is a special day. I look forward to this opportunity and will do whatever I can to help the organization. Let’s go O’s!
— Cal Ripken, Jr. (@CalRipkenJr) January 31, 2024
It’s almost too good to be true, isn’t it, Birdland? Ever since Ripken retired and the O’s entered the dark years, many fans have hoped that someday Ripken would come back and help save us from the ongoing Angelos ineptitude. However, to me, Cal seemed happy being away from the team running Ripken baseball and moving on with his life, so I never put much stock into those wishes, personally.
To see this day come, with Ripken being even a small part of the new ownership group, makes orange hearts swell in Baltimore and beyond, to the O’s fan diaspora everywhere.
That’s not the only confirming of yesterday’s news that’s been going on today. The Orioles themselves announced the sale, making it pretty much official, pending MLB approval:
News now official from the #Orioles:
The Angelos family agrees to sell a controlling stake in the O's to David Rubenstein for $1.725 billion. pic.twitter.com/5rbBw4m7IS
— Sam Dykstra (@SamDykstraMiLB) January 31, 2024
David Rubenstein released the following statement on Twitter/X, and his words should serve as quite the salve to all of us:
Thanks @afkostka. Here's my full statement:
“I am grateful to the Angelos family for the opportunity to join the team I have been a fan of my entire life. I look forward to working with all the Orioles owners, players and staff to build upon the incredible success the team has… https://t.co/zYWo8dG1eM
— David M. Rubenstein (@DM_Rubenstein) January 31, 2024
Right away he tells us that he’s a lifelong Orioles fan, and states that a World Series is his goal. He goes on to talk about Camden Yards and Baltimore, making all those rumors about Nashville seem like a lifetime ago.
We’ve been through so much, O’s fans. From the dark years, to rumors of the team joining the Colts in skipping town, watching John Angelos chastise a reporter for asking him about the team’s financial situation, biting our nails as the lease negotiations dragged into the final hours…to be here just a month later is surreal.
If you’d told me on Sunday evening that by Wednesday night something in Baltimore sports would have me smiling ear-to-ear, I wouldn’t have believed you. Even if you’d convinced me that SOMETHING good was coming, never in my wildest dreams would I have expected this.
We’re so back.