We like celebrities. We love Orioles fans. These are two fine groups of people who usually have nothing in common. So, it’s something special when famous celebs and Orioles fans overlap as one and the same.
Get it? We’re talking about well-known showbiz types and athletes who happen to have exquisite baseball tastes of the Baltimore variety.
And we especially love seeing famous fans repping the team when they step out in O’s swag. It might be Edward Norton plugging healthy veggie juice on Twitter, Michael Phelps making a splash at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, or even cartoon Ice Cube. Yes, he’s straight outta Compton, but we would welcome him with open arms in “Charm City”.
Here’s a look at a few of our favorite double agents—celebs with O’s fever.
Billy Bob Thornton
The versatile writer, director, and actor was a huge Brooks Robinson fan in his youth, ergo his foray into O’s fandom. Rumor has it that a glove autographed by Robinson sits next to Thornton’s Oscar trophy at home—not a bad combo. Thornton excelled at baseball as a young man and once tried out for the Kansas City Royals.
The Fight Club and Grand Budapest Hotel actor is a local boy. Norton hails from nearby Columbia where his grandfather, James Rouse, was a noted developer of the Howard County suburbs. He’s been known to attend O’s games from time-to-time when he visits the old stomping grounds. Norton once took to Twitter and expressed his desire for Cal Ripken to revive the franchise as manager and GM. We can’t say we necessarily disagree.
The record-setting Olympic gold medallist ranks up there with Poe and Ripken in the echelon of Charm City heroes. It’s no surprise, then, that Phelps roots for the hometown team. He made a guest appearance for batting practice at the O’s spring training in 2013. The Flying Fish memorably laughed on the medal podium after winning gold in the 200-meter butterfly event at the 2016 Olympic games when friends chanted “OOOOOO” during the National Anthem, as is customary at Camden Yards.
The timeless Wheel of Fortune host first visited Camden Yards in 1991 before completion of the stadium. He was given a tour of the stadium’s construction site and still has a picture of his hard-hat-wearing self standing at the then-future site of home plate. It’s a fond memory for Sajak, who occasionally returns to games at Camden Yards and reflects back on that early tour.
Best known for the 1982 rebel-rousing hit “I Love Rock n’ Roll”, Joan Jett has been one of hard rock’s leading ladies for over 40 years. She’s also a diehard fan who caught O’s fever while attending games with her dad as a child. She’s even been part of some historic O’s moments; Jett sang the national anthem the day Ripken tied Lou Gehrig’s consecutive-games-played streak, and she was a guest of honor the night Ripken owned the record.
WWE superstar Ellsworth is another Charm City native who pulls for the O’s through thick and thin. In 2018 he took batting practice with the team at Camden Yards and even signed a few autographs for the opposing Yankees. You may catch Ellsworth at the ballpark sitting in the centerfield bleachers beneath the scoreboard, which is his favorite place to take in a game, thanks to the full-field view.
The hilarious host of Comedy Central’s Drunk History has been a fan since his childhood growing up in Lutherville. He proudly sports O’s hats during public appearances and appeared on the MLB Network in 2015 to discuss his profound love for the team.
Keep your eyes peeled the next time you take in a game at Camden Yards. You never know whom you might see in the stands washing down their Chesapeake fries with a Natty Boh. It could be one of our very own O’s loving celebs!