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I realize I’m a pretty fortunate sports fan.

I’ve seen my favorite teams, who all hail from New England, win championship titles this decade, except for the Bruins. The Red Sox, in particular, broke the dreaded Curse of the Bambino during my junior year in college in New Hampshire.

It’s a moment I will never forget.

One of my best friends, Maura, who is 100 percent Boston born and raised, started hyperventilating when they won. Students flooded the streets. I don’t think anyone slept for days.

I realize I’m pretty fortunate, especially when my friends who are Orioles’ fans complain about yet another losing season.

It’s not like the Orioles have never achieved success; it’s just been awhile.

Unfortunately, the IronBirds haven’t fared much better. Though they’re quite popular, the team hasn’t done particularly well over the years.

But the good news is that minor league baseball fans often don’t mind losing seasons. Of course winning is preferred, but minor league games are often about the ambiance and entertainment.

If you’ve ever been to an IronBirds game, you know what I’m talking about. Between trying to catch the T-shirts they shoot into the stands to watching the mascots bumbling around the field, sometimes it’s hard to remember there’s a game going on.

The minor league parks are also smaller and more intimate. There really isn’t a bad seat at Ripken Stadium.

But I’m sure many fans would agree: It would be nice, every few years or so, if the IronBirds could muster a winning record.

We’re a few weeks into the season, and so far, the ‘Birds are looking all right, posting a 5-7 record before Wednesday night’s game. Their season goes into September, so there’s plenty of baseball left. We’ll see what happens.

Part of the allure of minor league baseball is also the opportunity to see up-and-coming players. When I lived in Minnesota, I went a few times to watch the minor league St. Paul Saints, where I first saw J.D. Drew, who is now on the Red Sox. IronBirds fans, for instance, can say they saw Nick Markakis.

We’re almost to the halfway point of the major league season, and it doesn’t look like the Orioles will be climbing out of the basement anytime soon. But there is hope for the IronBirds.

Even though the Red Sox are number one for me, I really enjoy watching other teams play and visiting other ballparks since I love the game. I went to a number of Twins games when I lived in Minnesota and I followed the Rockies when I lived in Colorado. For a baseball fan, it’s kind of hard not to follow the local team.

So I do watch the Orioles and I’m cheering a bit for Nick Markakis and Adam Jones since they’re on my fantasy baseball team. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed a few IronBirds game, too — and I’m sure ’Birds fans would agree: It would be nice to experience a bit of that winning feeling this season.


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