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Ernie Tyler, A True Oriole

By on February 12

As all of the major Baltimore news outlets reported today, Ernie Tyler, the Orioles’ longtime umpires attendant, passed away at the age of 86.

While I personally never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Tyler, his record speaks for itself.  Tyler worked 3,819 consecutive home games at Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards beginning on opening day in 1960 and continuing until July 27, 2007, when he voluntarily ended his streak to attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Cal Ripken Jr.

It seems to me that we should regard Ernie Tyler not only as a man of remarkable stamina, but also as an unwavering supporter of the Orioles.  Beginning his career before the glory days and continuing on through the recent stretch of consecutive losing seasons, Tyler showed what it means to really love your team.  When a lesser person, well into his seventies, might have reasonably decided it was just a little too hot outside to be running baseballs out to home plate in the midst of a 90 loss season, Ernie never did.

Win or lose, he gave his all.

His example serves as a reminder that even if we can’t break Gehrig’s record, each of us can keep the Oriole Way alive if we use our fandom to demonstrate what’s best about baseball and ourselves.

I never met you Ernie Tyler, but like you, your example will endure.  Thanks for showing us all what it means to be a true Oriole.

One Response to “Ernie Tyler, A True Oriole”

  1. Mark
    Mark says:

    Well said brother. The same spirit that made Cal a national icon will make Ernie a local legend, and rightfully so. Aside from age and infirmity, I’m sure Ernie battled through indifference and disinterest at times like the rest of us. But as we all know, he never gave up and he never walked out on his commitment to the Orioles and this city. Like Wild Bill before him, he embodied the unfaltering dedication to a cause and a purpose that I think defines this city and its people. Because no matter how much it hurts sometimes or how hard it might be, we’ll never stop being proud to be Baltimoreans, and Baltimore Orioles fans, and if we can remain true to that, we can perhaps honor this great man and keep his memory alive.

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