Daniel Gascon / Abe
It was the middle of the 1995 season when my parents took me to my first Orioles game. I was ten years old at the time. I do not recall much of the game, but what happened afterwards I will never forget. Cal Ripken Jr. started signing autographs immediately following the game, behind home plate. By the time my parents and I made our way over to the crowd, the line had already stretched across ten sections of seating. After about a half hour of waiting and not a lot of progress made in the line, my parents wanted to leave thinking that by the time we got up there that he would no longer be signing. I begged and pleaded to my parents to stay and wait it out. Being the amazing parents that they are, they said that we could stay. That night we waited over two hours to meet Cal Ripken and it was well worth the wait. That night I fell in love with Cal and the Baltimore Orioles. I now have a passion that grows deeper and deeper with each passing season.
When it comes to Orioles baseball, I literally wear my heart on my sleeve. I have a tattoo on my arm of the Oriole Bird and a replicated signature of Cal Ripken Jr. as well as a small plaque that says "H.O.F. 2007" to commemorate Ripken being inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The replicated signature came from a shirt he signed when I had the honor of meeting him for the second time in my life in the inner harbor, when he was promoting putting green mats. I took that shirt to the tattoo shop and had them replicate that signature and then tattoo it on my arm.
To my friends and family the words "Abe" and "Orioles" have become synonymous. I have had several people come up to me in past seasons and this season as well and tell me that because of my passion they have watched more Orioles baseball then they ever thought they would. This is an amazing feeling, because besides being the Orioles number one fan, another goal I have is to help others enjoy Orioles baseball the way I do.
I am raising my two sons to be passionate about Orioles baseball too. Whenever I dress my kids, I usually have them sporting the orange and black of the O's.
What I have is a love and enthusiasm for the Orioles that cannot be explained in just words. It would be one of the highest honors in my life to represent the Baltimore Orioles in the Fan Hall of Fame!