Dundalk Native Wants Town to See Orange
Nancy Cook wants sports fans to embrace the Orioles and 'Orange Wednesdays.'
Now that baseball season is in full swing, Dundalk native Nancy Cook wants to paint the town orange.
Recognizing how important the "12th man" is to the Baltimore Ravens, the longtime baseball fan wants the 10th man to step forward and embrace the Baltimore Orioles will equal love and enthusiasm.
She wants her beloved boys of summer to feel just a small slice of the love shown for the Ravens.
And she wants that love to be showered upon the Birds sooner rather than later.
"I want to start Orange Wednesdays," she told Dundalk Patch. "The Ravens have Purple Fridays, and I don't want to interfere with that, because some people wear their purple on Fridays year-round."
If Cook has her way, the work day referred to by many as "hump day" will soon pay homage to the Orioles across the state, from business offices to schools and government agencies.
And she chose Wednesdays as a way to symbolize her efforts to help pick up the Orioles and point them toward better days.
It's no secret that the Ravens have enjoyed success pretty much ever since they left behind their Cleveland Browns identity and moved to Baltimore in 1996.
While the Ravens are perennial playoff participants, the Orioles are the perennial American League East basement dwellers.
The town has largely given up on the home baseball team, and a stadium that set a record for consecutive sellouts when it first opened 20 years ago now sits embarrassingly empty during most home games.
A large crowd means that the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox are in town, and the stands are filled with hostile fans from the north, thanks to large blocks of tickets left available by apathetic (and/or hopeless, dejected) local fans.
So Cook hopes that Orange Wednesdays will help the Orioles get over their own collective hump, and show the boys of summer that Baltimore cares about them too.
But she's a little frustrated that team officials don't seem that interested in the plan.
"I contacted the Orioles about the idea," Cook said. "But they weren't interested — they said they already had their marketing plan for the season."
But just as Purple Fridays started out as a grassroots effort, with fans wearing their purple gear to workplaces with "casual Friday" dress codes, Orange Wednesdays need to be an initiative of the people.
When a sea of orange washes over the Baltimore area each and every Wednesday, it will get too big for the Orioles to ignore.
So Cook wants to get word out about her idea, and she hopes her fellow Orioles fans will join her in this effort to show a little love for the Birds.
"You know, I know people are frustrated with (team owner) Peter Angelos and I know people are tired of all the losing," Cook said. "But I want people to get past Angelos and think of the guys playing the game, think of the manager and the coaches out there every day, doing their best with what they have — they deserve our support and I think it would go a long way to help them over that hump."
As she talks up her idea around town, she said she hears a lot that people will be willing to jump on the bandwagon if the Orioles start winning.
And that, she said, is exactly her point.
"They need our help now," Cook said. "Maybe if we embrace them and start wearing our orange like people wear their purple, maybe that will help them start winning. They need us now."
So dig out your neglected orange baseball jersey.
If you don't own one, go buy one.
And claim Orange Wednesdays in the name of the Baltimore Orioles.