Hanging on a fence watching the parade pass by

Everything in New York City seems to be done on a grander scale. The newspapers said an estimated two million people lined the streets to celebrate the Yankees’ World Series win. Two million!

We were just two people watching it on TV at home in Maryland, Ken and I.

“I enjoyed watching the city’s reaction to winning the championship,” said Ken, “because they haven’t had one in nine years. I also liked hearing what the players had to say, like CC Sabathia’s comment, ‘There’s nothing like winning in New York!'”

Ken is delighted for the players able to experience such a conquest in their first year with the Yankees, such as Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and A.J. Burnett.

oriolesparade_350.jpgNo doubt watching the festivities elicited his own happy memories as a Baltimore Oriole during a victorious time in 1983 after the Birds had clinched the World Series (also upsetting the Phillies). Ken sat not on a float in Baltimore’s World Series parade but on the back of a convertible Oldsmobile with his family.

On a much smaller scale than the parade in New York, Ken remembers, “People got very close to the convertibles carrying the players. They were able to touch us – that wouldn’t happen nowadays. My two young boys were in the car. Justin [then age 4] didn’t like it. He said the fans were too close – it made him uncomfortable.”

In the throng of that boisterous scenario on “Oriole Boulevard” near Fayette Street, there was only one place for me to go for a better view – up.

oriolesparade_250.jpgMy sister-in-law Susan and I braved the crowd in our Orioles caps and corporate clothes to watch the convoy (I’m on the right). Making sure no one could see under our skirts, we somehow climbed up onto a skinny piece of a wall and daringly hung on to a fence to afford us clearer glimpses of the titillating celebration over the hairy heads of the other million fans (or so it felt – I do not know the number).

Between us we held hand-to-hand with a small stuffed Oriole mascot while the ballplayers and their families shook hands, accepted pats on the backs, and grinned ear-to-ear in the hype of an overwhelming reception from the deafening massive crowd.

I was an average Orioles fan like the rest of the screaming people showing pride for our home team. Had someone told me that October day that one Mr. Ken Singleton passing by to the shouts of “Singy!” and “C’mon Ken hit it in the bullpen!” would one day be my husband, I would have laughed at the notion and probably fallen off the wall.

“It was fun,” said Ken, who remembers that people were hanging off street poles and out of office windows. At age 36 and ready to wrap up a long and productive baseball career, it had taken him 13 seasons before he had the opportunity to play on a World Championship team.

“Winning the Series was such a feeling of accomplishment,” he said. “For that particular season no team played better than us. We went down in history for champions of that year.”

Gleefully, the Orioles had returned to Memorial Stadium on 33rd Street by bus from Philly. Ken remembers that “the fans had been waiting for us – they were all over the place! In the parking lot and everywhere, in spite of it being close to midnight. There were so many people cheering us on, it was hard to drive through the streets.”

Since then, the Orioles have hosted several World Series Reunions at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, holding onto that precious era. Ken and many of his former teammates have been invited back to reminisce.

“I’m sure Cal Ripken thought he would be on many more championships teams,” said Ken. Cal was then in his second season as an Oriole. “But it never happened again. It’s been 26 years.”

Hubby wears his World Series ring proudly and often. “Winning was the culmination of a good year,” he said.


  1. tlindsay@eonsight.com

    Ken is a Great announcer (my favorite Yankee announcer) and one classy guy. It’s obvious that he is married to one intelligent, classy woman too. Congratulations and all the best to both of you. TL

  2. rallylunch

    Mrs Singy…love your blog…and tell Mr. Singy, he is great as an announcer…never knew how much I missed him until the tbs and fox idiots took over. Those other stations really need a guy like Ken that do it all…I’m starting a petition with mlb to avoid all idiot announcers regardless of their affiliation.

    I saw your hubby at spring training a few years ago, but I thought he’d like to be left alone for his dinner at the nice restaurant. darn…should have gone for the autograph

  3. mrssingy@suzannesingleton.com

    Thanks TL … and thanks also Rallylunch to both of you for the nice comments …

    Rallylunch – you used your best judgment in letting a man eat his dinner. There is a time and a place for autograph-seeking I say! Mrs. Singy said a word or two about that (as did the wives of Johnny Unitas and Eddie Murray) in the September post “Fanatic Fans – Nice or Obnoxious”

    … enjoy!
    Mrs. Singy

  4. chriscsg

    I was thinking Ken would have been on one of the floats for the parade. Well who can blame him for choosing the couch next to Mrs. Singy?!

    The parade was a great morning. I got there at 8am and was still 4 rows of people back, but we could see relatively well. The energy was terrific. It was my first ticker-tape and kind of rounded out the whole 2009 season experience for me.

    Only 90-some days til pitchers and catchers report!


  5. mrssingy@suzannesingleton.com

    Aww c’mon Chris … don’t count already … gimme the off season for a little while! Happy you felt such parade enthusiasm. I don’t think anyone at YES mentioned Ken being there, so he came home. He was definitely ready for the off season.

  6. lmccoy21@comcast.net

    Hi Ken
    I was looking for you as I watched the parade. I watched on FOX, then WPIX then I realized , he must be on YES. But no Ken Singleton to be found. You truly deserved to be there and also recieve a key to the city.
    Glad that you are okay though, I truly hope it was your choice not to attend. You have many fans that really enjoy your coverage. Have a great off season and see you next season. Say Hello to the family.

    Take care

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