Maryland 2012, year in review

2012 was a stormy year in Maryland filled with great achievements and unthinkable tragedies. Here are a few moments that we will never forget.

Derecho summer storm

Derecho summer storm

On June 29th a derecho storm blew through Maryland causing hundreds of thousands to lose power. A derecho storm is a series of  severe thunderstorms with hurricane-force winds. This summer storm brought winds as high as 70 mph. Besides power outages, Maryland’s derecho storm caused downed trees, crushed cars, and roofs blown off houses. Six months later on October 29th, Hurricane Sandy ripped through the Atlantic Coast. Although Maryland was not hit as hard as New Jersey, Sandy did cause damage – especially in Ocean City. This storm caused downed trees and flooding throughout Maryland and almost 200,000 people were without power. The fishing pier at the inlet in Ocean City was severely damaged, as was some of the boardwalk.

Maryland Live Casino

Maryland Live Casino

Maryland Live Casino, the third largest commercial casino in the U.S., opened on June 6th with long lines and causing terrible traffic. Maryland Live is a $500 million casino located at Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover, MD. Along with 4,750 slot machines, Maryland Live is also home to great restaurants such as Bobby Flay’s Burger Palace, The Cheesecake Factory, Phillips Seaford and The Prime Rib and concert venue Rams Head Center Stage. The casino just began 24-hour operation this week and has plans for table games in 2013. Maryland Live Casino has generated more than $1 million a day for five of the past six months that it has been open. Almost half of its revenues goes to the state’s Education Trust Fund, which is used for health, education, public safety and environmental programs.

Ellicott City train derailment

Ellicott City train derailment

Two unthinkable tragedies occurred in the same week in August. On August 21st, 21 cars of an 80-car freight train derailed in historic Ellicott City killing two young women who were sitting along the train tracks. Elizabeth Conway Nass and Rose Mayr, both 19, were from Ellicott City and were scheduled to return to college the following week. The train derailment also caused damage to many parked cars in nearby lots as well loss of business to many restaurants and shops while Main Street was closed. Just six days later on the first day of school, there was a shooting at Perry Hall High School. One student opened fire in the cafeteria, shooting and seriously injuring another student, Daniel Borowy. Luckily no one was killed thanks to the heroics of one of the teachers.

Cal Ripken and his statue

Cal Ripken and his statue

2012 was a great year in Maryland sports. It was the year Orioles Magic returned to Baltimore, and we proudly admitted that we were Orioles fans! For the first time in 15 years, the Baltimore Orioles made it into the playoffs. Throughout the season, the Orioles unveiled statues of its Hall of Famers. September 6th marked the 17th anniversary of Cal Ripken Jr.’s 2131 record-breaking game (for most consecutive games played). Cal’s statue was unveiled with much fanfare and a pregame ceremony that had fans arriving hours before the first pitch. Another team in Baltimore also made the playoffs in 2012. For the fifth consecutive year, the Ravens made the playoffs winning the AFC North division. And Baltimore native Michael Phelps broke the record for winning the most Olympic medals on July 31st when he won his 19th, a gold in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay.

Orioles Magic

Orioles Magic

What will you remember about 2012? Hopefully next year’s review will have more achievements and less tragedies. Have a safe and happy new year – 2013!

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Orioles Magic!

It seems that Orioles Magic has returned to Baltimore, after a 15 year hiatus. For the first time since 1997, the Baltimore Orioles are in 1st place in September – and are most likely going to the playoffs. You could definitely feel the Orioles Magic at Camden Yards last night for Cal Ripken Jr’s statue dedication ceremony and the Orioles 10-6 win over the Yankees.

September 6th

Last night was September 6th, the 17th anniversary of Cal Ripken Jr’s 2131st consecutive game when he broke Lou Gehrig’s record. It was also the night of Cal Ripken Jr’s statue dedication ceremony. Throughout the season the Orioles have unveiled statues of Hall of Famers Frank Robinson, Earl Weaver, Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray and Brooks Robinson (whose statue will be unveiled September 29th).  Fans lined up as early as 1:30pm yesterday to get an autograph from Cal when he arrived at Camden Yards.

waiting for Cal

Most fans got in line about 4pm, an hour before gates opened, to secure a good view of Cal’s statue dedication ceremony. Once inside, fans swarmed the center field picnic area where the ceremony was held. The seated VIP audience included Cal’s family (wife Kelly, mom Vi, brothers Billy and Fred), former teammates (Brady Anderson, Eddie Murray, Mike Bordick, Ken Singleton), current Orioles (Buck Showalter, Adam Jones, Mark Reynolds), and Lynda Carter (tv’s Wonder Woman) who is apparently a close friend of Cal’s. After speeches by Brady Anderson, Billy Ripken, Louis Angelos, Cal Ripken’s statue was unveiled and then he took the stage and gave his speech, getting choked up when speaking of his family.

Cal’s Statue Dedication Ceremony

Cal and his statue

Cal Ripken Jr statue at Camden Yards

About an hour later, there was an on field ceremony and then the game started around 7:15. By the end of the 1st inning, Orioles Magic was in full swing as the Orioles took the lead 4-0, including a homerun by Watt Wieters. This was the first of six homeruns the Orioles would get in their 10-6 victory over the Yankees. The Orioles were up 6-1 after seven innings, then the Yankees scored five runs in the 8th inning to tie the game, then the Orioles scored four runs in the bottom of the 8th to get the win and solidify their first place standing the American League East.

Orioles Magic

There are only are only 12 regular season home games left, so get down to Camden Yards and join in some of that ORIOLES MAGIC!