Already buried under 4+ feet of snow, the Orioles get more bad news…
I just looked out my window and cursed Punxsutawney Phil for seeing his shadow and cursing Baltimore and the surrounding areas to Hoth-like conditions. Pitchers and catchers report in 6 short days. Eventually everyone in the city will be complaining about the heat and humidity, not realizing the irony of them getting exactly what they wished for as they sat in their homes watching it snow sideways (not an exaggeration. I actually watched it snow sideways today).
But in the midst of all of this, the Orioles lost a long time friend in former traveling secretary Phil Itzoe. You may have heard his name, you may not have. But he spent 41 years with the team making sure everything involved with every trip the team took went without a hitch. To put that in perspective, the Orioles played anywhere from 70-81 games a year. There are anywhere from 25-40 players on the team depending on if the roster was expanded after September 1st. Add in a minimum of 5 coaches, the training staff, the broadcasters, and any number of various and sundry additional people, star players travelling under assumed names and getting special accommodations – think Cal Ripken and Brady Anderson – and you have a LOT of work being put in. And the fact that a lot of people never heard of him actually proves how good he really was. I can guarantee you that if he had screwed up that you would have.
I can not make any claim of knowing the man. And there is a much better account of all he did for the team HERE by people who knew him and worked with him. I just wanted to take a moment to thank one of the unseen cogs that made this team run.
About the Author
Written by Ron Burr
Ron is a lifelong resident of Maryland and has been a passionate player and fan of sports for as long as he can remember. When he is not watching the games or explaining to his lovely wife why he is cursing at the television, he runs an improv/sketch comedy troupe, Drop Three. He can't hit a curveball or run a sub 4.5 40 yard dash, but he knows the games and loves talking about it with anyone. Differing opinions are welcome and encouraged!