August 22, 2007

'Wild Bill' Hagy : dies at 68. The 'Roar from 34' is no more.

posted by Hugh Janus to baseball at 12:43 PM - 8 comments

I grew up in Section 39 at Memorial Stadium, dividing my attention between Palmer and Singleton and Murray and Bumbry and Dempsey and DeCinces et al, the guys behind us with the cooler full of beer (no bottles; they used the spigot on the side and paper cups as though the cooler was a big flat keg), and Wild Bill over in 34. I remember leaping up onto my seat at his command. Every kid back then knew how to spell O-R-I-O-L-E-S with his whole body. What a fellow Wild Bill Hagy was. Give that fan a contract.

posted by Hugh Janus at 12:54 PM on August 22, 2007

I remember as a kid watching some Orioles games because of Cal Ripken Jr. and seeing this bushy bearded guy making the crowd go nuts. Sad. .

posted by BornIcon at 01:40 PM on August 22, 2007

I grew up following the Orioles and remember Wild Bill and how everyone divided attention between game and Section 34 to see what he would do next. The fact that there is no one who has taken his place says a lot about how the Orioles franchise has lost it's way - but that's a different story. Sorry to hear he's gone. He was a great peronality. They don't make Orioles fans like that anymore.

posted by BikeNut at 05:01 PM on August 22, 2007

O-R-I-O-L-E-S!!! R.I.P. W.B.

posted by tnip23 at 06:23 PM on August 22, 2007

They don't make Orioles fans like that anymore. The Orioles don't deserve fans like that anymore.

posted by yerfatma at 07:14 PM on August 22, 2007

As a kid growing up in Baltimore in the 70's and 80's, this guy seemed like he was bigger than life. To me, he was as important to our city as the mayor.

posted by rabi at 07:31 PM on August 22, 2007

In 1985, Mr. Hagy began a boycott of Memorial Stadium because he was no longer allowed to bring his own beer in a cooler. The night before the ban went into effect, he downed nine or 10 beers by his count and then launched his empty cooler from the upper deck onto the field. He was also distressed at the declining state of the team. The Orioles tried to bring him back to lead a last cheer during the final game at Memorial Stadium in 1991. But he turned down the request, continuing the boycott. He returned, far more quietly, a few years after the team moved to Camden Yards. He might be the most famous (and overrated) bandwagon fan of all time. Seriously, he abandoned his team loyalty over a cooler policy. I certainly am sorry to hear about his demise, but it seems to me that Budweiser fans (and distributors) should be a lot more unhappy about the news than Orioles fans.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 01:31 AM on August 23, 2007

It is sad to hear he has died, but at least he did not have to see this game. That one may have just pushed him over the edge itself.

posted by jojomfd1 at 03:36 AM on August 23, 2007

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