It’s no secret that Nationals manager Davey Johnson has a lot of history with the Orioles, from his early days as a player to the two years he managed the team and twice led it to the American League Championship Series.
So, pardon him for getting a little nostalgic his days as a young player in Baltimore in the 1960s.
"It was more of a family,’’ he told reporters on Friday. “It was my first big league team and it was (a family). We tried to live close to each other. We did things off the field. We partied a lot. We won a lot so we had a lot to party for.”
One of those parties almost changed baseball as we know it, when a very important player on that team had quite a scare.
"I remember the time that Frank Robinson, after we won in '66, he fell in a swimming pool and Andy Etchebarren and I were looking down at him and he was in the bottom of the pool,’’ Johnson said. “We both jumped in and saved him. He didn't know how to swim -- and he was nothing but rock hard muscle. We didn't know why he went in the pool but we dang sure weren't going to let him drown."
Johnson said he remembers the parties and the fun more than all the ballgames the Orioles won in those days.
“I remember those more than sweeping the Dodgers four straight and the times that I used to kick (Earl) Weaver's (butt) on the golf course,’’ he said. “It was just a fun time... It was just a family atmosphere. That's what I really love about the Orioles. We went through the good and the bad together. We had a lot more good."