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Sports

Orioles Players and Fans Say, “We Won’t Stop!”

Keith Allison via flickr
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There’s been more orange in the stands at Camden Yards than in recent years. And it’s not been lost on the Baltimore Orioles, who put together a new “thank you” video for the fans to end the regular season. It follows one the team’s production crew put together two years ago, when the Orioles reached the playoffs for the first time in decades. That was a huge hit with Birds lovers.

Players lip-synced, danced and goofed off to the song, “Glad You Came,” by The Wanted. And the fans - who hadn’t seen the baseball playoffs in their hometown in a long, long time –were also on screen, wearing orange wigs, orange mustaches and even an orange bodysuit.

So, as the Orioles cruised toward Thursday’s opening playoff game, the marketing team came up with a different idea.  The new video is as much of a rallying cry as a thank you. Instead of fans wearing the wigs, pitchers Darren O’Day and T.J. McFarland run around Camden Yards in wigs, dancing and singing along with the other players.

Greg Bader, Orioles vice president of communication and marketing, said they didn’t have to twist any arms to get it made. “[The players] totally get what we’re trying to do. They all root for each other and they want to one-up each other,” Bader said.  For instance, if a player saw a teammate film a particularly hilarious bit, he’d wanted to do something funnier.

But the video is more than just a goof session, said Mike Stashik, the director of Orioles productions.  The song itself sums up the feeling in the clubhouse.

Stashik said the new video’s theme of  “We Won’t Stop” captures the team’s promise that they’re going to leave it all out on the field.  The song, titled “Under the Lights” by Cassio Monroe, fits the energy and mentality the Orioles’ players have right now.  Stashik says that the message is “we’re not done."

Their best-selling t-shirt is emblazoned with “We Won’t Stop.”  It’s become a Twitter hashtag to keep fans in the loop and there are “We Won’t Stop” rallies all over the city starring former players and the Orioles bird.

So, if this video is for the fans, what’s happening inside the clubhouse to rally the team?

Greg Bader says the team’s manager knows how to get into his players’ heads. “Buck [Showalter] is definitely an expert motivator. He knows how to get these guys’ attention,” he said. Bader adds that Showalter asked the production team to make special videos for the pre-season and often has motivational speakers give talks to the team. “Buck is passionate about making sure the players are motivated,” Bader said.

To stay relaxed and loose, the team plays ping pong and corn hole. Center fielder Adam Jones occasionally smashes a pie in the face of a player who has had a great game performance. Stashik said that builds the camaraderie that fans see in the videos – and that’s paid off with an array of baseball players who have stepped out from the shadows.  There’s a new hero every night. 

Stashik said his team is hustling to put the finishing touches on the videos they’ll play during the playoffs.   But he doesn’t have to work too hard to get the fans pumped up. “During playoff time 2012, I was so nervous, but the fans showed we didn’t have to do anything,” he said. “This place was rocking without us.  So the pressure is off. I’m just excited to see the sold-out place rock it.”

So, the question, then, is will sold out Camden Yards be rocking at game time Thursday and inspire the players to bring home the win?