Monday, August 20, 2007

Our Favorite Local Legend Passes Away











[Photo: The Baltimore Sun]

Wild Bill Hagy, 68, creator of the real "Roar from 34," dies

By Matthew Taylor

"You can't fully appreciate what he meant to Orioles fans unless you were part of the Memorial Stadium days"
-Roch Kubatko

A sad day for longtime O's fans as another link to the team's magical past has died.

Wild Bill Hagy, the man who, according
The Sun, "loved his beer in Section 34 at Memorial Stadium," and who created the original Roar from (Section) 34 for which this blog is named, passed away this afternoon at his Arbutus home.

[See the sidebar "What does Roar from 34 mean?" for more details.]

Hagy is so ingrained in local lore that the Babe Ruth Museum includes him as part of its "Nine Innings of Baseball" display. The Museum describes Hagy's role as follows: "Inning Six features the familiar musical strain of "Orioles Magic," Wild Bill leading the Roar from 34, and other memorable images and music from the raucous 1980s."

The
Orioles' statement on Hagy:

The Orioles organization is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of "Wild Bill" Hagy. While leading cheers from "The Roar from 34" at Memorial Stadium, Wild Bill became a Baltimore institution. He was one of the great characters of the Baltimore sports landscape and was a true die-hard Orioles fan, supporting the club year in and year out. He will be missed by everyone who knew him and by everyone for whom he led the "O-R-I-O-L-E-S" cheer. All of us in the Orioles organization extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends. A moment of silence will be held in his memory before tonight's Orioles-Rangers game. William G. Hagy was 68 years old.

Roch Kubatko shares his thoughts and encourages fans to do the same. He writes, "You can't fully appreciate what he meant to Orioles fans unless you were part of the Memorial Stadium days ...."

The Roar from 34 authors saw Hagy earlier this summer during Cal's Hall of Fame induction weekend. Sadly, the many nostalgic Birds fans in the Cooperstown watering hole where Hagy was spotted couldn't coax the Baltimore legend into doing his O-R-I-O-L-E-S routine one last time.

5 comments:

The Halls said...

It is a sad day indeed. My theory is WBH was catching up on the ending of yesterday's game.

Living behind Memorial Stadium for 22 years, I spent a lot of time in Section 34, as well as other sections at Memorial Stadium. I have so many fond memories of those days and appreciation for WB. What was better than he and Dempsey on the O's dugout? It's too bad young O's fans weren't lucky enough to know him, but he'll always live in our memories.

-Crystal Hall
www.enchantingsunshine.com

Matthew Taylor said...

Thanks for your comment. It's a pleasure to read the many fond recollections of our favorite local legend.

Young Doug Reaves said...

As a "charter member" of he section 34 rowdies...I applaud the effort gents!!
Thanks for keeping the spirit alive.

"Young" Doug Reaves

Matthew Taylor said...

Thanks, Young Doug. It's great to hear from a Section 34 Rowdy. We appreciate your comment.

Anonymous said...

We were so privileged to have a first class organization like the Orioles during the "Orioles Magic" era and a group like Section 34. Like my friend "Young Doug", I was also a charter member. We had some great memories. Our fan base drew people from all professions and faiths -- steelworkers, cab drivers, accountants, doctors -- out for a fun day or night at Memorial Stadium to cheer our lungs out for the Orioles. We also had a softball team that raised thousands of dollars for various charities in the games we played. Our section was one large family of fans. In this era of sports with high ticket prices and the wine and cheese crowds, there may never be a group like Section 34 again. Thanks for the memories Wild Bill -- rest in peace my friend. Glenn