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RIP: Wild Bill Hagy

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by heyabbott, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    "Wild" Bill Hagy Dead
    Monday, August 20, 2007
    WBAL Radio

    The man who lead Orioles fans from Section 34 at Memorial Stadium has died at the age of 68.

    Mike Gibbons, executive director of the Babe Ruth Birthplace & Museum, says Wild Bill Hagy will long be remembered as an integral part of the Orioles' magic era that ran from the 70's through the 80's

    Wild Bill Hagy spoke with WBAL's John Patti on August 4, 1996. Hagy was in Cooperstown that day with a group of friends to celebrate Earl Weaver's Hall of Fame induction.

    The man who lead Orioles fans from Section 34 at Memorial Stadium has died at the age of 68.

    WBAL Radio has learned that "Wild" Bill Hagy died this morning in his home in Arbutus. Baltimore County Police tell WBAL that Hagy died of natural causes. He was found in his home alone.

    Hagy known for wearing a cowboy hat and donning his beard delighted crowds of Orioles fans through the 70's and 80's.

    Hagy retired from Jimmy's Cabs in Dundalk.

    Tom Kaiser, owner of Bay Cafe in Canton, considered Hagy a "friend." He tells WBAL Radio he has a lot of memories of Hagy.

    "They used to be able to take thermos jugs with draft beer into Memorial Stadium and then it was outlawed. One of Bill's dumb things he did under protest was throw his cooler out onto the field from Section 34 before being ejected that night. Bill was a part of Oriole magic," said Kaiser.

    Michael Gibbons, Executive Director of the Babe Ruth Birthplace & Museum, told WBAL Radio's Angela Jackson Hagy was a dear friend who was a strong supporter of the team through both good and bad times.

    "He was a cheerleader extraordinaire who kind of put the whole fan thing on his back from Section 34 in the upper deck and started leading all of us in spelling out O-R-I-O-L-E-S and other cheers," he said. "It really kind of crystallized the attention to the team - - it brought to light the incredible love affair between that Orioles magic "why not" group of ball players to the fan base at that time - - it just took our fan appreciation for the team to another level."

    Hagy had just recently traveled like so many other Orioles fans to Cooperstown last month to watch as Cal Ripken was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
     
  2. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    '79 Orioles blew that World Series.
     
  3. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Donning his beard? If I know the definition correctly, a beard -- at least one like Hagy's -- is not something one can take on and off....
     
  4. lantaur

    lantaur Active Member

    So WBAL learned this? ;)

    Seriously, RIP to Wild Bill ... certainly a fond memory from my youth.

    O-R-I-O-L-E-S.
     
  5. EmbassyRow

    EmbassyRow Active Member

    I still remember seeing him in my few trips to Memorial Stadium. RIP.
     
  6. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Survivors include Linda Wareheim, the sweepy time girl.
     
  7. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    The Baltimore Sun ran this on Hagy a few years ago:

    <i>In all the years of baseball at 33rd Street and Camden Yards, the most enduring character is Wild Bill Hagy, the Dundalk cab driver with the full beard and jug-band hat who led cheers from the upper deck in the 1970s and '80s, when the Orioles seemed always in the hunt for a pennant.

    The Hagy thing developed the way these things should - spontaneously, a natural progression from man sitting with beer and watching his team, to man standing and leading cheers by spelling the name of the team with his pot-bellied body, to man becoming local legend and the face of down-home Baltimore.

    Hagy, now 65, retired in January from driving a cab. He subscribes to a 29-game plan with the Orioles, his seat in the first row of Section 312. Once in a while he leads a cheer, but for the most part he keeps a much lower profile at Camden Yards. "I don't think most of the people around me know who I am," Hagy says with a laugh, "and that's OK; I kind of like it that way."

    Hagy and his Section 34 gang flourished at Memorial Stadium in a time when such things could develop on their own, without contrivance by marketing managers. His was a genuine outburst of affection in the time of tank tops and Oriole Magic. Before it was over, Hagy had secured iconic stature, and someday there will just have to be a statue.</i>
     
  8. Damn, Orioles fans used to be cool:

     
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