For decades, Washington had no baseball team. When the last iteration of the Senators moved away from D.C. in 1971, many baseball fans in and around Washington shifted their rooting allegiance to the Baltimore Orioles, the closest team around.
But when the Montreal Expos moved to Washington and became the Nationals in 2005, a lot of rooting lines got blurry. While the Nats had some disappointing seasons on the field an in attendance in the early years as the team struggled, any recent visit to Nats Park reveals a good fan-base full of young kids wearing Curly W hats. Plus, generally Washington people do not identify with Baltimore. They are very different cities, and with its own baseball team, perhaps Washingtonians no longer have use for the Charm City side.
And yet thousands of fans remain loyal to the Orioles, the team many people grew up watching. It helped that the Orioles teams of the 1980s and 1990s were generally strong, and featured one of the game's all-time greats in Cal Ripken, Jr. Add in a great home park in Camden Yards, the first neo-nostalgic baseball-only stadium of its kind, and it's easy to understand why fondness for the Baltimore team remains.
So what to make of an Orioles advertisement along the D.C. border? 106.7 the Fan tweeted out a picture of an Orioles advertisement earlier Tuesday, and fans of both sides have reacted strongly through social media.
It makes marketing sense for the Orioles to advertise in D.C., especially on a road called the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. But the billboard is awfully close to Nats Park, and many fans consider that ad too close for comfort.
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