I was at a Yankee game in 2017 where a group of obnoxious Orioles fans were singing the Darren O’Day song in the 9th inning of a game the Yankees were about to lose.
It was April 30, 2017 — and Baltimore was leading 4-2 in the bottom of the 9th. The family and I were standing behind home plate with a crowd of people watching the final outs so we could exit the Stadium quickly if the Yanks lost.
There were four Orioles fans — 3 guys and a gal, in their early 20’s — loudly rooting for the Orioles. One guy — the most arrogant of the bunch — was commenting loud enough for everyone around to hear — on how so many Yankee fans were leaving, and you wouldn’t see this in Baltimore, and Yankee Stadium didn’t seem to be that packed, etc.
As O’Day was brought out to pitch the 9th, they started singing the Darren O’Day song, which goes like this:
It’s a fucking annoying song if visiting fans are singing it while the Yanks are down 4-2 in the 9th.
- After getting Aaron Hicks to foul out to start the inning, O’Day allowed a single to Matt Holliday, but then got Miguel Castro on a grounder.
- 2 outs — and rookie Aaron Judge due up. The most arrogant Oriole fan told the others that they’d better watch out with this big bastard coming up. He meant it as praise. Maybe he wasn’t such a bad guy after all.
- O’Day walked Judge. Judge at the time had 10 homers already and was batting .303 — in what should have been an MVP season. I’ve often wondered what those Orioles fans were thinking when Judge tore up Baltimore thru the years. In fact every time Judge hits a homer in Baltimore — or against Baltimore at Yankee Stadium — to this o’day — I think of those Orioles fans.
- And then O’Day walked Chase Headley.
- And then O’Day allowed a 2-out, 2-RBI single to Didi Gregorius and it was a tie game 4-4.
The End Game
The Orioles fans — disgusted and disgruntled — went back to their seats in the box area — as O’Day was yanked for reliever Donnie Hart. Pure happiness and redemption.
The Yanks were ‘this close’ to winning, but Hart struck out Chris Carter looking to end the inning and send the game into extras.
The Orioles would win 7-4 in 11 innings — as Bryan Mitchell would pitch the 9th, then be put at 1st base while Aroldis Chapman pitched the 10th, then be brought back to pitch the 11th — which is the most memorable part of this game from a tactical standpoint.
But I am left remembering it for the 9th inning, and Darren O’Day, and those Orioles fans.
The Joke of the O’Day Was On the Yankees
Four years later O’Day would sign a free agent contract with the Yankees. He was expected to be a core setup man of the pen for the 2021 season. He pitched in 12 games early in the year — 10.2 innings, 9 hits, 11 strikeouts, and a 0-0 3.38 slash line — before getting injured and never pitching for NY again. The Joke of the O’Day was on the Yankees.
O’Day was 38 at the time. He actually did pretty well and he didn’t want to get injured. Just had to work that joke in.
O’Day recovered from the injury, and pitched with Atlanta in 2022. He did ok: 21 innings, 19 hits, 2-2 4.15.
O’Day Was a Submariner
O’Day was briefly with the Mets early in his career, then pitched a couple of years with Texas, before spending most of his career with Baltimore. The Yanks faced him regularly.
O’Day was an old fashioned submariner — a 6’4 righthander who comes All the way down almost to the dirt before throwing pitches.
Darren O'Day, Mechanics/Arm Action. pic.twitter.com/8xAP9k5eWL
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 29, 2018
O’Day Retired in January 2023
O’Day announced his retirement in January, 2023. Even with his brief career with the Yanks, he remains a memorable pitcher — for me and I’m sure other Yankee fans and players.
Darren O’Day announcing his retirement is not the reason "testicle" is trending…but it could be. pic.twitter.com/GM1ujK46VO
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) January 30, 2023
The Boxscore of the April 30, 2017 Game