Wild Bill Hagy
March 28, 2016 5:54 PM   Subscribe

I would have envisioned him as more of a National Bohemian man.
posted by 4ster at 6:09 PM on March 28, 2016

That's fun to see -- glimpse of his neighborhood, a little of the O's/Red Sox game (including Remy on the field). Thanks for posting it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:13 PM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh my god, Dancin' Homer was real!
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:38 PM on March 28, 2016 [8 favorites]

What a great time capsule.

Just listen to the "O" in his chant, or how he says "Let's go" That is the classic working-class white Baltimore accent. He lived between Essex, Dundalk and Sparrows Point - The two parts of Baltimore I'd point to today as remnants of that lost world and the long-gone steel mill emblematic industrial Baltimore. Not to mention the existence of "General Admission" tickets.

This video is so Baltimore, it has a cameo from Marty Bass. Hired in 1977 and still with WJZ, currently the local CBS affiliate, he is or was such a local character that they filmed a special segment to talk about getting rid of the toupee in 1986. And, as his bio notes, he started early morning news-casting in Baltimore sitting next to a more famous co-anchor.
posted by timdiggerm at 6:41 PM on March 28, 2016 [8 favorites]

Wild Bill showed up at Orioles Park late in his life, probably when some Cal Ripken thing was going on. I recognized him and scrambled to get an autographed ball. Unfortunately, the stadium store didn't sell Sharpies, so his autograph has been slowly decaying ever since, like some weird Dorian Gray variant.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:45 PM on March 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

posted by teponaztli at 6:50 PM on March 28, 2016 [5 favorites]

I miss Maryland. Send crab chips.
posted by teponaztli at 6:50 PM on March 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

I'm the product of a Baltimore mixed marriage; my father grew up in Highlandtown and my mother lived on a large estate outside Ellicott City. Their marriage didn't last (although my mother managed to marry another Loyola High School boy 10 years later) and we moved from Baltimore when I was eight, but I spent summers with both grandparents in the '70s and early '80s. My "posh" grandmother never went to an Orioles game in her life, but she fell asleep listening to the games (or Allen Christian) on AM radio. My grandfather would take me to at least one game every summer, as long as he wasn't working third shift at the Lever Brothers factory. My first celebrity autograph was from Brooks Robinson and my first baseball crush was Kiko Garcia. Sorry for all this nostalgic nonsense, but thank you for bringing up some very happy memories from the deep recesses. Go Birds!
posted by Sweetie Darling at 7:15 PM on March 28, 2016 [6 favorites]

I remember sitting one section over from Wild Bill in 1977, before he was a household name, and being entranced by how raucous and passionate he and the rest of his crew were. It was so different from my parents' polite applause. From that game on, the first thing I did when I got into my seat was scan for Section 34 so I knew where to look when the game got tight. I was a huge baseball fan at 6, but I sure didn't realize how good I had it passing the summer nights with guys like Brooks, Eddie, and Wild Bill.
posted by weebil at 7:27 PM on March 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

If we're going to be nostalgic for Maryland, I grew up... well, not in Baltimore. More like 20 minutes outside Olney, at least until middle school, and that's the part of the state I still identify with. Back then it was not built up like it is today. For me it was all farms and hay balers and old broken down buildings in the middle of the woods.

The Baltimore oriole was the first bird I could ever identify, because it was our team, obviously, even though I didn't even grow up watching baseball. Cal Ripken was everywhere, including in that ride at - was it Six Flags? - that kind of made your head hurt (the "Mind Eraser" *cue lighting*).

I've watched this video million times, or every time I've gotten homesick for Maryland, because even though I never talked like Baltimore, I still say my O's that way sometimes. That guy's Maryland in a nutshell for me, and he's awesome. Are you readaaayyyy!
posted by teponaztli at 7:34 PM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

SON: Dad, what was it like when you were a boy?

ME: Imagine a world where a cab driver could afford to go to every home game...

SON: What's a "cab driver"?
posted by Lyme Drop at 8:22 PM on March 28, 2016 [14 favorites]


Of course.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:32 PM on March 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

Whoa. That's my childhood up there.
posted by desuetude at 9:05 PM on March 28, 2016

Oh, man, flashbacks! Back when I was a kid, the Senators had absconded from DC for the second time, so my baseball-loving mother turned to the Orioles as a substitute. So I saw a lot of Wild Bill.

These days she posts facebook updates from the stadium while watching the Nats.
posted by tavella at 11:40 PM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Well, that made my morning. We used to be in Section 33 (rows 13-17 or thereabouts) just about every night. A couple of bucks for General Admission, man what a deal. I'll never forget the '79 season, it was great right up until that terrible World Series (We Are Family, my ass).

Bill sure made things fun.
posted by jeporter99 at 4:56 AM on March 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

Maybe it was my imagination, but it kind of looked like they poured a zillion beers into about a couple of big insulated beverage dispensers and brought them into the stadium.
posted by exogenous at 5:00 AM on March 29, 2016

If it's not threadcrapping, this Detroiter would like to offer a tip of the Tiger cap and a raised Stroh's to our own '70s/'80s superfan: Joe "The Brow" Diroff.
posted by non canadian guy at 6:28 AM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

exogenous, your eyes do not deceive. Back in the day it was completely OK to bring your own booze to the ballpark.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:56 AM on March 29, 2016

Yup. Hagy's Wikipedia page says he stopped attending Os games when they banned bringing your own beer
posted by timdiggerm at 8:03 AM on March 29, 2016

I miss Maryland. Send crab chips.
posted by teponaztli at 9:50 PM on March 28

I miss Maryland. Send crab chips. Berger Cookies. FTFY
posted by teponaztli at 9:50 PM on March 28
posted by ShawnString at 9:14 AM on March 29, 2016

ChurchHatesTucker: "exogenous, your eyes do not deceive. Back in the day it was completely OK to bring your own booze to the ballpark."

Wow, I had no idea. And it seems he Donkey Konged his beer dispenser onto the field in protest.
posted by exogenous at 9:30 AM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

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