Most Orioles fans know that the 2021 season was not only the best season of Cedric Mullins’ career, but one of the most dominant performances in baseball this year. His accolades included his very first appearance on an All-Star team, the club’s first season with 30 home runs and 30 goals stolen in franchise history, and being unanimously named the winner. of the Most Valuable Oriole Award.
But one of his most memorable moments of the 2021 campaign came on a summer night in Baltimore on June 18 against the Toronto Blue Jays.
At the time, Mullins had already enjoyed an impressive first half, leading the team in several offensive categories and earning themselves early consideration on the All-Star. As he continued his ascent, it became clear that this was more than a lucky start to the year.
Following the success of Mullins’ first two months to start the season, the Orioles announced in late May that they would host their first T-shirt night of the summer on June 18, featuring none other than the 5-foot-8 outfielder. thumbs up taking the world of baseball. by the storm.
In the third installment of Birdland Playback, Mullins remembers his performance and the incredible crowd support at his T-shirt party at Oriole Park.
After “Cedric Mullins T-Shirt Night” was announced to the public, Mullins’ teammates were the first to don the shirts and show their support for the All-Star prospect. Orioles players wore their ’31’ jerseys around the clubhouse and during batting practices in the days leading up to the celebration night – most of which continued to do long after the special night ended.
On the night of June 18, the Orioles opened a six-game homestand after concluding a road trip that saw them give up eight straight games. Although the team has struggled, Mullins has had an exceptional June, where he has beaten 0.400 (20 for 50) in 13 games so far.
As the Orange Sea still took hold, Mullins immediately showed the power Orioles fans had witnessed throughout the season.
On the first pitch thrown by future AL Cy Young 2021 winner Robbie Ray, Mullins scored a home run lead to put the crowd on their feet and give the Orioles a 1-0 lead.
The two teams faced off for most of the night. The Orioles maintained their 1-0 lead until Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. put the Blue Jays on the board and tied the score with a solo shot early in the fifth inning.
In the lower half of the frame, Mullins recorded his second hit of the night with a single to center field. Two batters later, Austin Hays gave the Orioles another 2-1 lead with a single. It would remain a close one-point game until the Orioles took a sizable lead in the eighth inning, thanks to none other than Mullins himself.
After a pair of hits from Freddy Galvis and Maikel Franco to give Baltimore a 4-1 lead, Mullins put the final nail on Toronto’s coffin – a play that resulted in one of the best moments at Oriole Park this season.
With two runners on base and two strikeouts in an inning, Mullins sent a ball into deep right field for his 11th home run of the season and his second hit of the night. The Home gave the Orioles a 7-1 lead which would be the final score.
After getting around the bases and sailing through a swarm of high-fives in the Orioles dugout, Mullins realized that Birdland’s faithful were always clamoring for more.
“I just felt the energy of the crowd,” Mullins recalls. “I was on the edge of the canoe putting down my things and that’s when it hit me, ‘Oh, they want the recall.'”
As he emerged for the standing ovation, his teammates cheered along with the roar of the crowd.
“It was just awesome,” Mullins continued. “My teammates were delighted to see this for themselves. How that night unfolded is hard to reproduce. That environment – the fans were awesome and really came out to support that day. “
“It was a creepy moment.”
Mullins will earn this well-deserved All-Star nomination by hosting one of the best offensive seasons in the American League. In November, he received his first career Silver Slugger Award, the best offensive recognition in Major League Baseball awarded to the best players of the season in each position, selected in a vote by MLB coaches and managers in their respective leagues.
While there were several exciting moments in 2021, it was an O’s victory in mid-June that provided one of the most electric nights at Camden Yards this season.
“It’s the most energy I’ve seen in the stadium in my three years here,” manager Brandon Hyde said after the game. “I felt like the guys really fed off that. The crowd was incredible. And that the fans recognize Cédric and his super night like that, it was a super cool moment. “
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