Romeo Santos, a Pigtown native and current Morrell Park resident, was recently named a finalist for ESPN’s 2013 Fan Hall of Fame. As an avid Orioles fan, active philanthropist, and Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, Santos is very deserving of this recognition. SouthBMore.com recently talked with Santos about his love for the game and what winning the Fan Hall of Fame (which also includes Baltimore’s own Captain Dee-Fense!) would mean.
SB: What made you become an Orioles super fan?
RS: I have always been an O’s fan but it wasn’t until I returned home after my second deployment that I started going to tons of games a year. My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2007 and I think I used it as an outlet to deal with her illness. I always said that I was the “Cal Ripken of breast cancer husbands” because I never missed an appointment.
SB: Do you have any Orioles rituals before, during or after the game?
RS: I have to get to the game as soon as the gates open, two hours before the game. I go hang out with my baseball friends and snag some fly balls. When batting practice is over I head over to see Boog Powell, the big 1970 AL MVP, and have him sign my O’s helmet. I love shooting the stuff with him. He is such an amazing guy.
RS: My wife loved to fundraise for the Maryland SPCA. Orioles fundraisers were a way for me to get to more O’s games and please the wife, LOL. Since she passed in 2011, I have branched off to fundraise for military and breast cancer organizations. I have also influenced some friends to fundraise for their causes, as well.
SB: Name three moments in Orioles history that you’ll never forget.
RS: Cal Ripken’s final game, the 2013 playoffs, and watching Pigtown local, Steve Clevenger, catch his first O’s game.
SB: How valuable is it to the city of Baltimore to have the Orioles winning again?
RS: You cannot put a value on that. It’s priceless.
SB: If the Orioles win the World Series in 2014, how are you celebrating?
RS: I get choked up just thinking about that. I wouldn’t miss a game and when they bring that trophy home I will cry tears of joy. They will bring that trophy home again.
Everything. I just think about all the good I can do with the notoriety. I could sell more O’s tickets and raise more money for local Baltimore charities like the Maryland SPCA and Red Devils. It would be pretty cool to have two Baltimore fans representing our teams in back-to-back years.
So Baltimore, here’s how you can help: Visit http://fanhalloffame.com/vote/2013/romeo-santos/ and vote for Santos three times every day until December 11th – and encourage your friends to do the same! Let’s again show everyone that Charm City does indeed have the best fans in all of sports!