Showalter takes sad victory lap around his Orioles home - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Showalter takes sad victory lap around his Orioles home

Photo Credit: Rich Dubroff

For the years they were in Baltimore, Buck and Angela Showalter’s chosen charity was KidsPeace, an organization that encourages foster care.

Each October, just before Halloween, there’d be a 3.1-mile run and walk designed to raise money and awareness for KidsPeace.

After his Oct. 3 dismissal from the Orioles, there was doubt that the Showalters would return from their Dallas home for the event at Camden Yards, which is held in conjunction with the team.

Showalter felt he had a commitment to the charity and event organizers, and even though he wasn’t as visible a participant as in the past, he and Angela were there on a dreary Saturday morning.

“Love you, Buck!” a fan yelled as he trotted past him. “Thanks, Buck!” others cried. “You’re the man!” another screamed.

A few runners stopped to shake Showalter’s hand, and one briefly chatted with him, thanking him for bringing exciting baseball to Baltimore.

“I had a lot of help,” Showalter told him.

It wasn’t an easy decision for the Showalters to return. The pain is still there, though Showalter has chosen to take the high road and not engage in talk about his firing after more than eight years as Orioles manager.

“We’re bringing closure to a lot of things,” Showalter said. He and Angela are selling their Baltimore County home, a place he very much enjoyed. On Orioles’ off days, Showalter would mow the lawn with his large tractor and delight in talking about it.

Most painful was finding a new home for the couple’s two miniature donkeys, but Angela managed to find a good family for them earlier this week.

“Packing. It’s a lot of stuff you accumulate in 8 1/2 , nine years, whatever it was,” Showalter said about his past few days. “It’s been … a thousand things I’d thought I’d lost.”

Wearing a “KidsPeace” jacket in Orioles’ black and orange, Showalter looked much more refreshed than he did in the final days of the dreadful 115-loss 2018  season.

It was Angela, whose family took in foster children, who introduced Buck to KidsPeace. Because of their commitment to the cause, Showalter felt they had to return, even though Angela wasn’t keen on the idea.

“She didn’t want me to come,” Showalter said. “She’s been very kind of protective about it right now. That’s her.”

In the weeks since he was let go by the Orioles, Showalter has been busy and, yes, Manny Machado’s postseason antics have been discussed.

“I had my hands full trying to get reorganized,” he said. “Talking to a lot of people. There have been a lot of calls about Manny. Lots of teams that are thinking about signing him, I can tell. That’s a tough conversation. I kept telling Manny, ‘You know they’re going to call, right?’”

Showalter wasn’t mentioned for any of the other five managerial vacancies this month. Four of them have been filled. Only the Orioles and Texas Rangers, another team Showalter once managed, are still looking.

He could always return to television, where during two other enforced breaks from managing he worked at ESPN as a well-received commentator.

“I’m too close to it, right now,” Showalter said. “I’ve had a lot of interesting calls, so to speak. I found that … when you want to make good decisions in life, you need to take some time and back off a little bit. Probably a week or so after the World Series, I’ll decide what direction, if any.”

He continues to be touched by the phone calls he’s received from former players wishing him well, and knows how much the fans thought of him. He didn’t want to hold a press conference for the event and decided to pass on the Friday night party, where runners and walkers picked up their numbers and race T-shirts. Being the center of attention is not his thing.

“It’s about the event and the charity,” Showalter said. He admits he’s bad at goodbyes, and that it’s difficult to accept the thank-yous from Oriole fans.

“My wife tells me I’m not good at that, so I’ll continue not to be good at it,” he said.

Four weeks ago when the season came to an end, Showalter knew he was going to be leaving the Orioles. It was also the presumed final day for the only Oriole who’d been with the club longer than Showalter, Adam Jones.

Showalter didn’t want Jones to have to share the attention with him, even though fans and media wanted him to.

“The last day I could tell that people were … I thought it was Adam’s day,” Showalter said. “I really did. I made sure it was all about Adam.”

Johnson’s leaving Norfolk

Ron Johnson, who managed Triple-A Norfolk for seven seasons, will not return to the Orioles next season, according to an industry source. Johnson was named the winner of the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award this season.

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Jack Gibbons

    October 27, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Excellent detail and description, Rich. Thanks for taking us to the race/walk for KidsPeace.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 27, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      Thank you, Jack.

  2. PA Bird Lover

    October 27, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    It was a sad day for me after Buck’s dismissal. I always felt that he was the only professional company man on the payroll. His name gave us credence. However, I’m only an observer and certainly not an authority on who can or cannot manage kids. I don’t know if Buck wanted to stay or what. Your piece makes it sound like he may have wanted to stay in Baltimore. He is a teacher after all.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 27, 2018 at 3:25 pm

      PA, Buck wanted to stay.

      • boss61

        October 27, 2018 at 6:53 pm

        Rich, of that I never had doubt. He wanted to stay and many of us wanted him to stay. But in what capacity and for compensation perhaps beneath his dignity?

  3. BirdsCaps

    October 27, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    This is just the latest reminder that the “Oriole Magic” of 2012-2016 is dead. The last game of the season was a depressing wake for the good years. Whenever Showalter or Jones went on the field the crowd roared. Hopefully it won’t be too long until the next glimmer of magic .Also, hopefully Jones and Buck can find success at their next teams.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 27, 2018 at 5:56 pm

      That would be nice, BirdsCaps.

    • whiterose

      October 27, 2018 at 11:36 pm

      Oriole Magic died at Memoroal Stadium

    • whiterose

      October 27, 2018 at 11:38 pm

      Memorial Stadium (damn small keyboard ha! )

      • boss61

        October 28, 2018 at 5:59 am

        I disagree. If you were in attendance for the 2014 ALDS, Orioles Magic was quite alive and well at Camden Yards.

        Orioles Magic died at the SKydome (they all it the Rodgers Centre), in the bullpen, during the wild card game. An incredulous Zach Britton looking on in disbelief…

  4. boss61

    October 27, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Not to be overlooked, Ron Johnson is a real loss too

    • Ekim

      October 27, 2018 at 7:24 pm

      The carnage continues….

  5. Zoey Dog Says Throw Strikes

    October 27, 2018 at 11:23 pm

    This is just so sad. Buck was, in many respects, a savior to a terrible organization. I’ll never forget the discussions about hiring Buck, the “Buck stops here” campaign or any of it. All the radio and internet speculation.

    I feel like th Orioles let him down more than he let them down.

    That said, it’s hard to defend him batting CD at the fifth spot all year long , or pitching Ubaldo over Britton. GAHH!!!

    I’ll miss Buck. He’s a symbol of the organizations failure more than the cause.

    Thanks Buck.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 28, 2018 at 9:39 am

      I’m sure he’d appreciate your thoughts, Zoey.

  6. whiterose

    October 27, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    again, no one replies on facebook messanger anymore?

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 28, 2018 at 9:41 am

      Whiterose, I’m not sure what you’re talking about. If you would like to ask me something privately, write to me at [email protected].

  7. deqalt

    October 28, 2018 at 8:11 am

    Rich,

    I didn’t quite get what Buck was saying about Manny. Sounds like he had warned Manny about his attitude? Kinda sounded like Buck new he was trouble?

    • boss61

      October 28, 2018 at 8:24 am

      I always knew Manny was trouble. Maybe many of us did. Certainly Josh Donaldson did. He makes it easy to hate him, now.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 28, 2018 at 9:42 am

      Deqalt, I know you’re a perceptive guy.

  8. mcgooding

    October 28, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    Although I think that it was time for a new beginning, Buck is a class act! That guy brought winning baseball back to a fan base that had not seen in in a decade plus. I appreciate what he did for the club, and the community. Thanks Buck!

  9. Orial

    October 28, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    It’s still like a punch in the stomach knowing Buck won’t be around.
    Wish they could find a position for him(assistant,roving ambassador). Buck probably would prefer to just leave though. Who’s making these organizational decisions(firings) please tell me NOT Brady?

  10. Big bird 64

    October 28, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    Buck was a credit to not only the Orioles, but Baltimore as well. Showalter’s Waterloo was indeed the game in
    Toronto. A mistake that I’m sure will haunt him always.

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