BALTIMORE -- Ryan Meisinger fell in love with baseball playing tee ball, refusing to take off his jersey when he returned home from practice. He fell in love with the Orioles because of his aunt, Colleen, who finagled him out of school each year for Opening Day to watch his
BALTIMORE -- Ryan Meisinger fell in love with baseball playing tee ball, refusing to take off his jersey when he returned home from practice. He fell in love with the Orioles because of his aunt, Colleen, who finagled him out of school each year for Opening Day to watch his beloved team in person.
It made it extra special when Meisinger played in Maryland's Brooks Robinson High School All-Star Game at Camden Yards in 2012. But on Friday night, when he and lefty Paul Fry made their Major League debuts in the O's 7-1 loss to the Angels, Meisinger felt a bit different from the kid playing in '12 and the fan attending Opening Day.
"There are people in the stands [now]," Meisinger said, fighting back a laugh. "Back in high school, it's just kind of a cool experience just to get on the field. Making my Major League debut is a totally different experience."
Friday's debut was even more meaningful for the Meisinger, who became the Orioles' 24th Maryland-born player. He had 19 immensely prideful and raucous family members in attendance.
"Our whole community and the county has just been a buzz," Meisinger's mother, Leanne, said.
Meisinger also made his debut alongside Fry -- his throwing partner who's been through the trials and tribulations of the Minors with him this past year.
"We've been talking about that ever since last night," Fry said of the possibility of debuting with Meisinger. "Crazy how it all worked out, being throwing partners and good friends. It's really cool."
The two were promoted on Friday with pitchers Yefry Ramirez and Jimmy Yacabonis optioned in corresponding roster moves. To make room on the 40-man roster, reliever Darren O'Day was moved to the 60-day disabled list and infielder Corban Joseph was designated for assignment.
Both Meisinger and Fry -- along with infielder Steve Wilkerson -- were with each other when they began the season at Double-A Bowie. Both were together for their promotion to Triple-A Norfolk. And now both were together for their debuts in Baltimore.
Meisinger came on in relief in the sixth inning and worked out of a jam created by starter David Hess before getting the seventh and part of the eighth. In the seventh, Meisinger faced Jose Pujols -- who doubled -- and recorded his first career strikeout before ending the inning unscathed. An eighth-inning homer by Martin Maldonado was the only major blemish on Meisinger's line, but Fry was right there to take the reigns as soon as he was done.
Side by side, just like the two close friends have become accustomed to.
"They both feed off each other," Fry's father, Brian, said. "It's been special for them."
Friday wasn't Fry's first time in the bigs, nor was it the first time his Michigan-based family made the trip to Baltimore. The Orioles brought Fry up in April 2017, but he warmed up twice without getting into game before he was sent back down.
This time, they got to see Fry strike out Kole Calhoun and Michael Trout in 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
"It was a moment that I have anticipated for a long time now," said Fry, who joked before the game that was worried he was going to black out. " ... But as soon as you get out there, you realize it's just baseball."
Zachary Silver is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore.