'Operation Hagy' Plans to Revolutionize Fan Experience at Camden Yards

Posted on February 11, 2014 by Ethan Felderstein

Photo Credit: BaltimoreSun.com

The way you cheer for your Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards is about to get a whole lot different, and for the better.

I recently talked with Sean, a 25-year-old from Towson, MD and the founder of 'Operation Hagy', a plan that draws inspiration from Wild Billy Hagy and his passion for the orange and black. Here's what he had to say about his exciting new plan: 

How did 'Operation Hagy' Get Started?

Operation Hagy started as a relatively random idea when I came across a blog talking about the original Wild Bill. While reading I got to thinking, Wild Bill is the only O’s fan in history to be inducted to the Orioles hall of fame, and the chants he started have become engrained into Orioles tradition- would it be possible to take what he started and start something new?

With what feels like a new age of Orioles baseball and a new generation of Orioles fans, I thought it would be awesome to find a way to bring Orioles fans together, creating not only a greater sense of community between people that share the same passion, but to also create and spread new chants that are organically from Baltimore to support players and the team.

As an active member of the Orioles Subreddit community, I thought that would be a great place to start. So I posted a rough outline there a few weeks ago and created a Google Doc where anyone could contribute their idea. After about a week, everyone in the community voted on their favorite ones and that’s essentially how the idea got off the ground. We thought it best to start a Twitter handle to help spread the word and over the last week, we have been trying to drive as much traffic there as possible

Do you plan to draw inspiration from Wild Bill Hagy, or do you plan to be completely original? 

We will definitely be drawing inspiration from Wild Bill. He proved that fans can have a lasting impact on a teams legacy- he started the O-R-I-O-L-E-S chants still used by fans today (And may be the best chant going at OPACY). The idea behind Operation Hagy is to build on this legacy, to find new, fun and engaging chants to start this year- to support players and the team and to create an organized fan constituency inside Camden yards, creating a greater sense of community among Orioles fans.

Is 'Operation Hagy' more about bringing attendance back to Camden Yards or more about creating a smaller, yet incredibly passionate, fan base? 

The idea is to have fans that are part of a coordinated network, to meet up before and after games, to go to big games together, coordinate costume nights, cheers and meet ups. I think success could look like a lot of different things, from  fans holding down large portions of a few sections together- or maybe having lots of people who are a part of Opheration Hagy dispersed around the park, getting people all over the stadium engaged. The main idea is that together, we can create a more engaging fan/supporter experience for the O’s- similar to a European soccer match- so that O’s fans are holding down the Yard regardless of opponent.

Obviously, Camden Yards can be extremely passionate as Orioles fans were recorded at over 120 decibels during the 2012 ALDS. Do you think that 'Operation Hagy' could establish Camden Yards and Orioles fans as some of the most fanatical in all of sports?

I do, but I don’t think fanatical is the right word. I think it could establish Baltimore fans as the most organized fans in baseball and could potentially set a new precedent for the way that fans engage at baseball games. And definitely add an extra layer of fun. 

With a pretty awful offseason, how do you expect fans to get excited about the Orioles this season?

I think Operation Hagy is definitely geared towards the all-weather fan. Even though the Orioles didn’t make the type of FA acquisitions I think a lot of fans were hoping for, I still think there is a great young core on this team that will be a lot of fun to watch. 

What do you expect out of the 2014 Orioles?

I expect the team to stay competitive and with a little luck and couple hot streaks, stay in contention for a wild card spot.

Any favorite cheers that you'll be debuting in 2014 at Camden Yards? 

I think we have some good ones! Call and response type, funny things for Machado and Lough, and ones for Jones and Crush. 

Follow @operationhagy on Twitter to stay up to date with the 'Operation Hagy' and their latest ventures. 

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