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With a knitted scarf, an Orioles fan tracked the club’s first winning season since 2016 in yarn – Boston Herald

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The first three rows Emily Ann Meyer knitted were of the same slate grey yarn, an ominous beginning to a season-long endeavor. The Orioles season-ticket holder had decided to knit a scarf throughout the 2022 campaign, a way to visualize the team’s progress from start to finish.

But with a three-game sweep to the Tampa Bay Rays, Meyer only touched one ball of yarn that first weekend in early April.

“This is a lot of grey,” Meyer told her friend Teri Thorowgood, whom she shares a season-ticket package with. “This is not the way to start it.”

But after 162 games, the finished product at Meyer’s home in New Windsor displayed Baltimore’s first winning season since 2016 in a unique way — with orange representing home wins, black signifying road wins and white and grey reserved for home and road losses.

The stretch of grey to begin the year gave way to orange — a home-opening win against the Milwaukee Brewers. Two more lines of white followed, then a smattering of orange, black and grey again. The season was underway.

“It’s incredibly organic,” Meyer said. “This is actually data visualization.”

Meyer got the idea from a few friends who also knit. They had mapped a Boston Red Sox season out on a scarf, and Meyer decided she could do the same for her Orioles. She placed a schedule on the fridge and wrote down each result before taking out her knitting needles to record it there.

“After every game, I just knit two rows,” Meyer said. “It looks like so much more than it is because it progresses through the season, but it’s not too much work at any one time.”

Thorowgood offered ample reminders, too, just in case.

After a late game she knew Meyer wouldn’t have stayed awake for, Thorowgood would ask, “Did you get last night’s loss in? Did you get that double-header win in?” Thorowgood had a particular interest in the progress, beyond attending nearly all of the home games with Meyer. The scarf is her birthday present.

“I’m a fan since I was in utero, when my mother and father used to come to Memorial Stadium,” Thorowgood said. “So I’m a big O’s fan. It’s going to be my favorite birthday present.”

There isn’t a way to specially mark a turning point beyond seeing the frequency of orange and black rows increase. When catcher Adley Rutschman was promoted May 21, there’s still a white row for the loss to the Rays.

But on the latter half of the scarf, after Rutschman arrived in Baltimore, the difference is stark. Rutschman debuted with the Orioles eight games under .500. They finished 67-55 with the rookie on the roster, an 89-win pace for a full season. And with Rutschman starting at catcher, Baltimore was on a 96-win pace.

The demarcation line on the scarf, then, comes in those orange and black lines, with an especially thick batch of orange with a black border marking Baltimore’s 10-game winning streak in July to vault the club into unexpected postseason contention.

“Obviously,” Meyer said, “my favorite block.”

After the Orioles pulled within half a game of the final American League wild-card spot in late August, the late-season tail-off can be seen with more white and grey. Still, the scarf ended up with more orange and black as the result of a winning year.

And with the way this turned out, Meyer plans to complete another scarf for next season. Perhaps that one will feature even more orange and black — and extend beyond just 162 games.

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