Every April, longtime abc27 sports director Gregg Mace had one date circled on his calendar: Orioles home opener. No matter the weather or how the team was projected, Gregg couldn’t miss Opening Day.
In fact when he passed away in November 2019, Gregg’s Opening Day streak stood at 54 years. Dating back to Gregg’s time as a child growing up in Baltimore, the lifelong Orioles fan would always attend Baltimore’s first game in the city of each season.
When he was younger, it meant skipping class. As a professional, Opening Day became part of his job to cover each April. A job he took very seriously.
When Gregg passed, the streak turned over to his son, Kyle.
The coronavirus pandemic pushed the 2020 season opener from its typical April start. But when Baltimore hosted the Yankees for the O’s first home series on July 29, Kyle was there with abc27.
A special thank you to Orioles PR for this touching piece in the press box. I know dad’s looking down tonight. pic.twitter.com/sEj1uCI19l— Kyle Mace (@kylemace) July 30, 2020
It felt like a full circle moment. But was the Mace family’s collective home opener streak going to continue past 55 years?
It turns out Kyle has found a way to extend his dad’s legacy. Kyle and his mom, Caroline, will attend the 2021 home opener on Thursday. Gregg’s family just two of the 11,000 fans allowed inside Camden Yards.
Kyle says he experienced his first O’s Opening Day in 2007. The Camp Hill-native even started his own streak from 2009-17 attending games with his dad and family.
To know the Mace family is to know their love of the Orioles surpasses any other team they follow. Kyle even converted a bedroom in their house into the ultimate collection of Orioles gear as a gift for Gregg.
For the first time since 2019, the Orioles will allow fans to enter Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Fans will sit in pods, socially distant from other pods of fans.
It’s a good thing the Orioles fans are spreading out, because the Mace family will need three seats on Thursday. One seat for Caroline, Kyle and, of course, Gregg, who wouldn’t miss an Opening Day for anything.
Orioles host the Red Sox in the team’s home opener on Thursday. First pitch is 3:05.