Romeo Santos was serving in Iraq in 2005, and he decided he really missed the Orioles. Santos grew up near the ballpark, was always an Orioles fan, and for a time sold lemonade in the Oriole Park stands.
Since he returned the 33-year-old Santos, who returned to Baltimore after his deployment, says he has averaged about 50 games a year—in good times and bad.
His late wife, Tracy who died of breast cancer, has inspired him. He raises money in her honor and takes care of their son, Camden.
For the last five years, Santos, a 15-year Army veteran and career counselor, has worn an orange construction helmet with a feathered orange hawk. You may have seen it.
He’s run in three marathons carrying an Orioles flag and is festooned with team tattoos. On his wedding anniversary, he was photographed with his wife at the ballpark. She was wearing her wedding dress and a feathered hawk.
“It’s not what I have collected, accomplished, or how many games I go to. It’s about sharing my love of Orioles baseball with everyone and doing some good along the way,” Santos writes in his diary.
Santos is competing to be in ESPN’s “Fan Hall of Fame.” He’s one of 10 finalists. Voting continues through next Wednesday. To vote for Romeo, visit: fanhalloffame.com/vote/2013/rome