BALTIMORE -- Astros outfielder Justin Maxwell had a small cheering section in the stands at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which is about 45 minutes away -- "depending on traffic," he said -- from his hometown of Olney, Md., near the University of Maryland, where Maxwell starred for the Terps.
Maxwell's parents and in-laws were in the stands, along with some aunts, uncles and friends from Sherwood High School.
"I wasn't a diehard Orioles fan growing up," he said. "I watched the games and obviously Cal Ripken and Roberto Alomar and B.J. Surhoff and all those guys. I was always a baseball fan, and I would watch as many games as I could."
Maxwell was drafted by the Rangers in the 10th round in 2004, but opted to stay at Maryland another year. The Nationals took him in the fourth round in 2005 and he made his Major League debut two years later for Washington, which was ideal because he was also close to home.
Maxwell's father, Austin, retired from the Navy in 2002, at the rank of captain. His mother, Kathy, also spent 20 years in the Navy and retired as a commander. Austin Maxwell went into dental private practice in Virginia for four years when his military career was over, before leaving to work at the Pentagon providing dental care for members of the military, including two former Presidents.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.