Hundreds of Orioles fans walked by and didn't even give them a glance. Many more heard them, but couldn't see them. Many, believe it or not, thank them for what they do.

They're the Dixie Devils, and they're as much of a part of Opening Day at Oriole Park as the teams, the fans and the food. In fact, they argue they set the environment for what is considered the greatest day of the year for many fans. They've been a part of Opening Day for several years.

If you heard a banjo, tuba, trumpet or trombone at Oriole Park Friday, you heard the Dixie Devils. By 2 p.m. the group of three had played Take Me Out to the Ballgame at least 10 times. No one complained. In fact, many took photos, video and made requests.

"The music really sets the tone as everybody is walking into the ballpark," said group member Kevin Olivera.

Olivera says Opening Day is the point each year where music and baseball meet. He argues its importance to the start of the season. He and the other two members of the group wouldn't trade their instruments for seats in the stands for any amount of money.

"We love the music, and the music is something everybody appreciates. It goes along with Opening Day. You have to have music, festivities. The music really helps create the environment."

"People come by sometimes and say... you just made my day."

Full Article »