Baltimore Orioles

From Academic Kids

Template:MLB Orioles franchise The Baltimore Orioles are a Major League Baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland. They are in the Eastern Division of the American League. They are owned by attorney Peter Angelos.

Founded: 1893, as the Milwaukee, Wisconsin franchise in the minor Western League. In 1900 that league became the American League, which achieved major league status in 1901.
Formerly known as: Milwaukee Brewers, 1894-1901. St. Louis Browns, 1902-1953.
Home ballpark: Oriole Park at Camden Yards 1992-present
Prior home parks: Memorial Stadium (Baltimore) 1954-1991, Sportsman's Park (St. Louis)
Uniform colors: Black and Orange
Logo design: An oriole
World Series championships won (3): 1966, 1970, 1983
American League pennants won (7): 1944, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1979, 1983
Division titles won (8): 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1983, 1997
Wild Card titles won (1): 1996

From the Browns to the Orioles

The modern Orioles can trace their franchise link back to the Milwaukee Brewers of the Western League, who in 1902 became the St. Louis Browns of the fledgling American League. Half a century of sub-par baseball and the existence of two major league teams in St. Louis - the AL Browns and the NL Cardinals - eventually forced Browns majority owner Bill Veeck to consider moving his franchise. Just before World War II, the Browns came close to moving to Los Angeles, nearly two decades before big league baseball eventually arrived in California.

During the war, the Browns won their only St. Louis based American League pennant in 1944, but they faced their local rivals, the more successful Cardinals, and lost the 1944 World Series, 4-2.

Following the 1953 season, Veeck sold his controlling interest to Clarence Miles, and the American League owners approved the relocation of the team to Baltimore. The team immediately took on the nickname "Orioles", a name with a long and storied history in the city:

  • In the 1890's, a powerful and innovative National League Orioles squad included several future Hall of Famers, such as "Wee" Willie Keeler, Wilbert Robinson, Hughie Jennings and John McGraw, and won three straight pennants. That team had started as a charter member of the American Association in 1882. Despite its on-field success, it was one of the four teams contracted by the National League after the 1899 season.
  • In 1901, Baltimore and McGraw were awarded an expansion franchise in the growing American League, but the team was transferred to New York City in 1903 and, after some early struggles, eventually became baseball's most successful franchise - the New York Yankees.
  • As a member of the high-minor league level International League, the Orioles competed at the AAA level from 1903-1953. Baltimore's own George Herman Ruth - nicknamed "Babe" - pitched for the Orioles before being sold to the AL Boston Red Sox in 1916. The Orioles of the IL won several league championships, including 1944 after they had lost their home field Oriole Park in a disastrous mid-season fire. The huge post-season crowds at their temporary home, Municipal Stadium, caught the attention of the big league brass and helped open the door to the return of major league baseball to Baltimore.

The Oriole Way

The new AL Orioles took about six years to become competitive. By the early 1960's, stars such as Brooks Robinson, John "Boog" Powell, and Dave McNally were being developed by a strong farm system.

In 1966, the Orioles traded with the Cincinnati Reds and acquired slugging outfielder Frank Robinson. Robinson went on to become the first player to win the Most Valuable Player award in each league while hitting for the Triple Crown (leading the American League in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in.) The Orioles won their first ever American League championship in 1966, and in a major upset, swept the World Series by out-dueling the Los Angeles Dodgers aces Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.

The Orioles farm system had begun to produce a number of high quality players and coaches who formed the core of winning teams; from 1966 to 1983, the Orioles won three World Series titles (1966, 1970, and 1983), six American League pennants, and five of the first six American League Eastern Division titles. They played baseball the "Oriole Way", an organizational ethic best described by acerbic manager Earl Weaver as "pitching, defense, and the three run home run."

As the Robinson boys grew older, newer stars emerged including multiple Cy Young Award winner Jim Palmer and switch-hitting first baseman Eddie Murray. With the decline and eventual departure of two local teams - the NFL's Baltimore Colts and baseball's Washington Senators, the Orioles' excellence paid off at the gate, as the team cultivated a large and rabid fan base at old Memorial Stadium.

The 21st Century

Going into the 2005 season, the Orioles have had seven consecutive sub-.500 seasons without a post-season visit - the combination of lackluster play of the team?s part and the ascent of the Yankees and Red Sox to the top of the game - each rival having a clear advantage in financial flexibility due to their larger media market size. Further complicating the situation for the Orioles is the relocation of the Montreal Expos franchise to nearby Washington, D.C. - for which Angelos has demanded compensation from Major League Baseball. The new Washington Nationals (who begin play in 2005) threaten to carve into the Orioles fan base and television dollars. There is some hope that having competition in the larger Baltimore-Washington metro market will spur the Orioles to field a better product to compete for fans with the Nationals; there may be some truth to this speculation as the retooled 2005 Orioles have been in first place since early in April.

Players of note

Baseball Hall of Famers

Future addition

Current 25-man roster (updated on June 20, 2005)






Disabled list



Not to be forgotten

Baltimore Orioles

* Manager

* * Player and manager

St. Louis Browns

* Player and manager

* * Manager

* * * Owner

Played in both teams

All-time team career leaders

  • Batting average: George Sisler, .344
  • Home runs: Cal Ripken, Jr., 431
  • RBI: Cal Ripken, Jr., 1695
  • Runs: Cal Ripken, Jr., 1647
  • Hits: Cal Ripken, Jr., 3184
  • Singles: Cal Ripken, Jr., 2106
  • Doubles: Cal Ripken, Jr., 603
  • Triples: George Sisler, 145
  • Stolen bases: George Sisler, 351
  • Walks: Cal Ripken, Jr., 1129
  • Strikeouts: Cal Ripken, Jr., 1305
  • Pitching wins: Jim Palmer, 268
  • Pitching strikeouts: Jim Palmer, 2212
  • Pitching ERA: Harry Howell, 2.06
  • Pitching saves: Gregg Olson, 160

All-time team season records

Retired numbers




External links

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