Baltimore Orioles Baseball History | Memorable O’s Baseball Moments

An original American League franchise that started play as the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Browns, the Baltimore Orioles began play under their current name in Baltimore in 1954. Along the way, the team has provided fans many memorable O’s baseball moments, including three World Series titles and seven American League pennants.

The team traces its origins to the Milwaukee Brewers of 1901. The Brewers previously played in the minor Western League run by Ban Johnson starting in 1894. Johnson eventually formed the American League when it declared itself a major league competitor of the National League.

After just one season, the team moved to Missouri and began play as the St. Louis Browns from 1902 to 1953. During that time, the Browns earned just one American League pennant in 1944, then went on to lose the World Series to their crosstown rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1954, the team moved to Baltimore under new ownership.

The following looks at some memorable O’s baseball moments in the years since the move to Baltimore – many of them involving trends and approaches to the game that the Orioles started during the team’s best years.

The Oriole Way

It’s hard to think about the Orioles without considering the Oriole Way, the approach the team took during its best years (so far) between 1966 and 1983. The Oriole Way involved hard work, tons of practice and a firm grasp on the fundamentals of the game. After years of bringing up players in this system, it all came together in a big way. Between 1966 and 1983, the Orioles won three World Series titles and six American League Championships.

1966 World Series 

The 1966 Orioles won the World Series, sweeping the Los Angeles Dodgers. The victory served as a resounding success for the Oriole Way and a proclamation to the league that the team had arrived. The 1966 Orioles club had four future Hall of Famers: Luis Aparicio, the first Venezuelan inductee into the hall, Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson.

Cal Ripken Jr.’s Iron Man Streak

Cal Ripken Jr. provided one of the memorable O’s baseball moments in 1995 (and also one of the great moments of the 1990s.). On the night of Sept. 6 at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Ripken Jr. played in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking the record established by Lou Gehrig with the New York Yankees in 1939. Ripken Jr. continued to play until Sept. 20, 1998 – a total of  2,632 consecutive games.

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The Earl Weaver Years

During his time leading the Orioles from 1969 to 1982, manager Earl Weaver built a powerhouse team filled with stars. Weaver is remembered for the philosophy of “pitching, defense and the three-run homer.” The Orioles did well with the approach with a great starting pitching staff that included Palmer, Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally, Mike Flanagan and Steve Stone. On the hitting side, they had the two Robinsons as well as Boog Powell and (starting in 1977) Eddie Murray. The team reached the World Series in 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1979. They won the 1970 series, beating the first version of manager Sparky Anderson’s “Big Red Machine” in Cincinnati.

The 1983 World Series

After Weaver left, it seemed like the end of an era. But the Orioles won another championship the next year, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 4 games to 1 in the 1983 World Series. Managed by Joe Altobelli, this club featured Murray and 22-year-old Cal Ripken Jr. at shortstop, along with Palmer (in his last year as an Oriole), and pitchers Scott McGregor, Mike Boddicker, and Storm Davis. Murray hit two home runs in the series, and lesser known players helped power the O’s to victory, with Rick Dempsey (named MVP), John Lowenstein, Jim Dwyer and Rich Dauer all getting key hits.

Opening Oriole Park at Camden Yards

The Baltimore Orioles organization had a big impact on ballpark design when they opened Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 1992. It effectively ended the cookie-cutter style stadiums that dominated the league in the 1960s and 1970s. Camden Yards has the brick “retro” look that remained popular for new stadiums for years. It also was built downtown, fitting into the urban landscape. It’s one of the most beautiful stadiums in baseball and the first of its kind in the modern era.

These represent some of the memorable O’s baseball moments as well as some of the baseball history associated with the Baltimore Orioles, one of the league’s oldest and most storied franchises.

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