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Baltimore Sports Then and Now

Can the Orioles Keep Up Their Early Season Magic? 24

Posted on June 10, 2012 by Dean Hybl

Late game celebrations have been a regular occurrence for the Baltimore Orioles is 2012.

If you are under the age of 35 you may find it hard to believe, but for nearly two decades, the Baltimore Orioles were the class of Major League Baseball and terms such as “The Oriole Way” and “Oriole Magic” were just as familiar to baseball fans as “Red Sox Nation” is today.

With the 2012 season now nearly a third of the way complete, it is way too early to declare Baltimore “back” among the upper echelon teams in baseball, but for the first time in quite a while the future in Baltimore does appear to be promising.

Following back-to-back extra inning victories over the Philadelphia Phillies, the Orioles sport an impressive 34-26 record and are right in the mix of the highly competitive American League East.

The hot early start is definitely a reason for fans of a franchise that hasn’t posted a winning record since 1997 to be excited, but this is not the first time in the last 15 years that Baltimore has teased fans into June.

In 2005 the Orioles had a 42-28 record on June 21st and a two game lead in the AL East. A 3-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays the next day started a stretch in which Baltimore lost 11 of 14 games and 60 of their final 92 games to end with a 74-88 record and 21 games out in the standings. Read the rest of this entry →

Happy Anniversary Peter Angelos; Anyone Feel Like Celebrating? 22

Posted on August 02, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Lawyer Peter Angelos became owner of the Orioles 17 years ago.

This week marks the 17th anniversary of the Baltimore Orioles being purchased by the group led by lawyer Peter Angelos.

In August of 1993 Angelos and his group of minority owners that at the time included writer Tom Clancy bought a team that was enjoying their second season in a baseball stadium that had launched a new era in sports stadium construction and was without question one of the premier franchises in all of sports.

Under the direction of managr Johnny Oates and led by third year pitcher Mike Mussina and future Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr., the 1993 Baltimore Orioles finished tied for third in the American League East with an 85-77 record.

Though the team lost 13 of their final 19 games to finish 10 games behind the division champion Toronto Blue Jays, attending baseball games at Camden Yards was a happening. The Orioles finished second in the American League with an overall home attendance of 3,644,965 (45,000 per game).

Despite an overall downturn in baseball attendance over the next few years brought on by the strike of 1994, there was no decline in fan interest in Baltimore. Over the remainder of the decade, the Orioles finished first or second in the American League in attendance every season, including leading the league for four straight seasons between 1995 and 1998.

Baltimore thrived early in the era of Angelos as they made the playoffs in 1996 and 1997 and reached the American League Championship Series following the 1997 season.

However, 1997 proved to be the on-the-field peak for the Orioles as they went 79-83 in 1998 and have not had a winning record since. Read the rest of this entry →

Open Letter to the Ghost of AL East Past 3

Posted on October 05, 2009 by Matt Taylor

To: The Ghost of the A.L. East Past

From: Roar from 34

Re: The Curse of the Early ’90s (aka Sorry for creating the Rockies, Marlins, and Rays)

Dear Ghost,

You’re not one for subtlety, are you? Consider your point well taken.

Clearly you hated the idea of expansion in the ’90s, and realignment wasn’t really your thing either. Major League Baseball broke up your division, and you’ve been taking out your frustration on some former A.L. East teams ever since.

I’m an Orioles fan. As you know, you’ve put me and my fellow loyalists through quite a bit of suffering lately. I’m waiting for the team to sign Job as a utility infielder. Guess we’ll leave that to the baseball gods. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

It all started when you humbled the 1982 A.L. East champion Milwaukee Brewers with a dozen consecutive losing seasons starting in 1993. That was the year baseball expanded in Colorado and Florida.

Read the rest of this entry →

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