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 →