It's been 29 years since the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Philadelphia Phillies to win the 1983 World Series at their former Birdland, Memorial Stadium. Currently, one of the two wild-card picks heading into the final six weeks of play, this is the first time in 15 years that the ticket office sent out invoices to season-ticket holders.
This is the 20th anniversary of the opening of the groundbreaking future in ballpark construction, Oriole Park at Camden Yards. A World Series title this year would make the celebration all the more special.
Taking a look at back at Orioles postseason play, it would sure be nice to begin a streak like the one that took place from 1966-1983. Those were the years that "The Oriole Way," a phrase coined by the late Cal Ripken, Sr., was the epitome of quality play, whether at batting practice or clinching World Season titles in 1966, 1970, and 1983.
Stadiums: Memorial Stadium (1954-1991), Oriole Park at Camden Yards (1992-present)
Playoff Appearances: 9 (1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1983, 1996, 1997)
World Series Titles: 3 (1966, 1970, 1983)
American League Pennants: 7 (1944*, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1979, 1983)
*as the St. Louis Browns
East Division Titles: 8 (1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1983, 1996)
Wild Card Berths: 1 (1996)
Hall of Famers: 15 players (Roberto Alomar, Luis Aparicio, Whitey Herzog, Reggie Jackson, George Kell, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Cal Ripken, Jr., Robin Roberts, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Hoyt Wilhelm, and Dick Williams; 1 manager (Earl Weaver); 1 administrator ( Pat Gillick)
Nineteen other Hall of Famers who played for the Orioles as St. Louis Browns or Milwaukee Brewers include: Hugh Duffy, Willard Brown, Dizzy Dean, Rick Ferrell, Goose Goslin, Rogers Hornsby, Satchel Paige, and Bobby Wallace.
Orioles' Retired Numbers: 7 (Earl Weaver-4, Brooks Robinson-5, Cal Ripken, Jr.-8, Frank Robinson-20, Jim Palmer-22, Eddie Murray-33). Jackie Robinson's #42 is retired by the Hall of Fame.
MVPs: 4 (Brooks Robinson - 1964, Frank Robinson - 1966, Boog Powell - 1970, and Cal Ripken, Jr.-1983 and 1991)
Cy Young Award Winners: 4 (Mike Cuellar - 1969; Jim Palmer - 1973, 1975, and 1976; Mike Flanagan - 1979; Steve Stone - 1980)
Rookie of the Year Winners: 1 (Ron Hansen - 1960, Curt Blefary - 1965, Al Bumbry - 1973, Eddie Murray - 1977, Cal Ripken, Jr. - 1982, and Gregg Olson - 1989)
Worst Postseason Moment: One of the most frustrating lowlights in team history happened during what has become known as the "Jeffrey Maier Incident." On Oct. 9, 1996, the Orioles looked like they had the first game over the Yankees at 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth. However, when Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter hit a deep fly ball to right field, right fielder Tony Tarasco reached up to catch the live ball. But 12-year old New Yorker Jeffrey Maier stuck out his hand to grab the ball, which deflected. Right-field umpire Rich Garcia called the play a home run, tying the game 4-4. The dejected Orioles never regained momentum, from what most baseball analysts and fans thought was the series changer.
Most Memorable Postseason Moment: In the 10th inning of the deciding game of the 1983 American League Championship Series against the Chicago White Sox, Tito Landrum hit a home run that sent the Orioles on their way to winning the 1983 World Series.
Sources: Baltimore.orioles.mlb.com, washingtonpost.com, sabr.org, retrosheet.org
Randi Weitzman is a lifelong Baltimorean and Baltimore Orioles fan. Many childhood days and nights were spent at Memorial Stadium during the Glory Years. Legends like Brooks Robinson, Eddie Murray, Ken Singleton, Earl Weaver, and, of course, the late beloved Mike Flanagan, are etched in memories spent on 33rd street with her family and friends.
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