Baltimore Orioles: 54 Years Ago the 1966 World Series Began

As the 2020 playoffs continue to chug along, we can look to history to celebrate the 54th anniversary of the start of the Baltimore Orioles 1966 World Series win.

The 1966 post-season included just the World Series, which involved four games between the Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

That’s it. No Wild Card. No Division Series. Nothing else.

Also, in 1966, there were only 20 teams. The would still be three years before the Kansas City Royals, San Diego Padres, Montreal Expos, and Seattle Pilots (Milwaukee Brewers) joined the League.

The World Series in 1966 was a best-of-seven series, and the Orioles defeated the Dodgers in four games. The Dodgers scored two runs in the entire series. The Orioles held the Dodgers scoreless in games two, three, and four.

When looking at today’s game, the most shocking statistic about the ’66 World Series isn’t that the Dodgers were scoreless in three games. No. The most shocking aspect of the ’66 World Series is that the Orioles used FOUR pitchers in the entire series: Wally Bunker, Moe Drabowsky, Dave McNally, and Jim Palmer. Compare that to the Dodgers, who used eight pitchers in the series including players like Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.

Game Four was on October 9, 1966 at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. Drysdale started for the Dodgers, and McNally pitched for the Birds. Both teams only had four hits, showing how strong pitching was for both teams. But, the Orioles had something the Dodgers didn’t: Frank Robinson. He hit a bomb to left field in the bottom of the fourth, and that was all the Orioles needed to get a 1-0 win.

This wasn’t the only 1-0 game in the series. Game Three had the same score at Memorial Stadium. Claude Osteen faced Bunker, and the only run came from a Paul Blair home run in the bottom of the fifth. The Dodgers had six hits, and the Orioles had three. Only two batters walked the entire game.

Game Two was a 6-0 routing of the Dodgers. Jim Palmer pitched a complete game, while the Dodgers put five pitchers on the mound after Koufax struggled to get through the fifth and sixth.

Game One was the only game where the Dodgers scored any runs. This was the only game where the Orioles used two pitchers, McNally and Drabowsky. The Dodgers started Drysdale, then used three relievers. The Orioles won this game 5-2 with back-to-back home runs from the both Frank and Brooks Robinson in the top of the first at Dodger Stadium.

Hopefully, the Orioles will get back to the playoffs soon, especially as the young staff grows at the plate, on the mound, and on defense.