The Baltimore Orioles did something this week that only one other team has ever accomplished. Let’s go back to the 1890 baseball season.
The 10-game winning streak is over, and that means the Baltimore Orioles are now in the hunt for a wild card spot. They are exceeding their own expectations and are far ahead of schedule. It’s not only the city that has taken notice of the Orioles; it is the entire country.
It seems that everyone is an Orioles fan heading into the All-Star break.
The winning streak has drawn some interesting parallels to another team that went from losing 110+ games, the previous season, to winning 9+ games in a row. The 1890 Louisville Colonels also went on to tie the Brooklyn Bridegrooms in the 1890 World Series, 3-3-1.
Meet the Gilded Age Teams
Back then it was the National League’s Brooklyn Bridegrooms, versus the American Association’s Louisville Colonels. During the series, the weather had gotten so bad during the entire series that both managers agreed if Louisville won game 7 the series would be finished the following season. This would explain why game 4 ended in a tie after 8 innings, and why game 1 ended after 8 innings. The series never restarted the next season due to an organizational dispute between the National League and the American Association.
The Bridegrooms had a player named George Pinkney who played third base. Now Pinkney was a quality baseballer that was known for his consistency at his position and at the plate. He led the National League in 1886 in games played, at bats, and walks. In 1888 he led the American Association in games played, runs, and outs. He even went on to set the professional baseball record, in 1900, with 577 consecutive games played. He also set the record for consecutive innings played from 1885 – 1890 with 5,152. That record stood until September 14th, 1987 when Cal Ripken Jr. set the record with 8,264 consecutive innings. In 1892, Pinkney played for the St. Louis Browns as well, so he has some ties to the current Baltimore Orioles even if it is through multiple degrees of separation.
Both teams went on to be forces in their leagues for the next 20 years. During that timeframe, the Louisville Colonels, later known as the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Bridegrooms, later known as the Brooklyn Dodgers combined for 8 pennants and 2 World Series Titles.
Why is all of this significant for Baltimore Orioles fans? While the past has been bleak, marred with 100-loss seasons and endless scrutiny, the future is bright, and there is a lot to look forward to in the upcoming seasons with the current farm system in place. What we are witnessing right now is just the beginning of a winning organization. Trust the process, believe in the growth, and Go Orioles!