Number three- Why Not? Orioles 1989 Division Race
The 1988 Baltimore Orioles were bad. Up until 2018, they were widely considered the worst team in franchise history and began the season on an infamous 21-game losing streak. As the story goes, President George H.W. Bush called manager Frank Robinson during the losing streak to wish the team the best and the team had a champagne celebration after their first win to improve to 1-21. That team finished 54-107 despite having Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr.
The bad play of the 1988 Orioles is what caused a playoff push in 1989 to come as a surprise. As you can tell from previous slides, these teams pre-date me by about 15 years but many of you who are reading this will remember the ’89 team that earned the slogan, “Why Not?” In ’89, only the division winners made the playoffs and there were only two divisions in each league. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays barely squeaked past the O’s for the division title but the team still lives on as a fond memory for many fans who had to endure the 0-21 start in ’88. Many fans brought signs throughout the season that had this slogan written. Essentially, they were asking, “Someone has to win the division, Why not us?” Outside of Ripken, the team came into the season with a lot of unknown players who ended up playing well together under manager Robinson.