It is a very exciting time for the Baltimore Orioles and their fans. First, news broke that John Angelos had agreed to sell the Orioles to a group headlined by Baltimore native David Rubenstein that would also include Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. The very next day it was announced that the Orioles had agreed to a trade bringing ace pitcher Corbin Burnes to Baltimore, marking the first time in decades the O's had traded for a superstar.
Those new things coupled with the recent success of the Orioles have made the future so bright the fans should wear sunglasses in order to look directly at it. The 2024 season is right around the corner but it is not here just yet and I would like to take this time to look back at some of the biggest accomplishments in Orioles history.
In 1954 the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore and changed their name to the Orioles. Over the last 70 years, the Orioles have become one of baseball's most stories franchises. Here's a look at some of the most notable moments and accomplishments of the franchise and it's players in that time.
World Series Championships
The Orioles have won three World Series Championships in their history, which is tied for the 11th most in baseball history. They won their first in 1966, the second in 1970 and the third in 1983. The teams of the 1960's - 70's were a dynasty that is still talked about today, but that dynasty officially came to an end after the '83 season. The O's should have a good chance to end their dry spell this season.
American League Pennants
While the Orioles have won the World Series three times, they've been there six times. The Orioles were able to call themselves American League Champions in 1969, 1971 and 1979. The '69 team was upset by the Miracle Mets, and both the '71 and '79 teams suffered defeat to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The one common denominator among all six of the Orioles teams that won the American League is Jim Palmer.
American League East Titles
2023 was the 10th time in O's history that they were the American League East champions (1969, '70, '71, '73, '74, '79, '83, '97, 2014 and '23). Baseball did not split into divisions until 1969 meaning the Orioles have won the first and most recent division championships.
Hall of Famers
18 players have both donned an Orioles uniform and later been elected to the Hall of Fame, as well as three managers and two executives. Of those 23, six of them (Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer, Earl Weaver, Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr.) represent the Orioles in the Hall. Each of them has their number retired by the Orioles.
A Baltimore Oriole has won the MVP award only five times. Brooks Robinson in 1964, Frank Robinson in 1966, Boog Powell in 1970 and Ripken in 1983 and 1991. The most impressive of those seasons has to be Frank Robinson in 1966 when he also won the triple crown.
Cy Young awards
Four separate Orioles have won a total of six Cy Young awards and all of them were won in a 12 year period. Mike Cuellar won the first in 1969. Palmer won the Orioles next three in 1973, '75 and '76. Mike Flanagan won in 1979 and Steve Stone won in 1980.
Rookie of the Year awards
Baltimore is home to seven Rookie of the Year awards. They won two in the 1960's (Ron Hansen in 1960 and Curt Blefary in 1965), two in the 1970's (Al Bumbry in 1973 and Murray in 1977) and two in the 1980's (Ripken in 1982 and Gregg Olson in 1989). They had a drought until this past season when Gunnar Henderson brought the award back to Baltimore in 2023.
There have been six no-hitters in Orioles history. Four of them were by individual pitchers, two were combined no-hitters and one of them was a loss. Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm threw the first for the Birds in 1958. The second came from a combination of Steve Barber (8.2 innings) and Stu Miller (0.1 innings).
The Orioles took a 2-1 loss in this game after allowing two ninth-inning runs on walks, a wild pitch and an error. Tom Phoebus and Palmer threw no-hitters in 1968 and '68. Bob Milacki pitched 6.0 innings and Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson and Olson all pitched 1.0 innings for the team's fifth no-hitter in 1991, and John Means threw the most recent no-hitter in 2021.
On May 30, 1982, Cal Ripken Jr showed up for work and saw his name penciled into the starting lineup. He continued to show up and see his name in the lineup every day for over 13 years, and on September 6, 1995, at Camden Yards, he broke Lou Gehrig's seemingly unbreakable record of consecutive games played.
Baseball was struggling coming off of a strike-shortened season, and Ripken's streak was considered by many to be a key event in bringing baseball's popularity back. I had the privilege of being at that game and sitting in the second deck behind the left field foul pole. I don't think any fan will forget watching the number on the warehouse fall or Ripken taking his lap around Camden Yards. It is a moment that will stand the test of time in Orioles history.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
On April 6, 1992, the Orioles opened Oriole Park at Camden Yards. At some time every team gets a new stadium, but few have ever had the impact on baseball that Camden Yards has had. When baseball stadiums were first built in the 19th century they were centralized in the cities where the teams played.
As technology in travel advanced, stadiums began to move to remote locations with acres of open area for parking. Camden Yards marked the return of baseball to downtown areas and did an amazing job featuring the Baltimore skyline while incorporating the B&O Warehouse, part of the city's history. The stadium is so iconic that numerous teams have used Camden Yards as a role model when creating their new stadiums.
There is so much history in Orioles baseball that this one article can't do it all justice. Even with all of that history, now is as exciting a time to be an Orioles fan as ever. I look forward to what the future holds for the Baltimore Orioles.