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|2012 Baltimore Orioles season|
|Based in Baltimore since 1954|
|Major league affiliations|
|Retired numbers||4, 5, 8, 20, 22, 33, 42|
|Major league titles|
|World Series titles (3)||1983 • 1970 • 1966|
|AL Pennants (7)||1983 • 1979 • 1971 • 1970
1969 • 1966 • 1944
|East Division titles (8)||1997 • 1983 • 1979 • 1974
1973 • 1971 • 1970 • 1969
|Wild card berths (1)||1996|
|General Manager||Dan Duquette|
The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901, it spent its first year as a major league club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as the Milwaukee Brewers before moving to St. Louis to become the St. Louis Browns. After 52 often beleaguered years in St. Louis, the Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954 and adopted the Orioles name in honor of the official state bird of Maryland. The Orioles name had been used by previous major league baseball clubs in Baltimore, including the American League Baltimore Orioles franchise from 1901–1902 that became the New York Yankees and the National League Baltimore Orioles. Nicknames for the team include the O's and the Birds.
The Orioles experienced their greatest success from 1964–1983, winning seven Division Championships (1969–1971, 1973–1974, 1979 and 1983), six pennants (1966, 1969–1971, 1979 and 1983), three World Series Championships (1966, 1970 and 1983), and four Most Valuable Player awards (3B Brooks Robinson 1964, OF Frank Robinson 1966, 1B Boog Powell 1970 and SS Cal Ripken Jr. 1983).
Since the retirement of Cal Ripken Jr. in 2001, the Orioles have continued in a downward spiral, compiling a losing record in every season since 1997. However, the Orioles are known for their successful stadium, the trend-setting Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which opened in 1992 in downtown Baltimore.
The modern Orioles franchise can trace its roots back to the original Milwaukee Brewers of the minor Western League, beginning in 1894 when the league reorganized. The Brewers were there when the WL renamed itself the American League in 1900.
At the end of the 1900 season, the American League removed itself from baseball's National Agreement (the formal understanding between the NL and the minor leagues). Two months later, the AL declared itself a competing major league. As a result of several franchise shifts, the Brewers were one of only two Western League teams that didn't fold, move or get kicked out of the league (the other being the Detroit Tigers). In its first game in the American League, the team lost to the Detroit Tigers 14–13 after blowing a 9-run lead in the 9th inning. To this day, it is a major league record for the biggest deficit overcome that late in the game. During the first American League season in 1901, they finished last (8th place) with a record of 48–89. During its lone Major League season, the team played at Lloyd Street Grounds, between 16th and 18th Streets in Milwaukee.
As mentioned above, the Miles-Hofberger group renamed their new team the Baltimore Orioles soon after taking control of the franchise. The name has a rich history in Baltimore, having been used by Baltimore baseball teams since the late 19th century.
In the 1890s, a powerful and innovative National League Orioles squad included several future Hall of Famers, such as "Wee" Willie Keeler, Wilbert Robinson, Hughie Jennings, and John McGraw. They won three straight pennants, and participated in all four of the Temple Cup Championship Series, winning the last two of them. That team had started as a charter member of the American Association in 1882. Despite its on-field success, it was one of the four teams contracted out of existence by the National League after the 1899 season. Its best players (and its manager, Ned Hanlon) regrouped with the Brooklyn Dodgers, turning that team into a contender.
In 1901, Baltimore and McGraw were awarded an expansion franchise in the growing American League, but again the team was sacrificed in favor of a New York City franchise, as the team was transferred to New York in 1903. After some early struggles, that team eventually became baseball's most successful franchise — the New York Yankees.
As a member of the high-minor league level International League, the Orioles competed at what is now known as the AAA level from 1903–1953. Baltimore's own Babe Ruth pitched for the Orioles before being sold to the AL Boston Red Sox in 1914. The Orioles of the IL won nine league championships, first in 1908, followed by a lengthy run from 1919 to 1925, and then dramatically in 1944, after they had lost their home field Oriole Park in a disastrous mid-season fire. The huge post-season crowds at their temporary home, Municipal Stadium, caught the attention of the big league brass and helped open the door to the return of major league baseball to Baltimore. Thanks to the big stadium, that "Junior World Series" easily outdrew the major league World Series which, coincidentally, included the team that would move to Baltimore ten years later and take up occupancy in the rebuilt version of the big stadium.
After starting the 1954 campaign with a two-game split against the Tigers in Detroit, the Orioles returned to Baltimore on April 15 to a welcoming parade that wound through the streets of downtown, with an estimated 350,000 spectators lining the route. In its first-ever home opener at Memorial Stadium later in the afternoon, they treated a sellout crowd of 46,354 to a 3–1 victory over the Chicago White Sox. The remainder of the season would not be as pleasant, with the team enduring 100 losses while avoiding the AL cellar by only three games. With fellow investors both frustrated with his domination of the franchise's business operations and dissatisfied with yet another seventh- place finish, Clarence Miles resigned in early November 1955. Real estate developer James Keelty Jr. succeeded him as president with investment banker Joseph Iglehart the new board chairman.
The seeds of long-term success were planted on September 14, 1954, when the Orioles hired Paul Richards to become the ballclub's manager and general manager. He laid the foundation for what would years later be called the Oriole Way. The instruction of baseball fundamentals became uniform in every detail between all classes within the organization. Players were patiently refined until fundamentally sound instead of being hastily advanced to the next level.
For the remainder of the 1950s, the Orioles crawled up the standings, reaching as high as fifth place with a 76–76 record in 1957. Richards succeeded in stocking the franchise with a plethora of young talent which included Dave Nicholson, Pete Ward, Ron Hansen (1960 AL Rookie of the Year), Milt Pappas, Jerry Adair, Steve Barber (20 wins in 1963), Boog Powell, Dave McNally and Brooks Robinson. Unfortunately, Richards also had the tendency to recklessly spend money on individuals with dubious baseball skills. This became a major problem as bidding wars between the ballclubs to land the best amateur players escalated signing bonuses.
The solution came on November 5, 1958, when Lee MacPhail was appointed general manager, allowing Richards to focus on his managerial duties. MacPhail added much needed discipline to the scouting staff by establishing cross-checkers who thoroughly evaluated young hopefuls to determine whether they were worthy of being tendered a contract. He also accepted the title of president after Keelty resigned in mid-December 1959.
One month prior to the end of the 1961 season, Richards resigned as the team's skipper to become the general manager of the expansion Houston Colt 45s. A year earlier, he succeeded in establishing the Orioles as a legitimate contender when they stood atop the AL standings as late as early September before finishing in second place at 89–65.
In 1964, the Birds, piloted by Hank Bauer in his first year of managing the ballclub, were involved in a tight pennant race against the Yankees and White Sox. They ended up in third with a 97–65 record, only two games out. It has been suggested that they would likely have advanced to the Fall Classic had it not been for a minor wrist injury that sidelined Powell for two weeks in late August. Nevertheless, Robinson enjoyed a breakout season with a league-high 118 RBIs and won the AL Most Valuable Player Award.
CBS' purchase of a majority stake in the Yankees on September 9 of that same year resulted in a change to the ownership situation in Baltimore. Iglehart, the Orioles' largest shareholder at 32% and owner of a sizable amount of CBS stock, straightened out his conflict of interest issues on May 25, 1965 by selling his 64,000 shares in the ballclub to the National Brewing Company, an original team investor which finally had controlling interest at 65%. Brewery president Jerold Hoffberger became the Orioles' new chairman of the board.
With the benefit of a deep talent pool and superior scouts, the franchise continued to make improvements at the major league level. Three months before the start of the 1963 season, the Orioles stabilized its infield by acquiring Luis Aparicio in a transaction that involved sending a trio of homegrown players (Hansen, Nicholson and Ward) to the White Sox. They also scoured the minor leagues for selections in the Rule 5 draft (Paul Blair from the Mets in 1962, Moe Drabowsky from the Cardinals in 1965) and claims off waivers (Curt Blefary, 1965 AL Rookie of the Year, from the Yankees in 1963).
On December 9, 1965, the Orioles traded pitcher Milt Pappas (and several others) to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for slugging outfielder Frank Robinson. The following year, Robinson won the American League Most Valuable Player award, thus becoming the first (and so far only) man to win the MVP in each league (Robinson won the NL MVP in 1961, leading the Reds to the pennant). In addition to winning the 1966 MVP, Robinson also won the Triple Crown (leading the American League in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in), a feat also achieved the following season by Boston's Carl Yastrzemski but never since. The Orioles won their first-ever American League championship in 1966, and in a major upset, swept the World Series by out-dueling the Los Angeles Dodgers aces Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. The only home run ball ever hit completely out of Memorial Stadium was slugged by Robinson on Mother's Day in 1966, off Cleveland Indians pitcher Luis Tiant. It cleared the left field single-deck portion of the grandstand. A flag was later erected near the spot the ball cleared the back wall, with simply the word "HERE" upon it. The flag is now in the Baltimore Orioles museum.
Pappas went 30–29 in a little over two years with the Reds before being traded. Although he would go on to have back-to-back 17-win seasons for the Chicago Cubs in 1971 and 1972, including a no-hitter in the latter season, this did not help the Reds, who ended up losing the 1970 World Series to Robinson and the Orioles. This trade has become renowned as one of the most lopsided in baseball history, including a mention by Susan Sarandon in her opening soliloquy in the 1988 film Bull Durham: "Bad trades are a part of baseball. I mean, who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas?"
In the 1960s, the Orioles farm system produced an especially large number of high-quality players and. coaches and laid the foundation for two decades of on-field success. This period included eighteen consecutive winning seasons (1968–1985) -- an unprecedented run of success that saw the Orioles become the envy of the league, and the winningest team in baseball.
During this period, the Orioles played baseball the Oriole Way, an organizational ethic best described by longtime farm hand and coach Cal Ripken, Sr.'s phrase "perfect practice makes perfect!" The Oriole Way was a belief that hard work, professionalism, and a strong understanding of fundamentals were the keys to success at the major league level. It was based on the belief that if every coach, at every level, taught the game the same way, the organization could produce "replacement parts" that could be substituted seamlessly into the big league club with little or no adjustment. Elaborations on the Oriole way include pitching coach and manager Ray Miller's maxim "Work fast, change speeds, and throw strikes" and manager Earl Weaver's maxim "Pitching, defense and three-run homers."
The Oriole Way began flourishing in 1966 after the Robinson-for-Pappas deal, as Robinson won the Triple Crown Award. His Orioles would easily sweep the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1966 World Series. After a mediocre 1967 season, Hank Bauer would be replaced by Earl Weaver halfway into 1968. The Orioles would finish second in the American League. This would only be a prelude to 1969, when the Orioles won 109 games and easily won the newly-created American League East division title. Mike Cuellar shared the Cy Young Award with Detroit's Denny McLain. After sweeping Minnesota in the American League Championship Series, Baltimore was shocked by losing to the New York Mets in a five-game World Series. The next year, Boog Powell won the MVP and the Orioles won another 108 games. After sweeping the Twins once again in the ALCS, the Orioles won the 1970 World Series by defeating the Cincinnati Reds' Big Red Machine in five games.
In 1971, the Orioles won another division title thanks to four 20-game winners on their pitching staff (Cuellar, Jim Palmer, Pat Dobson, and Dave McNally). After defeating the young Oakland A's in the ALCS, the Orioles would lose a heartbreaking seven-game World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Orioles would miss the playoffs in 1972, but rebounded to win the division in 1973 and 1974. Each time, they would lose to Oakland in the ALCS. During this stretch, the Orioles began to phase out their veteran infield by replacing Davey Johnson and Brooks Robinson with younger stars Bobby Grich and Doug DeCinces, respectively. Johnson would be dealt along with Johnny Oates to the Atlanta Braves for catcher and 1971 National League Rookie of the Year Earl Williams. Although Williams would hit 63 home runs in two seasons with Atlanta, he would only hit 36 homers in two seasons with the Orioles.
In 1975, the Birds acquired slugger Lee May in a trade with Houston, and traded Dave McNally, Rich Coggins and minor-league pitcher Bill Kirkpatrick to Montreal for star outfielder Ken Singleton, and future 20-game winner Mike Torrez. Jim Palmer won the Cy Young Award, but the Orioles lost the division title to the Boston Red Sox and their mega-rookies Fred Lynn and Jim Rice. The 1976 season brought Reggie Jackson and Ken Holtzman from a trade with Oakland, but the Orioles only won 88 games. It was this season when the Orioles made a trade that brought them players such as Tippy Martinez and Rick Dempsey. This young foundation, along with the departures of the unhappy Jackson and Holtzman, would create the basis for 1977. The "No Name Orioles", along with Rookie of the Year Eddie Murray, won 97 games and finished tied for second place with Boston. After finishing fourth in 1978, the Orioles finally won the division in 1979 thanks to strong play from Ken Singleton and Cy Young Winner Mike Flanagan. The Orioles defeated the Angels in the ALCS, but lost to Pittsburgh in another stunning World Series. This started a short period of heartbreak for Baltimore that would nevertheless culminate in a championship.
The Orioles won 100 games in 1980 thanks to Cy Young Winner Steve Stone, but the Yankees won 103 games. Although Baltimore had the best overall record in the AL East in 1981, they finished second in each half. As a result, they were out of the playoffs. The 1982 campaign saw Baltimore eliminated on the final weekend of the season by the Milwaukee Brewers. Earl Weaver retired and Joe Altobelli took over for 1983. Altobelli would lead the Orioles to 98 wins and a division title thanks to MVP Cal Ripken, Jr.. The Orioles defeated the Chicago White Sox in the ALCS thanks to a 10th-inning homer by Tito Landrum in the deciding game. The Orioles won the World Series in five games by defeating the Philadelphia Phillies.
During their most productive years, the Orioles saw three of its players named MVP: (Frank Robinson in 1966; Boog Powell in 1970; and Cal Ripken, Jr. in 1983). Additionally, Brooks Robinson was named Most Valuable Player in 1964, just two years before the 1966–1983 golden era began. The pitching staff was phenomenal, with four pitchers winning six Cy Young Awards (Mike Cuellar in 1969; Jim Palmer in 1973, 1975, and 1976; Mike Flanagan in 1979; and Steve Stone in 1980). In 1971, the team's four starting pitchers, McNally, Cuellar, Palmer, and Pat Dobson, all won 20 games, a feat that has not been replicated. In that year, the Birds went on to post a 101–61 record for their third-straight AL East title. Also during this stretch three players were named rookies of the year: Al Bumbry (1973); Eddie Murray (1977); and Cal Ripken, Jr. (1982). One might date the glory years of the Orioles dating back to 1964, which would include two 3rd-place seasons, 1964–1965, in which the Orioles won 97 and 94 games, respectively, and a year in which third-baseman Brooks Robinson won his Most Valuable Player Award (1964). The glory years of the Orioles effectively ended when the Detroit Tigers, a divisional rival at the time, went 35–5 to open the 1984 season on the way to winning the World Series, and when Hall-of-Fame pitcher Jim Palmer retired during the 1984 season.
After winning the 1983 World Series, the Orioles spent the next five years in steady decline, finishing 1986 in last place for the first time since the franchise moved to Baltimore. The team hit bottom in 1988 when it started the season 0–21, en route to 107 losses and the worst record in the majors that year. The Orioles surprised the baseball world the following year by spending most of the summer in first place until September when the Toronto Blue Jays overtook them and seized the A.L. East title on the final weekend of the regular season. The next two years were spent below the .500 mark, highlighted only by Cal Ripken, Jr. winning his second A.L. MVP Award in 1991. The Orioles said goodbye to Memorial Stadium, the team's home for 38 years, at the end of the 1991 campaign.
Opening to much fanfare in 1992, Oriole Park at Camden Yards was an instant success, spawning other retro-designed major league ballparks within the next two decades. The stadium became the site of the 1993 All-Star Game. The Orioles returned to contention in those first two seasons at Camden Yards, only to finish in third place both times.
Also in 1993, with then-owner Eli Jacobs forced to divest himself of the franchise, Baltimore-based attorney Peter Angelos was awarded the Orioles in bankruptcy court, returning the team to local ownership for the first time since 1979.
After the 1993 season, the Orioles acquired first baseman Rafael Palmeiro from the Texas Rangers. The Orioles, who spent all of 1994 chasing the New York Yankees, occupied second place in the new five-team AL East when the players strike, which began on August 11, forced the eventual cancellation of the season.
The labor impasse would continue into the spring of 1995. Almost all of the major league clubs held spring training using replacement players, with the intention of beginning the season with them. The Orioles, whose owner was a labor union lawyer, were the lone dissenters against creating an ersatz team, choosing instead to sit out spring training and possibly the entire season. Had they fielded a substitute team, Cal Ripken, Jr.'s consecutive games streak would have been jeopardized. The replacements questions became moot when the strike was finally settled.
The Ripken countdown resumed once the season began. Ripken finally broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak of 2,130 games in a nationally televised game on September 6. This was later voted the all-time baseball moment of the 20th century by fans from around the country in 1999. Ripken finished his streak with 2,632 straight games, finally sitting on September 20, 1998, against the Yankees at Camden Yards.
The Orioles finished two games under .500 in third place in Phil Regan's only season of managing the ballclub.
Before the 1996 season, Angelos hired Pat Gillick as general manager. Given the green light to spend heavily on established talent, Gillick signed several premium players like B.J. Surhoff, Randy Myers, David Wells and Roberto Alomar. Under new manager Davey Johnson and on the strength of a then-major league record 257 home runs in a single season, the Orioles returned to the playoffs after a twelve-year absence by clinching the A.L. wild card berth. Alomar set off a firestorm in September when he spat into home plate umpire John Hirschbeck's face during an argument in Toronto. He was later suspended for the first five games of the 1997 season, even though most wanted him banned from the postseason. After dethroning the defending A.L. Champion Cleveland Indians 3–1 in the Division Series, the Orioles fell to the Yankees 4–1 in an ALCS infamous for right field umpire Rich Garcia's failure to call fan interference, when Yankee fan Jeffrey Maier reached over the outfield wall to catch an in-play hit which otherwise would have been off the wall or caught by right fielder Tony Tarasco. This call was largely blamed for changing the momentum of the series.
The Orioles went "wire-to-wire" (first place from start to finish) in winning the A.L. East title in 1997. After eliminating the Seattle Mariners 3–1 in the Division Series, the team lost again in the ALCS, this time to the underdog Indians 4–2, with each Oriole loss by only a run. Johnson resigned as manager after the season, largely due to a spat with Angelos concerning Alomar's fine for missing a team function being donated to Johnson's wife's charity. Pitching coach Ray Miller replaced Johnson.
With Miller at the helm, the Orioles found themselves not only out of the playoffs, but also with a losing season. When Gillick's contract expired in 1998, it was not renewed. Angelos brought in Frank Wren to take over as GM. The Orioles added volatile slugger Albert Belle, but the team's woes continued in the 1999 season, with stars like Rafael Palmeiro, Roberto Alomar, and Eric Davis leaving in free agency. After a second straight losing season, Angelos fired both Miller and Wren. He named Syd Thrift the new GM and brought in former Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove.
In a rare event on March 28, 1999, the Orioles staged an exhibition game against the Cuban national team in Havana. The Orioles won the game 3–2 in 11 innings. They were the first Major League team to play in Cuba since 1959, when the Los Angeles Dodgers faced the Orioles in an exhibition. The game was part of a two-game series, in which the Cuban team visited Baltimore in May 1999. Cuba won the second game 10–6.
Cal Ripken, Jr. achieved his 3000th hit early in the season. A fire sale occurred late in the season, where the Orioles traded away many veterans for unproven young players and minor league prospects. The Orioles called up many of their AAA players to finish the season. The only acquired player that would have a long-term career with the organization was Melvin Mora.
This was Cal Ripken, Jr.'s final season. His number (8) was retired in a ceremony before the final home game of the season.
In an effort to right the Orioles' sinking ship, changes began to sweep through the organization in 2003. General manager Syd Thrift was fired and to replace him, the Orioles hired Jim Beattie as executive vice-president and Mike Flanagan as the vice president of baseball operations. After another losing season, manager Mike Hargrove was not retained and Yankees coach Lee Mazzilli was brought in as the new manager. The team signed powerful hitters in SS Miguel Tejada, C Javy López, and former Oriole 1B Rafael Palmeiro. The following season, the Orioles traded for OF Sammy Sosa.
The team got hot early in 2005 and jumped out in front of the AL East division, holding onto first place for 62 straight days. However, turmoil on and off the field began to take its toll as the Orioles started struggling around the All-Star break, dropping them close to the surging Yankees and Red Sox. Injuries to Lopez, Sosa, Luis Matos, Brian Roberts, and Larry Bigbie came within weeks of each other, and the team grew increasingly dissatisfied with the "band-aid" moves of the front office and manager Mazzilli to help them through this period of struggle. Various minor league players such as Single-A Frederick OF Jeff Fiorentino were brought up in place of more experienced players such as OF David Newhan, who had batted .311 the previous season.
After starting the season 42–28 (.600), the Orioles finished the season with a stretch of 32–60 (.348), ending at 74–88 (.457). Only the Kansas City Royals (.346) had a worse winning percentage for the season than did the Orioles for the final 92 games. The club's major off-season acquisition, Sammy Sosa, posted his worst performance in a decade, with 14 home runs and a .221 batting average. The Orioles did not attempt to re-sign him. The Orioles also allowed Palmeiro to file for free agency and publicly stated they would not re-sign him. On August 25, pitcher Sidney Ponson was arrested for DUI, and on September 1, the Orioles moved to void his contract (on a morals clause) and released him. The Major League Baseball Players Association filed a grievance on Ponson's behalf and the case was sent to arbitration and was eventually resolved.
In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, the Orioles contributed more players than any other major league team, with eleven players suiting up for their home nations. Erik Bedard and Adam Loewen pitched for Canada; Rodrigo López and Geronimo Gil (released before the season began by the club) played for Mexico; Daniel Cabrera and Miguel Tejada for the Dominican Republic; Javy López and Luis Matos for Puerto Rico; Bruce Chen for Panama; Ramon Hernandez for Venezuela; and John Stephens for Australia. The Orioles finished the 2006 season with a record of 70 wins and 92 losses, 27 games behind the AL East-leading Yankees.
On June 18, 2007, the Orioles fired Sam Perlozzo after losing eight straight games. He was replaced on interim basis by Dave Trembley. On June 22, Miguel Tejada's consecutive-games streak came to an end due to an injury, the fifth-longest streak in major league history. Aubrey Huff became the first Oriole to hit for the cycle at home, on June 29 against the Angels. On July 7, Erik Bedard struck out 15 batters in a game against the Texas Rangers to tie a franchise record held by Mike Mussina. On July 31, 2007, Andy MacPhail named Dave Trembley as the Orioles manager through the remainder of the 2007 season, and advised him to "Keep up the good work." Facing the Texas Rangers in a doubleheader at Camden Yards on August 22, the Orioles surrendered 30 runs in the first game-a modern-era record for a single game-in a 30–3 defeat. The Orioles led the game 3–0 after three innings of play. Sixteen of Texas' thirty runs were scored in the final two innings. The Orioles would also fall in the nightcap, 9–7.
The Orioles began the 2008 season in a rebuilding mode under President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail. The Orioles traded away star players Miguel Tejada to the Astros and ace Erik Bedard to the Seattle Mariners for prized prospect Adam Jones, lefty reliever George Sherrill, and minor league pitchers Kam Mickolio, Chris Tillman, and Tony Butler. The Orioles started off the first couple weeks of the season near the top of their division as players such as Nick Markakis and newcomer Luke Scott led the team offensively. Although the Orioles hovered around .500 for much of the season, they had fallen back by September and were over 20 games behind the first place Tampa Bay Rays. They finished the season losing 11 of their final 12 games and 28 of their final 34. The team finished last for the first time since their 1988 season. After the season ended, the Orioles showcased altered uniforms, with a circular 'Maryland' patch added to the left-hand sleeve of all jerseys and the grey road jerseys displaying Baltimore across the chest for the first time since 1972.
On June 30, 2009, the Orioles rallied to score 10 runs against Boston Red Sox after facing a 10–1 deficit in the 7th inning, winning the game by 11–10, setting a Major League Baseball record for the largest comeback by a last-place team over a first-place team. However, the team finished the 2009 season with 64 wins and 98 losses, making it the worst record in the 2009 American League season. Despite this, Manager Dave Trembley was re-hired for the 2010 season. Centerfielder Adam Jones was named to the 2009 All Star team and awarded a Gold Glove award for his defensive play.
On April 12, 2010 the team set a club record for the lowest paid attendance in Camden Yards history, only 9,129 attended the game versus the Tampa Bay Rays 
The Orioles then went 2–16 to begin the season, one of the worst openings in MLB history. For much of the first half of the season, they had by far the worst record in the league.
On July 30, the Orioles hired Buck Showalter to be the full-time manager. He was introduced on August 2 and made his debut on August 3, after the Orioles fired Juan Samuel. Showalter chose to wear the number 26 in honor of his friend and former Oriole's manager Johnny Oates. Showalter's arrival produced, or coincided with, a turnaround; the Birds went 34–24 in August, September and October.
On February 4, the Orioles signed free agent Vladimir Guerrero to be the team's designated hitter. Guerrero hit 29 home runs and had a .300 batting average in the 2010 season with the Texas Rangers. He has a career average of .320 and 436 home runs.
The Orioles finished 69-93 to finish with yet another losing season. This makes 14 consecutive losing seasons for this franchise dating back to 1998. The O's have recently hired Dan Duquette as their new GM and president of baseball operations to hopefully help turn the corner.
Certainly the most positive event of the 2011 season for the Orioles, was their involvement in the events that took place on September 28, when they defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-3 thanks to 9th inning heroics by both Nolan Reimold, and Robert Andino leading to a walkoff win on an Andino RBI single, and prevented them from earning the Wild Card berth. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays were putting the finishing touches on their eight run comeback against the New York Yankees. Mere minutes after the final line of the Orioles win was shown, Evan Longoria hit a walk off home run, to complete what has been described by many analysts as "The Greatest day of Baseball Ever."
The Orioles started their 2012 season at 36-26 as of June 13. On May 6, the Orioles played a 17-inning game against the Boston Red Sox, the first game since 1925 in which both teams used a position player as a pitcher.
The Orioles home uniform is white with the word "Orioles" written across the chest. The Orioles road uniform is gray with the word "Baltimore" written across the chest. An alternate uniform is black with the word "Orioles" written across the chest. The Orioles wear their black alternate jerseys for Friday night games with the alternate "O's" cap, whether at home or on the road; the cartoon bird batting helmet is still used with this uniform (see description on home and road design below).
For 2012, the Orioles unveiled new uniforms. There was a change to the cap insignia, with the cartoon Oriole returning. Home caps are white in front and black at the back with an orange bill, while the road caps are all black with an orange bill. The Orioles also introduced a new alternate orange uniform to be worn on Saturday home games throughout the 2012 season.
As part of the settlement of a television broadcast rights dispute with Comcast SportsNet over the Washington Nationals, the Orioles severed their Comcast ties at the end of the 2006 season. All Orioles games are now televised on the Orioles-controlled Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), with some games also airing locally on WJZ-TV (ch. 13). Longtime sportscaster Gary Thorne, who is also recognized for his work as a hockey announcer, is the current lead television announcer for the Orioles, with Jim Hunter as his backup along with Hall of Fame member and former Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer and former Oriole infielder Mike Bordick as color analysts. Some MASN telecasts in conflict with Washington Nationals' game telecasts air on an alternate MASN2 feed. All Oriole games are televised, as their non-MASN games are televised by ESPN, Fox, or TBS.
Six former Oriole franchise radio announcers have received the Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting: Chuck Thompson (who was also the voice of the old NFL Baltimore Colts); Jon Miller (now with the San Francisco Giants); Ernie Harwell, Herb Carneal; Bob Murphy and Harry Caray (as a St. Louis Browns announcer in the 1940s. ).
Other former Baltimore announcers include Josh Lewin (currently with New York mets), the late Bill O'Donnell, and Baltimore radio veteran Tom Marr, who called the games during the "Oriole Magic" years on the old WFBR-AM (now WJZ). In 1991, the Orioles experimented with longtime TV writer/producer Ken Levine as a play-by-play broadcaster. Levine was best noted for his work on TV shows such as Cheers and M*A*S*H, but only lasted one season in the Orioles broadcast booth.
Other previous flagship radio stations include WBAL (1090 kHz AM) from 1987–2006, the now-defunct WFBR (1300 kHz AM) from 1979 through 1986, and a brief period with WCBM (680 kHz AM) for the 1987 season. Previous to 1979, WBAL had been the flagship station.
Former Oriole television broadcasters include: Thompson, Miller, former Baltimore Ravens broadcaster Scott Garceau, longtime versatile sportscaster Mel Proctor, former Cleveland Cavaliers broadcaster Michael Reghi, former major leaguer Buck Martinez (now with the Toronto Blue Jays as their play-by-play announcer), as well as former Oriole players including Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson, pitcher Mike Flanagan and former outfielder John Lowenstein.
Previous Baltimore television flagship stations have included: WMAR-TV (Channel 2) and WNUV-TV (Channel 54), as well as regional cable network Home Team Sports (HTS) which eventually evolved into Comcast SportsNet.
Since its introduction at games by the "Roar from 34", led by Wild Bill Hagy and others, in the late 1970s, it has been a tradition at Orioles games for fans to yell out the "Oh" in the line "Oh, say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave" in "The Star-Spangled Banner". "The Star-Spangled Banner" has special meaning to Baltimore historically, as it was written during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812 by Francis Scott Key, a Baltimorean. "O" is not only short for "Oriole", but the vowel is also a stand-out aspect of the Baltimorean accent.
The tradition is often carried out at other sporting events, both professional or amateur, and even sometimes at non-sporting events where the anthem is played, throughout the Baltimore/Washington area and beyond, notably at Baltimore Ravens, Washington Capitals, Georgetown Hoyas, Maryland Terrapins, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, West Virginia Mountaineers, Penn State Nittany Lions and Aberdeen Ironbirds games. Fans in Norfolk, Virginia, chanted "O!" even before the Tides became an Orioles affiliate. "O!" has also been shouted during the anthem at Washington Redskins and Washington Capitals home games. The "O" Shout has traveled from across the DC Metro Area, from Frostburg, Maryland, to Salisbury, Maryland. The practice caught some attention in the spring of 2005, when fans performed the "O!" cry at Washington Nationals games at RFK Stadium. At Cal Ripken, Jr.'s induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the crowd, comprising mostly Orioles fans, carried out the "O!" tradition during Tony Gwynn's daughter's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner". Additionally, a faint but audible "O!" could be heard on the television broadcast of Barack Obama's pre-inaugural visit to Baltimore as the National Anthem played before his entrance. A resounding "O!" bellowed from the nearly 30,000 Ravens fans that attended the November 21, 2010 away game at the Carolina Panthers' Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Some songs from special events include "One Moment in Time" for Cal Ripken's record-breaking game. For his last game, the theme from Pearl Harbor, "There You'll Be" by Faith Hill, was featured. The theme from Field of Dreams was played at the last game at Memorial Stadium in 1991, and the song "Magic to Do" from the stage musical Pippin was used that season to commemorate "Orioles Magic" on 33rd Street. During the Orioles' heyday in the 1970s, a club song, appropriately titled "Orioles Magic", was composed, and played when the team ran out until Opening Day of 2008. Starting the following game, the song (a favorite among many fans, who appreciated its references to Wild Bill Hagy and Earl Weaver) was only played (along with a video featuring several Orioles stars performing the song) after wins.
In the July 5, 2007 edition of Baltimore's weekly sports publication Press Box, an article by Mike Gibbons covered the details of how this tradition came to be.
During "Thank God I'm a Country Boy", Charlie Zill an usher in the club level sections (244) puts on overalls, straw hat, false teeth and starts dancing around. He also has an orange violin that spins for the fiddle solos. He goes by the name Zillbilly and has been doing the skit since 1999.
For 23 years, Rex Barney was the PA announcer for the Orioles. His voice became a fixture of both Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards, and his expression "Give that fan a contract", uttered whenever a fan caught a foul ball, was one of his trademarks – the other being his distinct "Thank Yooooou..." following every announcement (He was also known on occasion to say "Give that fan an error" after a dropped foul ball). Barney died on August 12, 1997, and in his honor that night's game at Camden Yards against the Oakland Athletics was held without a public–address announcer.
Barney was replaced as Camden Yards' PA announcer by Dave McGowan, who held the position until December 2011.
Of the eight original American League teams, the Orioles were the last of the eight to win the World Series, doing so in 1966 with its four–game sweep of the heavily favored Los Angeles Dodgers. When the Orioles were the St. Louis Browns, they played in only one World Series, the 1944 matchup against their Sportsman's Park tenants, the Cardinals.
|1944 (St. Louis)||St. Louis Cardinals||L|
|1966 (Baltimore)||Los Angeles Dodgers||W|
|1969||Minnesota Twins||W||New York Mets||L|
|1970||Minnesota Twins||W||Cincinnati Reds||W|
|1971||Oakland Athletics||W||Pittsburgh Pirates||L|
|1979||California Angels||W||Pittsburgh Pirates||L|
|1983||Chicago White Sox||W||Philadelphia Phillies||W|
|1996||Cleveland Indians||W||New York Yankees||L|
|1997||Seattle Mariners||W||Cleveland Indians||L|
|Baltimore Orioles Hall of Famers|
|Affiliation according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum|
|Baltimore Orioles Ford C. Frick Award recipients|
|Affiliation according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum|
†Jackie Robinson's number 42 is retired throughout Major League Baseball
Baltimore Orioles roster
|Active roster||Inactive roster||Coaches/Other|
60-day disabled list
25 Active, 15 Inactive
7- or 15-day disabled list
|AAA||Norfolk Tides||International League||Norfolk, VA|
|AA||Bowie Baysox||Eastern League||Bowie, MD|
|High-A||Frederick Keys||Carolina League||Frederick, MD|
|Low-A||Delmarva Shorebirds||South Atlantic League||Salisbury, MD|
|Short Season A||Aberdeen IronBirds||New York-Penn League||Aberdeen, MD|
|Rookie||GCL Orioles||Gulf Coast League||Sarasota, FL|
|DSL Orioles||Dominican Summer League||Dominican Republic|
Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Mets
St. Louis Cardinals
|World Series Champions
St. Louis Cardinals
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