When the Maryland, Virginia & DC Baseball Diamond Sparkled Bright!
Metropolitan area fans of the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals are not happy with the results of the 2019 Major League Baseball season so far. As of the writing of this article both teams are either tied-for-last or in next-to-last place in their respective leagues. We won’t discuss why (#dontletyourbestplayersgo) - rather we wanted to give a shout out to glory years of World Series Championships and “the good old days.”
1924 Washington Senators
The 1924 Washington Senators won 92 games, lost 62, and finished in first place in the American League. The Senators won their first AL pennant before winning the World Series in dramatic fashion, a whopping 12-inning Game 7 victory.
It was definitely a different time. The Senators’ Manager, Bucky Harris, doubled as the teams starting 2nd Baseman! Here’s another shocking statement of the times - he was the highest paid player earning $9,000! #Wow
The Senators' offense was led by future Hall of Famer Goose Goslin, who was one of the youngest players on the team. He drove in a league-leading 129 runs. Walter Johnson had another outstanding year, winning the American League pitching Triple Crown and being voted Most Valuable Player. He anchored a staff that allowed the fewest runs in the league. Reliever Firpo Marberry paced the circuit in saves and games pitched.
We look forward to knowing the names of the players who will bring similar glory to the Washington Nationals in the future… hopefully the very near future!
1966 Baltimore Orioles
The 1966 Baltimore Orioles season involved the Orioles finishing first in the American League with a record of 97 wins and 63 losses, nine games ahead of the runner-up Minnesota Twins. It was their first AL pennant since 1944, when the club was known as the St. Louis Browns. The Orioles swept the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers in four games to register their first-ever World Series title.
The regular season was highlighted by the trade for Right-Fielder Frank Robinson, acquired from the Cincinnati Reds. He went on to win the Triple Crown, leading the AL with a .316 average, 49 home runs, and 122 RBI. He was named winner of the American League MVP Award, becoming the first player in the history of Major League Baseball to win MVP honors in both the American and National Leagues.
The team was managed by Hank Bauer, and played their home games at Memorial Stadium. They drew 1,203,366 fans to their home ballpark, third in the ten-team league. It would be the highest home attendance of the team's first quarter-century at Memorial Stadium.
This was an exciting first championship for the Baltimore Orioles but it was not to be their last.
1970 Baltimore Orioles
The 1970 Baltimore Orioles season involved the Orioles finishing first in the American League East with a record of 108 wins and 54 losses, 15 games ahead of the runner-up New York Yankees. The Orioles swept the Minnesota Twins for the second straight year in the American League Championship Series. They then went on to win their second World Series title over the National League champion Cincinnati Reds in five games, thanks to the glove of third baseman Brooks Robinson.
Following their upset loss to the New York Mets in the 1969 World Series, the Orioles picked up where they left off in 1969. They opened the season with five wins and ran away with their second straight American League East title, beating back a challenge from the New York Yankees in June. They won 19 of their last 22 games to finish with a 108-win season, one win fewer than the previous year.
The team was mostly the same as 1969. Starting pitchers Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally, and Jim Palmer each won at least 20 games, and the veteran bullpen seldom faltered. On defense, Brooks Robinson, center fielder Paul Blair, and second baseman Davey Johnson won Gold Gloves. Offensively, first baseman Boog Powell was the AL's Most Valuable Player, leading the team with 35 home runs and 114 RBIs. Don Buford and Blair continued to get on base, and Frank Robinson (.306, 25 home runs), Brooks Robinson (94 RBIs), and Powell continued to drive them home. Elrod Hendricks led a catching platoon that produced 17 homers and 74 RBIs, and outfielder Merv Rettenmund, a product of the farm system, hit .322 with 18 home runs and 58 RBI.
1983 Baltimore Orioles
The 1983 Baltimore Orioles finished 1st in the American League East with a record of 98 wins and 64 losses. The Orioles capped off the season by winning of the 1983 World Series over the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Orioles lost the opening game of the World Series at their home park, Memorial Stadium. They then checked off 4 straight victories over the Philadelphia Phillies to win their third and most recent championship.
This Orioles team was led by several recognizable names throughout the baseball world, including:
Cal Ripken, Jr.: AL Most Valuable Player and the AL leader in At-Bats (663), Hits (211), Runs Scored (121) and Doubles (47).
Eddie Murray: Silver Slugger Award
Rick Dempsey: Babe Ruth Award & World Series Most Valuable Player
Mike Boddicker: ALCS Most Valuable Player
Thanks for taking this walk back through the metropolitan area's glorious yesteryear on the baseball diamond. Here's to raising another tenant soon. Good luck O's! Let's Go NATS!