BALTIMORE ORIOLES IN THE POSTSEASON
The Baltimore Orioles have one of the oldest and strangest histories in all of Major League Baseball, beginning as a struggling club in the early 20th century until moving to New York City to become the fabled Yankees. However, the Orioles moniker lived in the AAA International League, where the large Baltimore crowds caught the attention of Major League Baseball, who pushed for another franchise in the area. As luck would have it, another franchise on hard times, the St. Louis Browns, would move after the 1953 season and become today's Baltimore Orioles franchise. While the team would take its lumps during the Yankees' dynasties of the 1950s and early '60s, the team was poised for a major run that would live in the annals of Baltimore sports history.
In 1966, the Orioles made their first postseason appearance in their history in Baltimore, and they certainly made the most of it. After acquiring outfielder Frank Robinson in a trade to add to a very strong core of players including shortstop Luis Aparicio, pitcher Jim Palmer and third baseman Brooks Robinson, the Orioles ran away with the American League pennant. Against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series and their vaunted pitching, the Orioles made it look easy, sweeping the series in four games and bringing the city its first World Championship.
The Orioles would continue their winning ways by getting all the way to the World Series in 1969, but were shocked by the Miracle Mets in a five game series. Thankfully, the Orioles found redemption in 1970, but winning a five-game series against the Reds. In successive years, the Orioles would find themselves in the World Series in 1971, but would lose a heartbreaker to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Orioles would remain a dominant team throughout the course of the late '70s and early '80s, but the team's amazing run resulted in only one more championship in 1983. The 1983 title is certainly fresh in the minds of many Orioles fans, as MVP shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. would lead a ferocious lineup that would simply overwhelm the pitching of the Philadelphia Phillies. Although the Orioles would put together a series of great seasons during the 1990s, they still haven't been able to recapture the magic of those special championship years. Fortunately, with a surprise playoff appearance in the 2012 playoffs, the Orioles look closer than they've been in years to becoming a major playoff threat.
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