History of the Baltimore Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles, a powerful force in major league baseball in the late 1960s and 1970s, has not won a World Series or American League pennant since 1983. They won the Wild Card in 1996 and 2012 and the AL East division in 1997, but those were the team's only post-season wins in the last 26 years. However, they are positioned this year to again place in the top three or four teams in the American League.

The Baltimore Orioles began as a minor league team, the Milwaukee Brewers, in 1894. When the American League was formed in 1900, the Milwaukee Brewers were part of the new league.

In 1902, the Milwaukee Brewers moved to St. Louis and became the St. Louis Browns. The Browns were a losing team for their first 43 years. However, they did have some strong players during those years, including future Hall of Famer George Sisler.

In 1944, during WW II, the St. Louis Browns finally had a team that won the American League pennant. They went on to play against, and lose to, the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

The Browns had a winning record, 81-75, in 1945, but they still ended up in third place in the American League. That was the last time the team had a winning season as the St. Louis Browns.

In 1951, the St. Louis Browns were sold to Bill Veeck, former owner of the Cleveland Indians. Veeck spent three years trying to improve the Browns and build up their fan base in St. Louis or move them to a new city. Veeck failed in all his efforts, and, in 1954, he sold the Browns to a group based in Baltimore. The sale resulted in a move and the birth of the modern-day Baltimore Orioles.

The new Orioles' owners began their team's transformation by trading most of their players to the New York Yankees. The revamped Baltimore Orioles played their first game on April 15, 1954.

The Orioles struggled their first few years in Baltimore, but the 1960s saw a change with top players, such as Brooks Robinson and Boog Powell, joining the team. Frank Robinson joined the line-up in 1966, and that was the extra power they needed to become champions. First, they won the American League pennant and then they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.

The Baltimore Orioles next winning season came in 1969, when they won both the American League East division and the American League pennant race. They lost the World Series, however, to the New York Mets. But that season set the Orioles on a long winning streak. From 1970 to 1974, the Orioles won the American League East division title four times (1970, 1971, 1973, 1974), two American League pennants (1970, 1971), and one World Series (1970).

The Orioles didn't make it to post-season play again until 1979, when they won the American League East division title and the American League pennant. However, they fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series.

The Orioles next season with post-season play was 1983 when they won their third World Series. This success, however, was the last the Orioles had for many years. The team fell apart after the 1983 season and they had five different managers from 1984 to 1991.

In 1993, the team was sold to Peter Angelos. By 1996, under new management, the Orioles finally had a winning season and they entered post-season play, holding the American League's Wild Card position. They lost the American League pennant to the New York Yankees.

The 1997 season marked the last time the Orioles had post-season play. They won the American League East division title, but, once again, lost the pennant race, this time to the Cleveland Indians.

Since 1997, the Orioles have undergone several managerial changes. In 2007, Dave Trembley was hired as an interim manager, replacing Sam Perlozzo. The Orioles ended up in last place in 2008. Buck Showalter was hired as manager in 2010 and he has managed to turn the team around, helping them earn the American League Wild Card in 2012. New young players, such as Adam Jones and Chris Davis, are forces behind the team's new winning ways.

Source for Information
Wikipedia - Baltimore Orioles