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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where it’s the anniversary of the Orioles’ first championship

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The Orioles won their first World Series on this date 52 years ago. Will it be 52 years before we see another one?

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

While we watch the Orioles-less 2018 postseason, let’s reflect on the glory days of the O’s being perennial playoff participants. The club’s first taste of October baseball came in 1966, and it was on this date that year that the O’s finished a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series, bringing Baltimore its first MLB championship.

Pitching ruled the entire series for the Orioles, who allowed just two runs in the opening game and then blanked the Dodgers in Games 2 and 3, with Jim Palmer and Wally Bunker doing the honors. And so it was again in the decisive Game 4, when Dave McNally went the distance for a four-hit shutout. AL MVP Frank Robinson provided the game’s only run with a fourth-inning solo homer off fellow Hall of Famer Don Drysdale. Center fielder Paul Blair squeezed the final out to strand two runners on base in the ninth, igniting a celebration for the 54,458 fans at Memorial Stadium.

That thrilling ‘66 season kicked off a stretch of six O’s playoff appearances in a nine-year span, including another World Series win in 1970. The Birds, though, are now sitting on a 35-year championship drought after winning their third in 1983. With the club in full rebuilding mode, that dry spell doesn’t figure to end anytime soon.

One day, perhaps the Orioles will recapture the excitement they felt on that October day in 1966. But how long will it take to get there?

Links

Leftovers for breakfast - School of Roch
Roch Kubatko muses on Mychal Givens’ late-season surge, Cedric Mullins’ late-season struggles, and other Orioles notes.

Are Victor Victor Mesa and Bobby Witt Jr. in the Orioles’ future? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
The answer: *shrug emoji*

2018 Reflections: A look at five Orioles who regressed during team’s tough season – The Athletic
My first thought at seeing this headline was, “only five?”

What the Orioles can do to bring fans back to Camden Yards amid declining attendance - Baltimore Business Journal
The BBJ lays out some ideas for improving attendance next year. I like the idea of starting games earlier, especially on Saturdays. As for playing a game that’s fun to watch, well, that might be difficult these next couple years.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You share your special day with three former O’s, most notably the newest member of the Orioles Hall of Fame, Brian Roberts (41). The two-time All-Star spent all but one season of his 14-year career in Baltimore, where he’s second in club history in stolen bases (278) and fourth in doubles (351) and also ranks in the top 10 in runs, hits, extra-base hits, and total bases, among others. Roberts returned last year to provide occasional TV and radio analysis for O’s games, and he was quite good at it, if I may say. It’s also the birthday of 2013 outfielder Jason Pridie (35) and bemulleted 2015-16 righty Chaz Roe (32).

On this day in 1971, Dave McNally — on the five-year anniversary of his championship clincher against the Dodgers — delivered another clutch performance in the World Series. He went the distance and gave up three hits and three runs (all unearned) to give the O’s a 1-0 Series lead over the Pirates.