Last October, the basement-dwelling Orioles (69-93) were once again microwaving popcorn for the start of the playoffs. Without a winning record since 1997—when Cal Ripken Jr. was still slugging—nobody gave this season's Baltimore bunch a chance.
And then the impossible happened. On September 13, the O's officially ended their streak of 14 straight years with a losing record. And several weeks later, they clinched a playoff berth, reversing their record completely from the previous year (93-69).
Their inspirational and nearly shocking turnaround has us remembering previous underdog stories—tales of teams that escaped anonymity and achieved promise.
Here are the most out-of-nowhere teams in history—the true Cinderella stories.