A Baltimore Oriole Phenomenon: 90 Years of history as seen by Three Trainers

Jim Considine@@JRConsidineContributor IIOctober 5, 2012

A Baltimore Oriole Phenomenon: 90 Years of history as seen by Three Trainers

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    One of the most interesting bits of Oriole trivia comes from beyond the field of play.  The Baltimore Orioles have employed three people as the head trainer over the past 90 seasons.  Just three people have tended to the needs of the Orioles baseball team from 1921 through 2012.  The three people are Eddie Weidner, Ralph Salvon, and Richie Bancells.

    All three are members of the Oriole Hall of Fame,

    Eddie Weidner was hired by the Baltimore Orioles in 1916. 1916 is the year that they returned from a self-imposed hiatus to make room for the Terrapins of the Federal League.  Orioles owner Jack Dunn bought Terrapin Park (renaming it after the Orioles) and hired Eddie as the scoreboard operator.  Five seasons later, Eddie was promoted to the position of trainer, a job that he was unprepared to assume.  He figured out what to do.

    Ralph Salvon came to Baltimore as an asset of the St. Louis Browns.  He went to work in the Oriole farm team system.  Paul Richards invited Ralph to take over as the trainer with the expansion Houston Colt 45’s in 1962.  He returned to Baltimore in 1966 to serve as Eddie’s assistant, assuming the role as head trainer following his retirement in 1968.

    Richie Bancells, the current head trainer for the Orioles worked his way to Baltimore, as was the custom.  As with most rookies, he started in Bluefield and wound up in Rochester. Richie joined the Orioles, as Ralph’s assistant in the woebegone season of 1988.  Sadly, Ralph passed away, mid-season leaving Richie to his own devices.  Today Richie Bancells is the senior member of the major league trainers.

    This article acknowledges the great work of the three Oriole trainers.  Baltimore has a “thing” for honoring their trainers; case in point is Baltimore Colt trainer Ed Block whose name headlines a major charity of the NFL.

    The balance of this article will look at the remarkable history of Baltimore Oriole baseball over these ninety seasons.  We will look at the past 59 American League seasons and the years we spent as a member of the International League.  We will not review dwell on the history of the St. Louis Browns, perhaps one of the worst franchises in all of sports.  This piece is about Baltimoreans and their passion for Oriole baseball.  This article will highlight the stars and great events of the Oriole games that your parents and grandparents may have attended.  We will set the focus based on what Eddie, Ralph, and Richie witnessed over these ninety years of Oriole history.

1921: 2012: Three Men/90 Seasons/2 Baseball Leagues/1 Club

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    On April 21, 1921, Eddie Weidner became the head trainer for the Baltimore Orioles of the International League.  On October 3, 2012, Weidner, Salvon, and Bancells will have served the team for 90 years and 14,322 games.

Eddie Weidner - Baltimore Oriole Head Trainer from 1921 to 1968

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    Eddie Weidner plied his trade as the trainer of the Orioles over five decades.  Over these five decades, the Orioles were members of two baseball leagues, the Second World War was fought and won, and the Birds called three different stadiums "home". 

    Eddie was a quiet, conscientious man whose opinion and thoughts were not published in the newspapers.  He took the #8 streetcar (or bus after 1963) from his Anneslie home to the ballpark every day.  Eddie wrote the book on how to be a baseball trainer.  As a youngster, I was always glued to the broadcast of Oriole games.  If an Oriole sustained an injury, Oriole’s broadcaster Chuck Thompson would calm any concerns I might have, as Eddie Weidner would resuscitate the fallen Bird, seeing to it that the best of care was rendered.  Chuck's words convinced me that Eddie Weidner, sporting his funny white cap, was a soothsayer.  I felt that the Orioles were so lucky to have this man sitting on their bench!

    Eddie's replacement, Ralph Salvon worked at his side for two years before his retirement in 1968.

Ralph Salvon: Head Trainer 1968 - 1988

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    Ralph Salvon was schooled in the Paul Richard’s system known as the “Oriole Way”.  Ralph came to the Orioles as a minor league trainer from the St. Louis Browns franchise.  As an Oriole, he rode the bus in the minors, developing relationships with young coaches like Earl Weaver, George Bamberger, Ray Miller, and Cal Ripken Sr.  He was a personable man who took up a lot more room in the team photo than Eddie Weidner.  Stories of Ralph Salvon are still told by Jim Palmer during television broadcasts.  His personality and enthusiasm was a beacon that players cherished.  Yet, on the somber day in 1988 when Cal Senior was replaced as the Oriole manager, Ralph was the one who was asked to see that his youngest son, second baseman Billy Ripken would be okay. 

    In an effort to trim down and improve his own health, Ralph lost 47 pounds before the 1988 season.  In 1988, Ralph inherited a young apprentice to serve as his assistant.  Richie Bancells would have to learn fast.  Ralph died that July from complications during emergency heart bypass surgery.  

Richie Bancells: Head Trainer 1988 to Present

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    Richie Bancells, like Ralph Salvon started his career as a trainer in the lower minors.  Ritchie’s career opened in Bluefield, WV tending to the young Oriole prospects.  In 1980, Bancells and Cal Ripken Jr. began a long and enduring friendship.  Both prospects were promoted to AAA Rochester Red Wings in 1981.  Ripken, the Iron Man worked through his many bumps and bruises with Bancells tending his needs. 

    Today, Richie is the senior trainer in the Major Leagues.  He has spent 36 years with the Oriole organization.

    The three trainers are legends of the Baltimore Oriole organization.

    Imagine all that they have seen sitting in the dugout for the past 90 years …

1921 - 2012 - The Bosses

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    Caption:  (Clockwise, top left) Edward Bennett Williams, Peter Angelos, Jerry Hoffberger, Eli Jacobs (no photograph available), Clarence Miles, Jack Dunn Sr. & Jack Dunn III


    The six owners/families that have held the reigns of the Baltimore Orioles are:

    The Dunn family - Owner

    Clarence Miles - Chairman of the Board

    Jerry Hoffberger - Chairman of the Board

    Edward Bennett Williams - Owner

    Eli Jacobs - Owner

    Peter Angelos - Owner

    There have been four generations of the Dunn family who have played, owned, managed, and/or worked for the Baltimore Orioles.

    Two generations of the Angelos family have served in the Baltimore Oriole front office.

    General Manager Lee MacPhail and his son Andy have held the reigns of the Orioles.

    Herb Armstrong, the business manager for the Birds from Old Oriole Park in the International League through the transition to the American League.  Herb's son Richard was the first Public Relations Director for the American League Orioles.

1921 - 2012: Presidents and Popes

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    Caption:  Top row, L-R) Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Martin Sheen, (Middle) Pope John Paul II at Camden Yards, Pope John Paul imitator, George H. Bush, Joe Biden, Queen Elizabeth & Richard Nixon (Bottom) Warren Harding with Cubs, Ronald Reagan & Cal Ripken Jr., Ike at Senators game with Chuck Dressen & Paul Richards, Michelle Obama


    The President of the United States has attended 12 Oriole games.  

    • George Bush (6 games) 
    • Ronald Reagan (3 games) 
    • Bill Clinton (2 games) 
    • Jimmy Carter (1 game)

    The following Heads of State and dignitaries have been the guest of the Baltimore Orioles:

    • Vice President Richard Nixon threw out the first pitch at the first Orioles game at Memorial Stadium in 1954
    • First Lady, Michelle Obama threw out the first pitch on July 20, 2010
    • Pope John Paul II said mass at Oriole Park at Camden Yards (OPCY) in 2005.
    • Queen Elizabeth caught a couple of innings with President Reagan.
    • Vice President Joe Biden tossed out a first pitch.
    • Vice President Hubert Humphrey threw out the first pitch at the fourth game of the 1966 World Series.
    • President Anwar El Sadat attended a game with President George Bush.
    • Al Gore attended many Oriole games as the Vice president and as the Senator from Tennessee.
    • President Clinton and Vice President Gore broke a few security rules by attending the Oriole game at OPCY the evening Cal Ripken Jr. played in his 2131st consecutive game.  President Clinton, as was his custom, broadcast an inning with Oriole radio announcer Jon Miller.
    • President Josiah Bartlet as portrayed by Martin Sheen in the television series The West Wing tossed a strike before the fans at OPCY.

1921 - 2012: Hall of Famer's Who have Played for the A.L. Orioles

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    Caption:  (Top Row, L - R) Whitey Herzog, Dick Williams, Hoyt Wilhelm, Eddie Murray & Cal Ripken Jr. (Middle Row) Robin Roberts, George Kell, Frank & Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer (Bottom Row) Luis Aparicio, Earl Weaver, Roberto Alomar, Reggie Jackson


    Since 1954, the following Oriole players, manager, and general manager have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    The Players:

    • Roberto Alomar
    • Luis Aparicio
    • Pat Gillick
    • Whitey Herzog
    • Reggie Jackson
    • George Kell
    • Eddie Murray
    • Jim Palmer
    • Cal Ripken
    • Robin Roberts
    • Brooks Robinson
    • Frank Robinson
    • Earl Weaver
    • Hoyt Wilhelm
    • Dick Williams
    • The Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award:  
      •  Roland Hemond, General Manager
    • J.G. Taylor Spink Award "for meritorious contributions to baseball writing":   
      •  Sam Lacy, Sports Editor, The Baltimore Afro-American
    • Ford Frick Award:    
      • Ernie Harwell, broadcaster
      • Chuck Thompson, broadcaster
      • Herb Carneal, broadcaster
      • Jon Miller, broadcaster

1921: 2012: MLB Inductees Who Played for the International League Orioles

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    Hall of Fame inductee, Lefty Grove, started his career as a Baltimore Oriole.  In 1925, his contract was sold to Connie Mack of the Philadelphia Athletics, where he would win 300 games over the next 17 years. 

    Rogers Hornsby signed a contract with the Orioles to be player/manager for the 1938 Orioles.  Hornsby who was always chasing the dollar to pay off his gambling debts, begged out of the contract in order to take a new position with another minor league team in Tennessee.  The Orioles parted ways with "the Rajah" when the Chattanooga team owner pleaded that he had to have Hornsby or go broke.  The Orioles bid farewell to Hornsby who played, managed, broadcast, and coached minor, major, and Mexican league teams until 1962, where he finished his career as the third base coach for Casey Stengel's Mets.

    Charles Albert "Chief" Bender spent his best days with Connie Mack's Athletics.  In his 13th year as a pro, Bender joined the Baltimore Terrapins of the Federal Baseball League.  Following a bleak year in Baltimore, Albert scooted back to Philadelphia where he played two additional years as a Phillie.  His post-war baseball career gave rise to his managing career.  Bender tooled around the minors for many years, pitching when needed, managing if the club so deemed the need.  He spent the 1923 season pitching for the Orioles while he coached the Mids at the Naval Academy.

    Bob Lemon spent 1942 as a prospective third baseman for the Cleveland Indians.  He clubbed 21 homers and batted .268.  He left Baltimore an average infielder and became a Hall of Fame pitcher in Cleveland.

    Following an 18 year career, Rube Marquard tooled around the minors until 1933.  He appeared in six games for the 1927 Orioles.

1921: 2012: Orioles Inducted into the International League Hall of Fame

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    Nine Baltimore Orioles were recognized for their stellar careers in the International League.  Most of these players had fruitful Major League careers.  

    • "Howitzer" Howie Moss only had a cup of coffee in the majors.  His best baseball was played in Baltimore where he was a fan favorite.
    • Lefty Grove enjoyed a Hall of Fame career in the major leagues.
    • Merwin Jacobson sandwiched his Baltimore career between stints with the N.Y. Giants and Brooklyn Robins.  
    • Fritz Maisel spent several years as Yankee before finishing his baseball days in Baltimore. Ty Cobb always had high praise for the base running prowess of Maisel.
    • Jacobson & Maisel raised families in Baltimore.  Fritz's son, Bob was the sports editor for the Sunpapers.

    The complete list of the IL Hall of Fame inductees

    • Jack Bentley
    • George Earnshaw
    • Lefty Grove
    • Merwin Jacobson
    • Fritz Maisel
    • Howie Moss
    • Jack Ogden
    • Rube Parnham
    • Tommy Thomas

1921 - 2012: Ex-Orioles Account for 15% of the Hall of Fame in 1954

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    Caption:  (Top Row, L-R)  Rogers Hornsby, Wilbert Robinson, Lefty Grove, (clockwise) Willie Keeler, John McGraw, Hugh Jennings, & Joe Kelley, (Bottom) Babe Ruth, Dan Brouthers, Chief Bender, Joe McGinnity [Kelley became a HoF member after 1954]


    In 1954, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown had elected 70 players into this fraternity.  Of these 70 players, 10 are former Baltimore Orioles.  This speaks to the quality of the old Baltimore teams when 14% are ex-Orioles and we had not fielded a major league team in 52 years.

1912 - 2012: The Envelope Please ... Major Awards Won by Orioles

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    The major awards won by the Orioles:

    Triple Crown winner

    1935 - George Puccinelli
    1966 - Frank Robinson

    Cy Young *

    1969 - Mike Cuellar
    1973 - Jim Palmer 
    1975 - Jim Palmer 
    1976 - Jim Palmer 
    1979 - Mike Flanagan 
    1980 - Steve Stone 

    Manager of the Year *

    1989 - Frank Robinson
    1997 - Davey Johnson 

    AL MVP 

    1964 - Brooks Robinson
    1966 - Frank Robinson
    1970 - Boog Powell
    1983 - Cal Ripken Jr.
    1991 - Cal Ripken Jr. 

    IL MVP

    1937 - Bucky Crouse
    1944 - Howie Moss 
    1945 - Sherman Lollar
    1946 - Eddie Robinson

    IL Home Run Champion

    1921 - Jack Bentley - 21
    1923 - Max Bishop - 22 (tie)
    1927 - Dick Porter - 25
    1930 - Joe Hauser - 63 1
    1931 - Joe Hauser - 31
    1932 - Buzz Arlett - 54
    1933 - Buzz Arlett - 39
    1934 - Woody Abernathy - 32
    1935 - George Puccinelli - 53
    1936 - Woody Abernathy - 42
    1937 - Ab Wright - 37
    1940 - Bill Nagel - 37
    1944 - Howie Moss - 27
    1945 - Frank Skaff - 38
    1946 - Howie Moss - 46
    1947 - Howie Moss - 53
    1948 - Howie Moss - 33
    1951 - Marv Rickert - 35

    Rookie of the Year *

    1960 - Ron Hansen
    1965 - Curt Blefary 
    1973 - Al Bumbry
    1977 - Eddie Murray
    1982 - Cal Ripken Jr.
    1989 - Gregg Olson 

    IL Batting Champion

    1921 - Jack Bentley (.412) 2
    1924 - Dick Porter
    1927 - Dick Porter
    1935 - George Puccinelli
    1940 - Red Howell
    1945 – Sherman Lollar


    1966 - Brooks Robinson 3B
    1971 - Frank Robinson OF
    1991 - Cal Ripken Jr. SS
    1998 - Roberto Alomar 2B
    2001 - Cal Ripken Jr. 3B
    2005 - Miguel Tejada SS 

    Gold Glove Award (s) *

    • Brooks Robinson, 16
    • Mark Belanger, 8
    • Paul Blair, 8
    • Bobby Grich, 4
    • Mike Mussina, 4
    • Jim Palmer, 4
    • Davey Johnson, 3
    • Eddie Murray, 3
    • Roberto Alomar, 2
    • Rafael Palmeiro, 2
    • Cal Ripken, 2
    • Luis Aparicio, 1
    • Adam Jones, 1
    • Nick Markakis, 1
    • Matt Wieters, 1

    1 - Remains an International League record today
    2 - Bentley is the last Oriole to hit over .400

    The asterisk denotes an award where an equivalent recognition did not exist in the International League between 1921 and 1953

1912 - 2012 ... How We Dressed

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    The Orioles have taken the field in plenty of "get-ups".  They have worn pin stripes, no stripes, and stripes that made them look like they were gift-wrapped.  The jersey colors have been orange, black, white, and gray.  The jersey has been sleeveless and sleeved.  The front of the jersey has been embroidered with “Orioles”, “Baltimore”, (in script and block letters) and nothing at all.  The hats have been black, black with an orange bill, black with orange bill and a white (or orange) panel, and black with orange cord between the panels.  The hat has displayed at least five different depictions of an Oriole, several styles of the letter “B”, and one cap with a scripted “O”.

    One thing that has been consistent are the team colors.  Black and orange has been the color scheme for a long time.

    More uniform pictures to follow

1921 - 2012: How We Dressed (Yikes!)

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    The Orioles a l'orange was a temporary departure from sanity.  In 1971, this uniform was worn but a handful of times.  The color pictures of this fashion statement are rare. I added some orange to Boog a l'orange to liven up the above graphic.

1921 - 2012: How We Dressed Part III

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    The 1969 Orioles tried the sleeveless look.  The pitchers gave them a thumbs-down, and off to a corner of history they went.

    These are a lot easier on the eyes than looking at Boog as a creamsicle.

1921: 2012: Our 30-Game Winners

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    Three Oriole pitchers have won 30 games in a season.  

    Pitching and defense wins baseball games.  The Orioles won seven straight league championships between 1919 and 1925.  Our pitching was extraordinary.  As one 30-win pitcher would leave Baltimore for the majors, another would appear.  The 1925 Orioles featured a starting pitching staff of Tommy Thomas (32 wins - 12 losses), George Earnshaw (29 wins - 11 losses), and Jack Ogden (28 wins - 11 losses).

    30-Game Winners:

    1921 - Jack Ogden
    1923 - Rube Parnham
    1925 - Tommy Thomas 

    Hall of Fame pitcher, Lefty Grove won 27, 26, and 25 games between 1920 and 1924 as an Oriole hurler.

1921: 2012: International League 20 Game Winners

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    Caption:  (Top row, L-R)  Al Widmar, George Earnshaw, Monte Weaver ,Harry Smythe, Jack Ogden, Bill Lohrman, Stew Bolen (Bottom) Ed Klieman, Johnny Podgajny, Tommy Thomas, Cliff Melton, Harry Frank


    Oriole International League 20-game winners, all thirteen of them ... everyone pitched in the Majors.

    1. Lefty Grove
    2. Jack Ogden
    3. Tommy Thomas
    4. Harry Frank
    5. George Earnshaw
    6. Stew Bolen
    7. Monte Weaver
    8. Harry Smythe
    9. Cliff Melton
    10. Bill Lohrman
    11. Ed Klieman
    12. Johnny Podgajny
    13. Al Widmar

1921 - 2012: Ten Managers in the First 50 Years

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    Caption:  (Top Left, Clockwise)  Guy Sturdy, Rogers Hornsby, Nick Cullop, Frank “Beauty” McGowan, Fritz Maisel, Jack Dunn Sr., Jack Dunn III, Tommy Thomas, Bucky Crouse, and Don Heffner.  Inset photo is of Jack Dunn Sr. and Jack Dunn III


    The International League Orioles were owned and managed by Jack Dunn from 1907 until his death in 1928.  The ten managers from 1921 until 1953 are ...

    • Jack Dunn 1907-1928
    • Fritz Maisel 1929-1932
    • Frank McGowan 1933
    • Guy Sturdy 1934-1937
    • Bucky Crouse 1938
    • Rogers Hornsby 1939
    • Tommy Thomas 1940-1949
    • Jack Dunn III 1949
    • Nick Cullop 1950,51
    • Don Heffner 1952,53

1921 - 2012: The Earl of Baltimore

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    A tip of the hat to Baltimore’s irascible manager, Earl Weaver.

1921 - 2012: Twenty Managers in the 59 Seasons of the American League Orioles

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    Caption:  The first ten managers ... (Top Row, L-R) Frank Robinson, Joe Altobelli, Cal Ripken Sr., Hank Bauer, Paul Richards & Lum Harris (Bottom ) Earl Weaver, Jimmy Dykes, Billy Hitchcock, Lum Harris


    The first ten Oriole Managers, pictured above are ...

    Jimmy Dykes - 1954

    Paul Richards - 1955 to 1961

    Lum Harris - 1961

    Bill Hitchcock - 1962 to 1963

    Hank Bauer - 1964 to 1968

    Earl Weaver - 1968 to 1982, & 1985,1986

    Joe Altobelli - 1983 to 1985

    Cal Ripken Sr. - 1987,1988

    Frank Robinson - 1988 to 1991

1921 - 2012: Oriole Managers - The Camden Yard Years

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    Caption:  (Top Row) Mike Hargrove, Phil Reagan, Ray Miller (Middle Row) Dave Johnson, Johnny Oates, Juan Samuel, Lee Mazzilli (Bottom Row) Sam Perlozzo, Buck Showalter, Dave Trembley


    The Managers who have directed the Orioles since the opening of Oriole Park at Camden Yards ...

    Johnny Oates 1991-1994

    Phil Regan 1995

    Davey Johnson 1996-1997

    Ray Miller 1998-1999

    Mike Hargrove 2000-2003

    Lee Mazzilli 2004-2005

    Sam Perlozzo 2005-2007

    Dave Trembley 2007-2010

    Juan Samuel 2010

    Buck Showalter 2010-Present

1921 - 2012: The ELEVEN 20-Game Winners of the AL Orioles

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    Caption:  (Counter clockwise, starting top left): Steve Barber, Steve Stone, Mike Boddicker, Scott McGregor, Mike Cuellar, Pat Dobson, Dave McNally, Jim Palmer, Mike Torrez, Wayne Garland, Mike Flanagan (inset)


    The Orioles pitching rotation from 1969 through the early 1980's was awesome.  Between 1963 and 1984, Oriole pitchers broke the twenty-win mark 23 times.  Since 1984, no one has won has reached the twenty-win mark. 

    • Steve Barber - 1963
    • Steve Stone - 1980
    • Mike Boddicker - 1984
    • Scott McGregor - 1980
    • Mike Cuellar - 1969, 70, 71, 74
    • Pat Dobson - 1971
    • Dave McNally - 1968, 69, 70, 71
    • Jim Palmer - 1970, 71, 73, 75, 76, 77, 78
    • Mike Torrez - 1975
    • Wayne Garland - 1976
    • Mike Flanagan - 1979


    The death of Mike Flanagan in 2011 is mourned by many.  Here is one of my favorite Flanagan stories as told by Tim Kurkjian in his article following Flanny's death.
    The article, entitled, "Flanagan, a Memorable Man".

    "In 1980, as another Orioles pitcher, Steve Stone, was on his way to winning the Cy Young, Flanagan determined the different stages of the Cy Young award:

    • Flanagan was the reigning Cy Young
    • Jim Palmer is Cy Old
    • Stoney is Cy Present 
    • Storm [Davis] is Cy Future
    • When you get hurt, you become Cy-bex
    • When you're done, you become Cy-onara.

1921 - 2012: The No-Hitters

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    Stanley "Sid" West – 7/18/44 - This is the only no-hitter ever pitched by the International League Orioles.  Sid never pitched in the majors.  (Catcher: Sherman Lollar)

    Hoyt Wilhelm – 9/20/58 - In his second start for the Orioles, Paul Richards called on this "waiver wire" pickup to take on Casey & the mighty Yankees on September 20, 1958 in front of a national television audience.  (Catcher: Gus Triandos)

    Steve Barber & Stu Miller – 4/30/67 - This is the only losing no-hitter pitched by the Orioles.  See next slide  (Catcher: Larry Haney) 

    Tom Phoebus – 4/27/68 - The “plan” was for Mt. St. Joe's grad, Tom Phoebus to take the slot of the injured Jim Palmer.  Hank Bauer was trying to find a spot for the poor fielding/good hitting, 1965 Rookie of the Year, Curt Blefary.  Neither plan panned out.  The battery of this 1968 no-hitter would eventually be traded for two pitchers who would be 20 game winners on the Oriole staff.  Blefary was sent to Houston for Mike Cuellar.  Phoebus went to San Diego in exchange for Pat Dobson.  Cuellar and Dobson would become two of the four 20-game winners in 1971.  McNally and Palmer completed this distinguished staff.  

    On a cold, rainy Saturday afternoon in front of 3,200 fans, the local Baltimore pitcher and a third-string catcher completed this pitching masterpiece.  (Catcher: Curt Blefary)

    Jim Palmer – 8/13/69  The third Oriole no-hitter in three years belongs to the greatest Oriole pitcher of all time.  Palmer was pitching his second game following a 45 days on the disabled list against Hank Bauer’s Oakland Athletics.  Oakland Palmer spaced out six walks against 8 K’s.  Perennial Gold Glove winner Paul Blair and Bob Floyd, spelling Mark Belanger were each charged with an error.  Only two Athletics made it as far as third base during the game.  Palmer was in control as he went two for three at the plate, scoring one run, hitting a double, getting credited with one RBI and getting thrown out on a play at the plate.  (Catcher: Elrod Hendricks)

    Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson, & Gregg Olson – 7/13/91 - Bob Milacki put up the first six innings, walking three, striking out three.  The next three relievers kicked in one inning each for a "poor man's" no hitter.  Milacki got his fifth win against three losses.  Olson was credited with his 19th save for this terribly unexciting 2 - 0 win.  Following the game, losing manager TonyLaRussa commented on the unique makeup of this no-hitter, "I think it was kind of strange for them, everybody congratulated different people.  Nobody knew who to shake hands with.”   (Catcher:  Chris Hoiles)

1921 - 2012: The No-Hitter that Got Away

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    Caption:  Orioles’ hurler Steve Barber has just uncorked a bases-loaded, wild pitch.  Catcher Larry Haney tosses his mask while in route to retrieve the errant throw.  The tying run would score on this play.  The flat-footed second baseman is Mark Belanger, who would boot the next play allowing the eventual winning run to score.


    Steve Barber, a local Baltimore boy from Southern High School pitched 8-⅔ innings of “imperfect, no-hit baseball”.  Barber had walked ten (10) batters, hit two (2), and was charged with two (2) wild pitches.  The ninth inning saw the Tigers tie the game on a bases loaded, wild pitch.  Manager Hank Bauer had seen enough and pulled Barber with two (2) outs in the ninth inning.  Reliever, Stu Miller came on to get the last out with the bases remaining loaded.  Miller coaxed an infield bouncer, to defensive replacement, rookie, Mark Belanger (playing second base).  Belanger booted the ball and the Tigers would go up by one run.  Their one run lead would be sufficient to give Detroit the win, while Barber and Miller would join the ignominious list of pitchers who lost a no-hit game. 

    TIGERS       0  0  0    0  0  0    0  0  2  -   2  0 

    ORIOLES    0  0  0    0  0  0    0  1  0  -   1  2  2


    Detroit Tigers               AB   R   H RBI      BB  SO      PO   A

    McAuliffe 2b                  3   0   0   0       0   0       1   2

      Horton ph                   1   0   0   0       0   0       0   0

      Lumpe 2b                   0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0

    Stanley cf                     2   0   0   0       3   1       4   0

    Wert 3b                        3   0   0   0       1   0       1   2

    Kaline rf                        4   0   0   0       1   0       1   0

    Northrup lf                     4   0   0   0       0   0       3   0

    Freehan c                     1   0   0   0       2   0       5   0

    Cash 1b                        1   0   0   0       2   1       7   1

      Tracewski pr,ss           0   1   0   0       0   0       0   0

    Oyler ss                        2   0   0   0       1   1       3   2

      Wood pr,1b                  0   1   0   0       0   0       0   0

    Wilson p                        3   0   0   0       0   0       2   1

      Gladding p                    0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0

    Totals                          24   2   0   0      10   3      27   8


    DP: 1. Cash-Oyler.

    E: Kaline (1).


    SH: Cash (1,off Barber); Oyler (4,off Barber); Wert (2,off Barber); Wilson

    (1,off Barber).

    HBP: McAuliffe (3,by Barber); Freehan (4,by Barber).

    GDP: Kaline (1,off Barber).

    IBB: Kaline (1,by Barber).

    Team LOB: 11.


    SB: Freehan (1,2nd base off Barber/Etchebarren).

    Baltimore Orioles            AB   R   H RBI      BB  SO      PO   A

    Aparicio ss                   3   0   0   1       0   0       2   4

    Snyder cf                      4   0   0   0       0   0       0   0

    F. Robinson rf               4   0   1   0       0   0       1   0

    B. Robinson 3b             3   0   0   0       1   0       1   5

    Epstein 1b                    4   0   0   0       0   3      11   1

    Blefary lf                       2   1   0   0       1   0       0   0

    Held 2b                         2   0   0   0       0   0       5   3

      Haney c                      0   0   0   0       0   0       1   0

    Etchebarren c                2   0   1   0       0   1       4   0

      Lau ph                        0   0   0   0       1   0       0   0

      Belanger 2b                 0   0   0   0       0   0       1   0

    Barber p                        1   0   0   0       1   1       1   4

      S. Miller p                    0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0

    Totals                          25   1   2   1       4   5      27  17


    DP: 1. Aparicio-Held-Epstein.

    E: Belanger (1), Barber (1).


    SH: Barber (1,off Wilson); Held (1,off Wilson).

    SF: Aparicio (2,off Wilson).

    GDP: Blefary (1,off Wilson).

    IBB: Lau (1,by Wilson).

    Team LOB: 4.


    SB: F. Robinson (1,2nd base off Wilson/Freehan).


    Detroit Tigers               IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR BFP

    Wilson W(2-2)                 8     2   1   1   4   4   0  29

    Gladding SV(2)                1     0   0   0   0   1   0   3

    Totals                             9    2   1   1   4   5   0  32

    IBB: Wilson (2,Lau).

    Baltimore Orioles            IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR BFP

    Barber L(2-1)                 8.2   0   2   1  10   3   0  38

    S. Miller                        0.1   0   0   0   0   0   0   2

    Totals                           9      0   2   1  10   3   0  40

    WP: Barber (2).

    HBP: Barber 2 (2,McAuliffe,Freehan).

    IBB: Barber (1,Kaline).

    Umpires: HP - Bill Valentine, 1B - Marty Springstead, 2B - Johnny Stevens, 3B - Bob Stewart

    Time of Game: 2:38   

1921: 2012: Amazing Feats Performed with a Bat

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    • George "Buzz" Arlett - 54 - 1932
    • George Puccinelli - 53 - 1935
    • Howie Moss - 53 - 1947
    • Brady Anderson - 50 - 1996 


    • Joe Hauser - 63 - 1930  “International League Record” 


    • Jack Bentley - 1921
    • Merwin Jacobson - 1920

1912 - 2012: The 500 Home Run Club

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    Orioles who belong to the 500 Home Run Club

    Jim Thome - 612 (active player)

    Sammy Sosa - 609

    Frank Robinson - 586

    Rafael Palmeiro - 569

    Eddie Murray - 504 

1921 - 2012: Title Town? No Way! … Way!

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    Our three trainers have celebrated 11 championships in 90 years of Baltimore Oriole baseball.  That is a success rate of 12%, which is very credible by baseball standards.  The New York Yankees have won 27 championships over the same period of time, which gives them a remarkable rate of 30%.  The Cardinals, who have won the second most championships in MLB with 11 championships over the same 90 year period.

    Maybe we are not “title town”, but we have a proud baseball past.  If this article considered the entire Oriole baseball history, we would add 2 more minor league championships plus 3 National League championships, giving us 15 in 130 seasons (12.3%).

    Let us finish the ninety years with a compilation of “Believe it or Not” trivia.

1921 - 2012: “Believe It or Not”

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    Caption:  “Believe it or Not”, Robert Ripley was at one time the sports cartoonist/journalist for the Baltimore Star/Baltimore News daily newspapers.



    • In 1955, the Orioles and the Yankees made the largest trade in baseball history.  Seventeen players were swapped between the clubs.
    • General/Field Manager Paul Richards seriously considered swapping the entire Oriole team for the Athletics team following the 1955 season.
    • The distance from original Oriole Park to Memorial Stadium (Municipal Stadium) is 3,683 linear feet or .69 mile.  Eddie Weidner took the bus to work at one of these three stadiums for all of his 53 Oriole seasons.  His longest walking distance over these years was from Greenmount Avenue and 33rd Street to the stadium, a distance of 3/10 miles.
    • The Orioles have played “Country Boy” by John Denver as the 7th inning stretch tune for 35 years.
    • The 0 - 21 losing streak to open the 1988 baseball season is a record that we may hold for a few generations.
    • The three Ripken’s on one Orioles team is a major league first.
    • The 1971 Orioles and the 1920 White Sox are the only teams to have four 20-game winners on the same staff.
    • The Oriole bird is the first major league team mascot.  The second mascot was … Mister Met.
    • Brooks Robinson played for the Orioles for 23 years.  From 1960 through 1977, Brooks put his name on third base, compiling 16 consecutive Gold Glove awards.  Following Brooks’ retirement, the next 23 years saw the Orioles using 21 players at third base.
    • The Orioles operated as an an independent minor league club (i.e. no parent club affiliation) until 1940.  For the next 14 season, we served as the AAA farm club for the Phillies, Indians, and Browns.
    • The Orioles touted that the scoreboards at Oriole Park was the largest in the world.  The new electronic scoreboard at Memorial Stadium was also labeled, as the world’s largest scoreboard.
    • When Baltimore left the International League, we were replaced by the International League with the city of Havana, Cuba.
    • The Baltimore Orioles took 13 seasons to win their first World Series.  In comparison with other franchises who relocated to new homes, here is how the Orioles stack up against them …

    Number of Years to Win their First World Series

    Number of Years to Appear in their First World Series

    Number of Years to Awaiting to Appear in their First World Series

    • Washington Nationals - 7 years (The Nats will compete in the 2012 playoffs)
    • Kansas City Athletics (AL) - 13 years

1921: 2012: Unbelievable! HowzboutdemOze!

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    The 14,323rd baseball game witnessed by the Oriole Trainers of Weidner/Salvon/Bancells was as satisfying as any victory in Oriole history.

    In the first Wild Card Play-in Game, the Orioles beat the Texas Rangers 5-1 to advance to the American League Playoff Series.  The Orioles will face the N.Y. Yankees at OPCY on Sunday, October 7, 2012 for the best of five series.

    The 2012 season is the Orioles first winning season since 1997 when we battled the Cleveland Indians for the American League Pennant.

    Of our three trainers, Richie Bancells is the only one without a World Series Championship ring.  I'm one who is rooting that this is rectified as soon as possible. Not to take anything away from Bancells, but Baltimore has spent the past 14 years in baseball hell.  It's time to break out of it for good.  I just wish that Ernie Tyler could be here to share this moment.

1921- 2012: Appendix

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    Caption:  The first Oriole mascot, in 1954, (on right) was named Mr. Bird.  The Bird has gone through several incantations since he started attending Oriole games regularly in the late 1970's.


    In 1954 as the Baltimore Orioles rejoined the major leagues, the National Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown had inducted the following players:


    1. Cobb, Tyrus R. (Ty)
    2. Johnson, Walter P.
    3. Mathewson, Christopher (Christy)
    4. Ruth, George H. (Babe)
    5. Wagner, John P. (Honus)


    1. Bulkeley, Morgan G.
    2. Johnson, Byron Bancroft (Ban)
    3. Lajoie, Napoleon (Nap)
    4. Mack, Cornelius A. (Connie)
    5. McGraw, John J.
    6. Speaker, Tristram E. (Tris)
    7. Wright, George
    8. Young, Denton T. (Cy)


    1. Alexander, Grover C. (Pete)
    2. Cartwright, Alexander J.
    3. Chadwick, Henry


    1. Anson, Adrian C. (Cap)
    2. Collins, Edward T.
    3. Comiskey, Charles A.
    4. Cummings, William A. (Candy)
    5. Ewing, William (Buck)
    6. Gehrig, Henry Louis (Lou)
    7. Keeler, Willie H. (Wee Willie)
    8. Radbourn, Charles G. (Old Hoss)
    9. Sisler, George H.
    10. Spalding, Albert G.


    1. Hornsby, Rogers


    1. Landis, Kenesaw M.


    1. Bresnahan, Roger P.
    2. Brouthers, Dennis (Dan)
    3. Clarke, Fred C.
    4. Collins, James J.
    5. Delahanty, Edward J.
    6. Duffy, Hugh
    7. Jennings, Hugh A.
    8. Kelly, Michael J. (King)
    9. O’Rourke, James H.
    10. Robinson, Wilbert


    1. Burkett, Jesse C.
    2. Chance, Frank L.
    3. Chesbro, John D. (Jack)
    4. Evers, John J.
    5. Griffith, Clark C.
    6. McCarthy, Thomas F.
    7. McGinnity, Joseph J.
    8. Plank, Edward S.
    9. Tinker, Joseph B.
    10. Waddell, George E. (Rube)
    11. Walsh, Edward A.


    1. Cochrane, Gordon S. (Mickey)
    2. Frisch, Frank F.
    3. Grove, Robert M. (Lefty)
    4. Hubbell, Carl O.


    1. Pennock, Herbert J.
    2. Traynor, Harold J. (Pie)


    1. Brown, Mordecai
    2. Gehringer, Charles L.
    3. Nichols, Charles A. (Kid)


    1. Foxx, James E.
    2. Ott, Melvin T. (Mel)


    1. Heilmann, Harry E.
    2. Waner, Paul G.


    1. Barrow, Edward G.
    2. Bender, Charles A. (Chief)
    3. Connolly, Thomas H.
    4. Dean, Jay H. (Dizzy)
    5. Klem, William J.
    6. Simmons, Aloysius H. (Al)
    7. Wallace, Roderick J. (Bobby)
    8. Wright, William H. (Harry)

1921: 2012: Acknowledgments

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    1921: 2012: Go O'S

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      A sign from the Old Otterbein Methodist Church which is a stone's s throw from Oriole Park at Camden Yards.


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