Baltimore Orioles (1882–1899)

The Baltimore Orioles were a 19th-century American Association and National League (organized 1876) team from 1882 to 1899. The early ball club, which featured numerous future Hall of Famers, finished in first place three consecutive years (1894–1895–1896) and won the "Temple Cup" national championship series in 1896 and 1897. Despite their success, the dominant Orioles were contracted out of the League after the 1899 season, when the N.L. reduced its number of teams and franchises from 12 to 8, with a list of teams and cities limited to just the northeastern United States which endured for the next half-century. This controversial action resulting in the elevation of the former Western League by leaders such as Ban Johnson (1864-1931), into a newly-organized American League in 1901 of which the new reorganized Baltimore Orioles were a prominent member for its first two seasons which "waged war" on the elder "Nationals".

Baltimore Orioles
Years 18821899
Based in Baltimore, Maryland
Major league affiliations
Team colors

Orange/yellow/gold, black, white

Major league titles
  • Temple Cups: 2 (1896, 1897)
  • National League pennants: 3 (1894, 1895, 1896)
  • American Association pennants: 0


The team was founded in 1882 as a charter member of the American Association, which was then a major league. After several years of mediocrity, the team dropped out of the league in 1889, but re-joined in 1890 to replace the last-place Brooklyn Gladiators club which had dropped out during the season. After the Association folded, the Orioles joined the National League in 1892. The beginnings of what was to become a legendary team can be traced to June 1892, when Harry Von der Horst hired Ned Hanlon to manage the Orioles, giving him stock in the team and full authority over baseball operations. Ned moved his growing family to a house that stood a block away from Union Park.

After two years finishing near the bottom of the league, the Orioles won three consecutive pennants with several future Hall of Famers under player/manager Ned Hanlon from 1894 to 1896. They followed up the title run with two consecutive second-place finishes. Accordingly, they participated in all four editions of the Temple Cup series, winning the final two in 1896 and 1897. After the team's 1898 second-place finish, Hanlon and most of the team's stars (though not John McGraw or Wilbert Robinson) were moved across to the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League by the joint ownership of the clubs.

Following a fourth-place finish in 1899, the National League eliminated four teams from the circuit, the Orioles among them. First-year player/manager John McGraw followed through on his threats to abandon the NL and form a club in the rival American League (being formed by new president Ban Johnson out of the former minor Western League), doing so beginning in 1901. (Those newly formed A.L. Orioles only stayed in Baltimore for two seasons before being moved to New York as "the price of peace" as agreement was established in 1903 between the older circuit and its new upstart rival allowing the "Americans" to have a representative also in the "Big Apple" as a sign of respectability. The old Oriole franchise under McGraw became known as the "New York Highlanders" or occasionally the "New York Americans", later becoming renamed in 1913 as the New York Yankees.)

A high-minor league franchise in the old Eastern League filled the void left by the Orioles in 1903, including local product and future baseball icon Babe Ruth and Lefty Grove, even winning an unbroken string of six straight titles, 1919–1925 in the "Triple A" (AAA) level of minor league baseball in the reorganized International League (after 1911), but top-level professional baseball would not return to Baltimore until the St. Louis Browns relocated to the City in 1954.


The Orioles played briefly at the old Oriole Park, in Harwood, south of the Waverly neighborhood at 29th and Barclay Streets, (just a block west from Greenmount Avenue) from 1890 to 1891. (The 1901 AL Orioles-turned-Highlanders would play at the site a decade later.) During the 1891 season, the Orioles moved a few blocks away to Union Park on Huntington Avenue (later renamed 25th Street) and Greenmount Avenue, where they would play and win their famous three straight championships for the old "Temple Cup" in 1894–1895-1896. Unfortunately they were removed from the N.L. roster after the 1899 season when the League was controversially reduced from 12 team franchises to 8, which endured for the next half-century. For further info see List of baseball parks in Baltimore, Maryland.


Mcgraw jennings
John McGraw (left) and Hughie Jennings (right) anchored the left side of the infield for Orioles teams that won three straight National League pennants (1894–1896). Later, both were successful managers. (Note: In the middle image, McGraw is shaking hands with Athletics captain Harry Davis, right).

The original Orioles were one of the most storied teams in the history of the game. Managed by Ned Hanlon, they won NL pennants in 1894, 1895 and 1896, and sported some of the most colorful players in history including John McGraw, Wee Willie Keeler, Hughie Jennings, Joe Kelley, Wilbert Robinson, and Dan Brouthers.

They were rough characters who practically invented "scientific" baseball, the form of baseball played before the home run became the norm in the 1920s. Like the style known today as "small ball", the "inside baseball" strategy of Orioles featured tight pitching, hit and run tactics, stolen bases, and precise bunting. One such play, where the batter deliberately strikes the pitched ball downward onto the infield surface with sufficient force such that the ball rebounds skyward, allowing the batter to reach first base safely before the opposing team can field the ball, remains known as a Baltimore Chop.

Matt Kilroy pitched a no-hitter for the Orioles on October 6, 1886. Bill Hawke threw one on August 16, 1893, the first from the modern pitching distance of 60 feet, 6 inches. Jay Hughes threw a no-hitter for the Orioles on April 22, 1898.

Instead of "flying spikes," it was really "flying mouths" that most made the 1890s Orioles stand out.[1]

First United States soccer champions

In the 1890s the major Baseball franchises were keen to find ways to keep their venues, and players active in the winter months. One solution was to launch a National soccer league containing the same teams names as, and even some players from its Baseball parent. Soccer was growing rapidly in popularity in the United States at the time but a combination of poor advertising, low media coverage, midweek kick off times and most importantly, the failure of the Baseball stars of the day turning up, as promised, to try their hand at the kicking game, led to attendances rarely growing above 1,000 per game. When all was said and done Baltimore were declared champions and despite positivity from owners and fans alike, a second championship was never organized and the first of several false dawns for American soccer came to an end.


  1. ^ Rosenberg. Cap Anson 3., p. 206.

External links

  • Team index at Baseball Reference
  • Excerpt from Where They Ain't: The Fabled Life And Untimely Death Of The Original Baltimore Orioles by Burt Solomon at


  • Solomon, Burt (1999), Where They Ain't: The Fabled Life And Untimely Death Of The Original Baltimore Orioles. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0-684-85451-1
  • Rosenberg, Howard W. (2005); Cap Anson 3: Muggsy John McGraw and the Tricksters: Baseball's Fun Age of Rule Bending. Arlington, Virginia: Tile Books. ISBN 0-9725574-2-3

See also

American Association (19th century)

The American Association (AA) was a professional baseball league that existed for 10 seasons from 1882 to 1891. Together with the National League (NL), founded in 1876, the AA participated in an early version of the World Series seven times versus the champion of the NL in an interleague championship playoff tournament. At the end of its run, several AA franchises joined the NL. After 1891, the NL existed alone, with each season's champions being awarded the prized Temple Cup (1894-1897).

During its existence, the AA was often simply referred to as "the Association" in the media, in contrast to the NL, which was sometimes called "the League".

List of Major League Baseball players to hit for the cycle

In baseball, completing the cycle is the accomplishment of hitting a single, a double, a triple, and a home run in the same game. Collecting the hits in that order is known as a "natural cycle", which has occurred 14 times in Major League Baseball (MLB). The cycle itself is semi-rare in MLB, occurring a total of 327 times, starting with Curry Foley in 1882. In terms of frequency, the cycle is roughly as common as a no-hitter; Baseball Digest calls it "one of the rarest feats in baseball". Only one current team in MLB has never had a player hit for the cycle: the Miami Marlins.The most cycles hit by a single player in MLB is three, accomplished by four players; John Reilly was the first to hit a third when he completed the cycle on August 6, 1890, after hitting his first two in a week (September 12 and 19, 1883) for the Cincinnati Reds. Bob Meusel became the second man to complete three cycles, playing for the New York Yankees; his first occurred on May 7, 1921, the next on July 3, 1922, and his final cycle on July 26, 1928. Babe Herman accomplished the feat for two different teams—the Brooklyn Robins (May 18 and July 24, 1931) and the Chicago Cubs (September 30, 1933). Adrián Beltré is the most recent addition to this list, cycling first for the Seattle Mariners (September 1, 2008) before cycling twice as a member of the Texas Rangers (August 24, 2012 and August 3, 2015). Beltré is the only player to have completed all three cycles in the same ballpark, with the first occurring as an opponent of the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

The most cycles hit in a single major league season is eight, which has occurred twice: first in the 1933 season, and then again in the 2009 season; all eight cycles in each of those seasons were hit by different players. Cycles have occurred on the same day twice in MLB history: on September 17, 1920, hit by Bobby Veach of the Detroit Tigers and George Burns of the New York Giants; and again on September 1, 2008, when the Arizona Diamondbacks' Stephen Drew and the Seattle Mariners' Adrián Beltré each completed the four-hit group. Conversely, the longest period of time between two players hitting for the cycle was five years, one month, and ten days, a drought lasting from Bill Joyce's cycle in 1896 to Harry Davis' in 1901. Three players—John Olerud, Bob Watson and Michael Cuddyer—have hit for the cycle in both the National and American Leagues. Family pairs to hit for the cycle include father and son Gary and Daryle Ward, who accomplished the feat in 1980 and 2004, respectively; and grandfather and grandson Gus and David Bell, the elder of whom hit for the cycle in 1951, and the younger in 2004.Dave Winfield and Mel Ott are the oldest and youngest players to hit for the cycle, at ages 39 and 20, respectively. Of multiple-cycle hitters, John Reilly holds the record for the shortest time between cycles (seven days), while Aaron Hill holds the record since the formation of the American League, with his two 2012 feats coming within an 11-day span. Conversely, George Brett's two cycles came 11 years and 58 days apart. Christian Yelich is the only player to hit for the cycle twice in one season against the same team, doing so 20 days apart against the Cincinnati Reds in 2018. On October 8, 2018, Brock Holt of the Boston Red Sox hit for the cycle against the New York Yankees in Game 3 of the American League Division Series; it was the first cycle in MLB postseason history.

Sports in Maryland

Maryland has a number of major and minor professional sports franchises. Two National Football League teams play in Maryland, the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore and the Washington Redskins in Prince George's County. The Baltimore Orioles compete as Major League Baseball franchise in Baltimore.

Other professional sports franchises in the state include five affiliated minor league baseball teams, one independent league baseball team, the Baltimore Blast indoor soccer team, two indoor football teams, two low-level Basketball teams, three low-level outdoor soccer teams and the Chesapeake Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse.

The Congressional Country Club and Aronimink Golf Club have hosted several professional golf tournaments, including the U.S. Open, PGA Championship, U.S. Senior Open, Senior PGA Championship, Kemper Open and Quicken Loans National.

Maryland has had famous athletes including baseball's Cal Ripken Jr. and Babe Ruth, and Olympic swimming medalists Michael Phelps and Katie Hoff.

Since 1962, the official state sport of Maryland is jousting. Lacrosse was named the official team sport in 2004, and Sports Illustrated wrote the sport "has always been the showcase for the flower of Maryland manhood." In 2008, intending to promote physical fitness for all ages, Maryland declared walking the official state exercise and became the first state with an official state exercise.

The franchise
Ball parks
National League Pennants
Histories of teams in Major League Baseball


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