MARYLAND AT A GLANCE

SPORTS

BASEBALL


[photo, Pasadena Eagles play at George Fox Middle School, Pasadena, Maryland]
  • Major Leagues
  • Minor Leagues
  • Little Leagues
  • Records & Awards
  • In Maryland, baseball is played by all ages all over the State.

    Pasadena Eagles play at George Fox Middle School, Pasadena, Maryland, September 2016. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    [photo, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland] MAJOR LEAGUES
    On April 4, 2016, the
    Baltimore Orioles began their 24th season in Oriole Park, their 62nd season in Baltimore. The Baltimore Orioles baseball team is part of the American League (East Division).

    The Orioles play in Oriole Park at Camden Yards, one of the nation's first retro-styled stadiums built to recall early baseball parks. Located in downtown Baltimore, the Stadium opened on April 6, 1992. It seats 45,971 people. Adjoining buildings hold the Orioles' offices, shops, and restaurants.

    Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland, July 2001. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    [photo, Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland] The Orioles team has not been the only professional team to play baseball in Baltimore.

    The Baltimore Canaries, also called the Lord Baltimores, played from 1872 to 1874 when financial difficulties caused the team to disband.


    Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays, opening day, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland, April 9, 2010. Photo by Joseph P. Wantz.


    [photo, Three generations of Orioles fans, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland] From 1882 to 1899, there was a team called the Baltimore Orioles in the National League. The team included Hughie Jennings, Joe Kelley, and John McGraw, as well as manager Ned Hanlon, all of whom later were inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. From 1894 to 1896, the Orioles won three consecutive National League pennants, and, in 1896 and 1897, two Temple Cups (Championship Series). When the National League reduced the number of its teams in 1899, that Orioles team disbanded.

    Three generations of Orioles fans, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland, July 2001. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    In 1901, a new Baltimore Orioles team formed within the American League. After two years of disputes, however, and plans to make the League more competitive, the franchise relocated to New York City following the 1902 season. There, it later would become known as the New York Yankees.

    From 1914 to 1915, the Baltimore Terrapins played professionally in the Federal League. The Terrapins' ballpark was built across from the Orioles' park. Following a buyout from the American and National Leagues, the Federal League ceased operations in 1915, and the Baltimore Terrapins stopped playing.

    The Baltimore Black Sox played from 1916 to 1933. They played in various leagues, including the Eastern Colored League from 1923 to 1928, the American Negro League in 1929, the East-West League in 1932, and the Negro National League in 1933. The Baltimore Black Sox won the Championship in 1929, but stopped playing in 1933.

    The Baltimore Elite Giants played in the Negro National League from 1938 to 1948 and the Negro American League from 1949 to 1950. Formerly the Nashville Standard Giants, the team won the National Title in 1939 and 1949, before disbanding in 1950.

    The current Baltimore Orioles, formerly the St. Louis Browns, made their debut at Memorial Stadium on April 15, 1954. Over one million people attended their home games during their first season. By 1955, most of the former Browns players were traded. Over the next decade, the Orioles developed into a competitive team, signing Luis Aparicio, Jim Palmer, Boog Powell, Brooks Robinson, and Frank Robinson, among others.

    From 1966 to 1983 were the "glory years" for the Orioles. They won three World Series (1966, 1970, 1983), six American League Pennants (1966, 1969-71, 1979, 1983), and seven East Division titles (1969-71, 1973-74, 1979, 1983). Mike Flanagan, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, and Cal Ripken, Jr., were signed during this time.


    [photo, Gate C entrance, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Eutaw St., Baltimore, Maryland] In 1992, the Orioles moved to their new stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, near Baltimore's Inner Harbor. There, they won two more Division titles, in 1997 and 2014, and two wild card berths, in 1996 and 2012.


    Gate C entrance, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Eutaw St., Baltimore, Maryland, July 2001. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    MINOR LEAGUES
    There were two minor league teams named the Baltimore Orioles. The first team, which lasted from 1903 to 1914, was part of the Eastern League, later the International League. It won the League pennant in 1908. In 1914, the team signed Babe Ruth, but owing to competition from the Baltimore Terrapins, sold him and other players before relocating to Richmond, Virginia.

    The second Orioles minor league team played from 1916 to 1953 in the International League. They were League champions from 1919 to 1925. In 1944 and 1950, they won the Championship, as well as the Little World Series in 1920, 1922, and 1925, and the Junior World Series in 1944. When their stadium, Oriole Park (formerly Terrapin Park), burned down in 1944, the team then moved to Municipal Stadium (later Memorial Stadium). When the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore in 1953, they acquired the Orioles' name and the minor league team relocated to Richmond.


    The Aberdeen IronBirds affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles in 2002 after relocating to Maryland from Utica, New York. Part of the New York-Penn League of Class A baseball, the team plays at Ripken Stadium, which opened June 18, 2002, in Aberdeen. In 2013, the IronBirds won the McNamara Division Championship within the New York-Penn League. The Ironbirds begin their 14th season home game on June 22, 2016.

    The Bowie Baysox minor league baseball team is the Baltimore Orioles Class AA minor league affiliate. It belongs to the Eastern League of AA baseball. The team plays in Bowie at Prince George's Stadium, which opened in 1994. Home opening day for the Baysox was April 7, 2016.

    The Delmarva Shorebirds debuted in the South Atlantic League of Class A minor league baseball in 1996. A Baltimore Orioles affiliate, the team plays at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. In 2000, the Shorebirds won the South Atlantic League Championships. The Shorebirds played their home opening game on April 14, 2016.

    The Frederick Keys team was established in 1989. It is the Carolina League Class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles and plays in Frederick at Harry Grove Stadium, which opened in 1990. The Keys held their first home game of the 28th season on April 14, 2016.

    The Hagerstown Suns have been part of the South Atlantic League since 1993. They play in Hagerstown at Municipal Stadium, built in 1931. The Suns became a Class A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants in 2001, with affiliation changing to the Washington Nationals in 2007. The Suns' first home game was on April 7, 2016.


    ATLANTIC LEAGUE
    The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs began playing on May 2, 2008, at the Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf. The team is part of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. The Blue Crabs played their first home game of their 9th season on April 21, 2016.


    LITTLE LEAGUES
    The
    Cal Ripken World Series involves champion Little League teams from across the nation and the world. First played in Illinois, the World Series relocated to the Ripken Baseball Complex at Aberdeen, Maryland, in 2003.

    Each summer, 12-year old baseball players in ten teams from across the United States and eight top teams from around the world compete in the World Series to crown a single world champion. In the 2016 World Series, teams competed from Australia, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, and the United States. Maryland also was represented.

    Held from July 29 to August 6, the 2016 Series was televised on the Major League Baseball (MLB) Network. The Championship game was won by Japan, on August 6. The next Cal Ripken World Series will be held in August 2017.

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