Following their upset loss to the New York Mets in the 1969 World Series, the Orioles picked up where they left off in 1969. They opened the season with five wins and ran away with their second straight American League East Title, beating back a challenge from the New York Yankees in June. They won 19 of their last 22 games to finish with an 108 win season, one win fewer than the previous year.
There was a sobering moment early in the season when Blair was beaned on May 31 in Anaheim, California. The California Angels' Ken Tatum threw a pitch that hit Blair in the face. Blair was seemingly on his way to a second straight strong season after having 26 home runs and 76 RBIs in 1969. He missed three weeks after the beaning, coming back to finish with 18 home runs and 65 RBIs, but he seldom produced that well over the rest of his career, and some speculated[who?] he was never the same at the plate.
One personnel change from '69 to '70 was the return of Moe Drabowsky, the eminent prankster relief pitcher who had been lost to the Kansas City Royals in the expansion draft before the '69 season. Now thirty-four and near the end of his career, he was reacquired during the '70 season and won four of six decisions, helping fill out a veteran bullpen.