Baltimore Orioles (minor league)
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|Minor league affiliations|
|Major league affiliations|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles||1919-1925, 1944, 1950|
"Orioles" is a traditional name for baseball clubs in Baltimore (after the bird). It was used by major league teams from 1882 through 1899 in the American Association/National League and by a charter member of the American League from 1901 through 1902. The American League franchise was shifted to New York City in 1903 and renamed the New York Highlanders, which later became the New York Yankees.
First minor league team, 1903–1914
In 1903, an Oriole minor league team joined the Eastern League (renamed the International League in 1911, and not to be confused with the present day AA Eastern League). This Orioles team stayed mediocre for the first few years of its existence, but after the arrival of Jack Dunn as manager, it won the league pennant in 1908.
The 1914 season featured the professional debut of local son Babe Ruth, but competition from the Baltimore Terrapins of the Federal League forced Dunn to sell Ruth and many of his other players, and relocate the team to Richmond, Virginia (eventually becoming the present-day Syracuse Chiefs).
Second minor league team, 1916–1953
After the Federal League's demise, Dunn returned with a team in 1916. The 1919 team won the International League pennant with 100 victories, the first team to win that many games. Featuring another future Hall-of-Fame pitcher in Lefty Grove, the Orioles improved on that in 1920 by winning 110 games, including the last 25 of the season. In 1921, the Orioles won 27 straight games (a record for consecutive victories by a minor league team that would stand until the Salt Lake City team of the Pioneer League won 29 in 1987). The Orioles won the league by 20 games over the second place team, and had a home record of 70 wins and 18 losses. Despite their impressive record, however, they lost the Little World Series to the American Association champion Louisville Colonels, 4 games to 1. The Orioles actually led the fourth game, 12–4, but a riot broke out among the Baltimore home crowd in the top of the 9th inning, and the game was forfeited to Louisville, 9 runs to 0. The Orioles continued to roll over International League opposition through 1925.
The team entered the Governors' Cup playoffs in 1936, 1937, and 1940, but did not win another pennant until 1944. The team was leading the league on July 4 of that year, when their home stadium, Oriole Park, burned down. The team seemed to have a hard time recovering from that loss, playing lackluster ball through the rest of the season and losing their last game, only to back into the championship when the second place team, the Newark Bears, also lost. The Orioles, under manager Alphonse "Tommy" Thomas, went on to win the Junior World Series that year, four games to two, against Louisville. In 1950, under manager Nick Cullop, Baltimore lost the Junior World Series to Columbus, four games to one.
Back to the majors
After the 1953 season, the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore and took the name of the Baltimore Orioles. The later minor league Orioles team re-located to Richmond (as had the earlier Orioles team) as the Virginians from 1954–64, have been today's Toledo Mud Hens franchise since 1965.