The city of Baltimore, Maryland has been home to two minor league baseball teams called the Baltimore Orioles.
"Orioles" is a traditional name for baseball clubs in Baltimore
(after the bird
). It was used by
major league teams from 1882 through 1899
by a charter member of the American
from 1901 through 1903
American League franchise was shifted to New York City and renamed the New York Highlanders, which later
became the New York Yankees.
First Minor League Team, 1903-1914
, an Oriole minor league
team joined the Eastern League (renamed the International League
, and not to be confused with the
present day AA Eastern
). 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
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
with 100 victories, the first team to win that many games.
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
, 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
. 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
lost. The Orioles, under manager Tommy Thomas, went on to win the
Junior World Series that year, 4 games to 2, against Louisville. In
1950, under manager Nick Cullop, Baltimore lost the Junior World
Series to Columbus, 4 games to 1.
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
1954-64, have been today's Toledo Mud
franchise since 1965.
Governors' Cup Titles
The Orioles won the Governors' Cup
the championship of the IL
times, and played in the championship series 5 times.