Baltimore Orioles, Inc.
Baltimore Orioles, Inc.
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Baltimore Baseball Club, Inc.
July 10, 1980
American Bank Note Company
12" (w) by 8" (h)
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The modern Baltimore Orioles franchise can trace its roots back to the original Milwaukee Brewers of the minor Western League, beginning in 1894, when the league reorganized. The Brewers were there when the WL renamed itself the American League in 1900.
At the end of the 1900 season, the American League removed itself from baseball's National Agreement (the formal understanding between the NL and the minor leagues). Two months later, the AL declared itself a competing major league. As a result of several franchise shifts, the Brewers were one of only two Western League teams that didn't fold, move or get kicked out of the league (the other being the Detroit Tigers). In its first game in the American League, the team lost to the Detroit Tigers 14–13 after blowing a nine-run lead in the 9th inning. To this day, it is a major league record for the biggest deficit overcome that late in the game. In the first American League season in 1901, they finished last (eighth place) with a record of 48–89. Its lone Major League season, the team played at Lloyd Street Grounds, between 16th and 18th Streets in Milwaukee.
St. Louis Browns
After one year in Milwaukee the club relocated to St. Louis, and for a while enjoyed some success, especially in the 1920s behind Hall of Fame first baseman George Sisler. However, the team's fortunes declined from then on, as playing success and gate receipts instead went increasingly to the Browns' own tenants at Sportsman's Park, the National League Cardinals. During this period the Browns only won one pennant, in the 1944 season stocked with wartime replacement players, and lost to the Cardinals in the third and last World Series ever played entirely in one ballpark. In 1953, with the Browns unable to afford even stadium upkeep, owner Bill Veeck sold Sportsman's Park to the Cards and attempted to move the club back to Milwaukee, but this was vetoed by the other Major League owners. Instead, Veeck sold his franchise to a partnership of Baltimore businessmen.
The Miles-Krieger (Gunther Brewing Company)-Hoffberger group renamed their new team the Baltimore Orioles soon after taking control of the franchise. The name has a rich history in Baltimore, having been used by a National League team in the 1890s. In 1901, Baltimore and John McGraw were awarded an expansion franchise in the growing American League, naming the team the Orioles. After a battle with Ban Johnson, the Head of the American League in 1902, McGraw took many of the top players including Walter Scott "Steve" Brodie, Dan McGann, Roger Bresnahan, and Joe McGinnity to the New York Giants. As an affront to Johnson, McGraw kept the black and orange colors of the New York Giants, which San Francisco wears to this day. In 1903, the franchise -- the remaining players, assets and debts, the corporation -- was transferred to New York where they were nicknamed the Highlanders until circa 1912, by which time Yanks or Yankees had taken over as their popular moniker. As a member of the high-minor league level International League, the Orioles competed at what is now known as the AAA level from 1903 to 1953; the IL Orioles' most famous player was a local Baltimore product, hard-hitting left-handed pitcher Babe Ruth. When Oriole Park burned down in 1944, the team moved to a temporary home, Municipal Stadium, where they won the Junior World Series. Their large postseason crowds caught the attention of the major leagues, eventually leading to a new MLB franchise in Baltimore.
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