Posted on January 08 2020
With a worth in excess of $1.28 billion, the value of the Orioles has been on the rise as of late, though at a slower rate than most other franchises in Major League Baseball. According to Forbes, among 30 teams in the MLB, the Orioles rank 19th. With six World Series appearances, they were extremely successful from 1966 to 1983. In 1983, 1970, and as early as 1966, the Orioles have won World Series titles. Sadly, after 1983, they went on a relatively steady decline.
Let's take a closer look at the Baltimore Orioles starting with their very inception as the Brewers. Yes, you read that right – the Brewers!
In the Beginning
You may hear the major-league baseball team known as the Baltimore Orioles also referred to as The Birds or The O’s. Owned by Peter Angelos, this Baltimore, Maryland team is in the American League's Eastern Division. Originally founded as a minor league team back in 1894, what would eventually become the Orioles was actually based out of Wisconsin's city of Milwaukee – and, yes, they were referred to as the Brewers back then!
The team eventually became known as the Browns in 1902 when they moved to St. Louis, Missouri. Even with Bobby Wallace and George Sisler, however, the team was not particularly successful. In 52 St. Louis-based years, they only reached the World Series once.
A move to Baltimore was in the cards for the Browns in 1954. This is also when they took on the name of the Baltimore Orioles – a nickname traditional to Baltimore. This is also the time around which they acquired manager Earl Weaver, players Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer, and Boog Powell, and a player named Brooks Robinson, a future 15 time All-Star.
What followed would be the success mentioned above from 1963 to 1983.
What Was Next for the Orioles?
If you haven't recognized any or many names thus far, here's one you'll probably remember – Cal Ripken, Jr. This player was signed in 1978 and would go on to become one of the team’s most popular players, as well as setting a record with 2,632 consecutive games played.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards became the home of the Orioles in 1992. Located near the heart of the city, the facility was notable as having a baseball only classification. More and more teams were getting away from multipurpose stadiums in suburban locations and leaning toward facilities such as this.
In the mid-90s, the Orioles returned to contention briefly and enjoyed an increased popularity, courtesy of Camden Yards, among other things. In 1998, however, the team fell from baseball's top ranks as a result of (reportedly) some “personal challenges of a questionable nature”. In the first decades of the 2000's, they would finish no higher in their division than that of third place.
They did manage to defeat the Cuban national team in 1999. In more than 40 years, an American baseball team had not played a game in Cuba, and the Orioles were the first to do so again.
Things Are Looking Up!
From 2011 to 2012, the Orioles experienced sudden improvement. For the first time in 15 years, they qualified for the playoffs. Unfortunately, they lost in a five-game division series. However, they won the division title two years later – their first since 1997. This advanced them to play against the Kansas City Royals in the AL Championship Series. (The Orioles lost in four games.)
But nothing lasts forever and, losing a franchise record 115 games, the Orioles backslid again in 2018. Win or lose, the fans of the Baltimore Orioles remain hopeful and loyal. As it should be.
For more than 30 years, our South Bronx located, family-owned and operated store has been making Orioles fans, Milwaukee Brewers fans, Red Sox fans, Kansas City Royals fans, and numerous other MLB fans happy with our wide selection of baseball caps. Thanks to the Internet, customers around the world today can take advantage of the affordable prices at Hat Heaven. To find your favorite team’s cap, visit our website.