Lowenfish: Remembering the 50th anniversary of Orioles’ first championship

From SABR member Lee Lowenfish at The National Pastime Museum on October 12, 2016:

They say that the first championship of any franchise is the sweetest one. In Baltimore’s case, it was the 1966 Orioles that shocked the baseball world by running away with the American League pennant and sweeping the favored Los Angeles Dodgers of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale in the World Series. Early this summer, the Oriole Advocates, a charitable foundation of Baltimore area fans that has served the underprivileged locally and internationally since 1960, devoted their annual luncheon to a celebration of the golden anniversary of the 1966 season. Although I have been living in my native New York City since 1976, the tribute was an event I could not miss. (The Advocates’ Cardboard to Leather program, which brings gloves to the needy in Latin America, recently won a Roberto Clemente Seat 21 honor for Robert Harden, a longtime member of the Oriole Advocates.)

The triumph of the 1966 Orioles was a remarkable feat in baseball history. The modern Orioles had only been created in 1954 out of the tattered shell of a St. Louis Browns franchise so bankrupt it couldn’t afford clean uniforms for its last home games. (The original late-nineteenth-century Orioles of the pugnacious John McGraw and clever batsman “Wee Willie” Keeler disbanded early in the twentieth century, its shell ultimately becoming the New York Yankees, a turn of events that understandably has stuck in Baltimoreans’ craw and stoked an anti-Yankee sentiment.)

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/remembering-50th-anniversary-baltimore-orioles-first-world-championship

Originally published: October 12, 2016. Last Updated: October 12, 2016.