Happy New Year, everyone! As we inch closer and closer to Spring Training and the 2018 season we’ll continue to take at more memorable throwback moments from last year to get you through the next few weeks.
One of the best parts of the 2017 season was MLB’s new player-focused initiative, Players Weekend. With customized alternate jerseys, nicknames and commemorative patches, players got the chance to show us all a different, more personal side of themselves that they don’t normally get to share.
A lot of positive moments came out of the inaugural Players Weekend, but it was especially memorable for Birdland when the Orioles crushed the American League East-leading Red Sox 16-3 in the first game of the series, eventually leading to a sweep at Fenway Park. It was the O’s first three-game sweep of the Red Sox since June 9-11, 2015, and first such sweep at Fenway since Sept. 8-10, 2014. Also, the O’s outscored the Sox 25-4 over the weekend (7-0 on Saturday, 2-1 on Sunday) and improved to 10-6 against their AL East rival in 2017.
The 16 runs were a season-high for the Birds and the most on the road since Aug. 17, 2008 against the Tigers in Detroit. It was a complete team effort - all nine players in the starting lineup picked up at least one hit and seven of the nine had multi-hit games.
Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis provided the only homers of the game and rookie Trey Mancini finished the night 3-for-5 with a triple and four RBIs, his second consecutive game with three or more RBIs and the first time in his career driving in three or more runs in back-to-back games. Watch him talk about his stellar night:
And check out Adam Jones talking about the sweep with MASN’s Gary Thorne:
For additional images, including a more in-depth look at player nicknames and commemorative patches, check out our special Players Weekend 2017 photo album on MASN Orioles’ Facebook Page.
And here are a few other “Orioles Classics” coming up on MASN this week:
Friday, Jan. 5, 9 a.m. - The A’s led 2-0 as Bartolo Colon held the Birds to five hits over the first eight innings. But it was J.J. Hardy’s leadoff single in the ninth inning that started a rally that led to Wilson Betemit’s three-run walk-off homer to officially complete the comeback.
Saturday Jan. 6, 6:30 p.m. - It’s almost time for more “Trumbo Jumbos” so take some time to relive opening day 2017 when Trumbo blasted a solo shot in the 11th inning, the first walk-off home run on opening day in O’s history.
Monday, Jan. 8, 9 a.m. - Despite the 5-4 loss to the Tigers, Eddie Murray kept things interesting on Sept. 6, 1996 (the one-year anniversary of Cal Ripken Jr.’s 2,131st consecutive game played), when he launched his 500th career home run in the seventh inning off Felipe Lira. Murray, who ranked among all-time leaders in nearly every offensive category at that time, joined Willie Mays and Hank Aaron as the only players in major league history to reach both 500 home runs and 3,000 hits in their career.
Tuesday Jan. 9 12:30 p.m. - By the 2000 season, Cal Ripken Jr. had already guaranteed himself a spot in Coopertsown. But he sealed the deal on April 15 against the Twins when he reached the 3,000 hit milestone with a single up the middle in the seventh inning, his third hit of the game. Fans at the Metrodome gave Ripken a standing ovation as he celebrated with former teammate-turned-coach Eddie Murray at first base.
Wednesday, Jan. 10 9 a.m. - On Sept. 13, 2012, the O’s ended a franchise-record run of 14 consecutive losing seasons with a 3-2 win over the Rays. Manny Machado drove in the game-winning run after 14 long innings to complete a sweep and remain in first place in the AL East.