“Orioles Classics” #TBT: A memorable debut, October clincher and late heroics

Christmas has come and gone, and you’re probably strategizing about when exactly to disassemble the tree, store the ornaments and take down the lights that have been blinking on and off outside your home.

Or perhaps you’re a procrastinator and you just can’t bear the thought of dissipating holiday cheer.

If that’s the case, we’ve got a few “Orioles Classics” in the week ahead on MASN, the perfect fodder for settling into your comfy couch or recliner, grabbing a glass or bottle of your favorite beverage and reminiscing about some glorious past games.

And with the new year approaching, isn’t reminiscing mandatory?

Here’s to a great 2020 to everyone in Birdland! But before you sing “Auld Lang Syne,” here’s this week’s holiday buffet of “Orioles Classics” for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, Dec. 27 - 4 p.m. - Jason Hammel made his Orioles debut a memorable one. On April 8, 2012, in his first start in orange and black, Hammel took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Twins before a leadoff double by Justin Morneau. Acquired from the Rockies along with reliever Matt Lindstrom in exchange for right-hander Jeremy Guthrie on Feb. 6, just before spring training started, Hammel wound up working eight innings of two-hit, one-run ball and picking up the win in a 3-1 triumph. J.J. Hardy homered for the O’s.

Saturday, Dec. 28 - 1:30 p.m. - You won’t find a happier result than the O’s 5-0 whitewashing of the Phillies on Oct. 16, 1983 in Game 5 of the World Series. After dropping the opener of the Fall Classic in Baltimore, the Birds reeled off four straight victories to vanquish the Phillies. Scott McGregor scattered five hits in the shutout, while Eddie Murray and World Series MVP Rick Dempsey connected with longballs.

Monday, Dec. 30 - 9 a.m. - For a while on June 24, 2012, it appeared as if a third-inning RBI single by the Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman would give the visitors from D.C. a 1-0 victory in an interleague game. Until, that is, the Orioles rallied in the eighth, taking the lead on a two-run homer by Matt Wieters off Sean Burnett. Jim Johnson worked the ninth for the save in a 2-1 triumph, getting Danny Espinosa to hit into a game-ending double play.

Tuesday, Dec. 31 - 9 a.m. - While you rest up for this evening’s festivities, take a long gander at this 16-inning marathon from July 25, 2019. The O’s blew an 8-5 lead in the 15th yet still won, the first time in major league history a team had done that in the 15th or later. Jonathan Villar’s two-run homer provided the margin of victory in a 10-8 win, but it was an unlikely finish that raised eyebrows. Stevie Wilkerson became the first position player to record a save since the stat became official in 1969, moving to the mound from center field to work a 1-2-3 inning to cement his place in history.

Wednesday, Jan. 1 - noon - The final game of the 2018 season was a bittersweet one for O’s fans. Baltimore beat the Astros 4-0 as Jimmy Yacabonis, Paul Fry and Mychal Givens combined on a one-hitter. But the victory was the Orioles swan song for outfielder Adam Jones, who left to a standing ovation in the ninth inning. The game also marked the last with Buck Showalter at the O’s helm.

Wednesday, Jan. 1 - 11:30 p.m. - On Sept. 7, 2013, the White Sox and Orioles went to extra innings knotted at 2-2. The White Sox took a the lead in the 10th on Connor Gillaspie’s pinch-hit homer off Tommy Hunter, but Matt Wieters sent O’s fans home happy with a walk-off two-run single in the bottom of the frame for a 4-3 win.

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