“Orioles Classics” #TBT: October memories and an unusual no-hitter

If last week’s final few “Orioles Classics” on MASN whetted your appetite, you’re going to enjoy the rest of the 1970 World Series, with Games 4 and 5 of the Fall Classic against the Reds getting this week’s broadcasts off to a winning start.

Never mind that the temperatures are dropping and we’re bracing for the arrival of frozen precipitation. Anytime you can harken back to October baseball, with its crisp temps and edge-of-your-seat action, you take the opportunity to enjoy a trip to yesteryear.

Three of this week’s “Orioles Classics” are of the October variety, the other being the hallmark final game at Memorial Stadium in 1991. The final member of the quartet features a foursome of O’s pitchers combining on immortality in Oakland.

Without further ado, here are this week’s “Orioles Classics”:

Thursday, Dec. 5 - 9 a.m. - Got your breakfast? Great. Coffee? Check. Now settle in for Game 4 of the 1970 World Series, as the Orioles’ attempt at a sweep of The Big Red Machine hits a roadblock on 33rd Street in a 6-5 loss. Cincinnati’s three-run eighth inning off starter Jim Palmer and reliever Eddie Watt was the Birds’ undoing in this one, with future Oriole Lee May’s two-run blast off Watt the big blow. Most in a crowd of 53,007 went home sad on Oct. 14, 1970, their wait for the Commissioner’s Trophy delayed by a day.

Friday, Dec. 6 - 9 a.m. - Ready for a celebration? Good, because a 9-3 Orioles rout of the Reds in Game 5 of the Fall Classic on Oct. 15, 1970 delivered a second World Series title to Baltimore. Cincy took a 3-0 lead off Mike Cuellar in the first, then the crafty lefty allowed only three hits the rest of the way to close out the series, four games to one. Paul Blair’s second-inning RBI single put Baltimore ahead for good, and Boog Powell and Merv Rettenmund added home runs later in the lopsided win that set off a raucous celebration.

Tuesday, Dec 10 - 1 p.m. - On July 13, 1991, four Orioles pitchers combined on a no-hitter in a 2-0 triumph over the A’s in Oakland. Bob Milacki started and spun six innings of hitless ball, then Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson and Gregg Olson each contributed a inning of spotless relief to finish out the no-no. Mike Devereaux and Chris Hoiles drove in the Baltimore runs.

Wednesday, Dec. 11 - 1 p.m. - Do you remember where you were on Oct. 6, 1991? Though Memorial Stadium held only 50,700, countless more Baltimoreans claim to have been inside the old gray lady of 33rd Street for the final Orioles game in the ballpark’s storied existence. Nostalgia ruled the day, rendering a 7-1 Tigers victory practically immaterial. Tears were shed when Flanagan threw the final pitch by an Orioles hurler in the stadium in the top of the ninth, a swinging strikeout of Travis Fryman, and when Cal Ripken Jr. hit into a game-ending double play in the bottom half of the frame. What followed was a farewell that left Baltimore sports fans in awe.

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