This week’s “Orioles Classics” on MASN read like a history lesson. So come to order, class (what, you thought Roch Kubatko had the market cornered on baseball school?).
We’ll start with a pair of games from the 1970 World Series, move into the Ripken portion of the curriculum, watch Eddie Murray reach a home run milestone, check in on the Orioles swansong for a couple of key contributors from a more recent vintage of the orange and black, and finish with some more from the Iron Man.
Oh, and if walk-off victories are your thing, we’ve got a couple of those, too - one old and one newer.
So cross a few more blocks off the calendar as you count down the days until pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota, Fla., and enjoy this week’s “Orioles Classics.”
Thursday, Feb. 6 - 11 a.m. - No one expected the Big Red Machine to roll over in the 1970 Fall Classic, and the Reds posted a 6-5 victory in Game 4 to avert a four-game sweep. A three-run eighth inning against starter Jim Palmer and reliever Eddie Watt provided the margin of victory. Brooks Robinson homered for the home team, but it wasn’t enough.
Friday, Feb. 7 - 9 a.m. - Everybody loves a clincher, right? Well, Game 5 of the 1970 World Series sent a crowd of 45,341 at Memorial Stadium into a frenzy with a 9-3 Orioles win for the world championship. Mike Cuellar went the route, allowing six hits and three runs. The Orioles were powered by homers from Frank Robinson and Merv Rettenmund. Brooks Robinson finished the series with a .485 average and more sparkling defense at third base than anyone could remember.
Friday, Feb. 7 - 7 p.m. - No one remembers the 4-2 win the Orioles posted over the Angels on Sept. 6, 1995, the night Cal Ripken Jr. played in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking the all-time record for endurance held by Yankees great Lou Gehrig. Ripken went deep, as did Bobby Bonilla and Rafael Palmeiro, and took a well-deserved victory lap around Camden Yards to celebrate his memorable milestone.
Saturday, Feb. 8 - 11:30 p.m. - If we’re going with the history class theme, this probably counts as a current event. Pinch-hitting in the bottom of the ninth inning, Chris Davis socked a walk-off three-run homer off Ronald Belisario, giving the Birds a 6-4 triumph over the White Sox.
Monday, Feb. 10 - noon - One year to the day after Ripken became baseball’s new Iron Man, Eddie Murray etched his name into the history books by crushing his 500th career homer in a 5-4 loss to the Tigers. A rain delay thinned out the crowd but didn’t dampen the celebration.
Tuesday, Feb. 11 - noon - As walk-off home runs go, the one by Mike Devereaux on July 15, 1989 that did in the Angels might be one of the most memorable in Orioles history. The argument over whether Devereaux’s fly ball down the left field line at Memorial Stadium was fair or foul lasted into the next day. It’s worth the wait to see the tableau of an O’s celebration amid a world-class meltdown by Halos skipper Doug Rader.
Tuesday, Feb. 11 - 7 p.m. - The last game of the 2018 season marked the end of two Orioles careers, Buck Showalter’s time in the manager’s seat and Adam Jones’ last time patrolling the outfield at Camden Yards. Jimmy Yacabonis one-hit the Astros over four innings and Paul Fry and Mychal Givens finished out a 4-0 victory over the Astros.
Wednesday, Feb. 12 - noon - Ripken’s legendary streak came to an end on Sept. 20, 1998 after 2,632 consecutive games. Against the Yankees, Ryan Minor trotted to third base and the baseball world took notice. B.J. Surhoff homered off Graeme Lloyd while Ripken watched a game from the bench for the first time in ages.