As timelines go, this week’s “Orioles Classics,” if plotted on a chronological chart, would be a series of connecting lines that look like a toddler’s scribbles.
Luckily, you merely have to watch. No cleanup involved.
This week’s offerings date from 1995, when the numeral “2,131” entered into Baltimore’s sports lexicon, to the recently completed season, which included some strong debuts and the requisite comeback victories.
It’s early in the offseason, so it’s best to remember to pace yourself. There’s plenty of baseball activity coming in the near future, what with free agents to be signed, trades to be compelted, Rule 5 picks to be made at the virtual Winter Meetings and a roster to be formulated for 2021.
So while you’re pondering the Orioles’ next move, enjoy this week’s “Orioles Classics” on MASN.
Friday, Nov. 13 - 9 a.m. - We’re throwing it back to 1995 to start off this week’s reminiscences, back to Sept. 6, to be exact. That’s the night that Cal Ripken Jr. appeared in his 2,131st consecutive game, surpassing the Iron Man mark of Yankees legend Lou Gehrig. Once 4 1/2 innings were complete, with the Birds ahead of the Angels, the game was official and the celebration began. Baseball has never seen such a lovefest, and likely never will again.
Friday, Nov. 13 - 5:30 p.m. - What’s an extra inning among friends - or even American League East combatants? On Aug. 22, 2020, the Orioles prevailed in 10 innings after falling behind the Red Sox in the first half of the extra frame on a bases-loaded walk by Cole Sulser. Miguel Castro cleaned up the mess and the bottom of the 10th saw the home team tie the game on a run-scoring wild pitch and win 5-4 on Pedro Severino’s walk-off single to left.
Saturday, Nov. 14 - 11 p.m. - Years ago, the only thing worth watching at 11 p.m. on a Saturday night was “Creature Feature” on Channel 45 (did you know that George Lewis, the same man who was Capt. Chesapeake on weekday afternoons, also hosted the Saturday night monster movie on WBFF-TV?). Now we’ve got baseball of yesteryear, including this wondrous night from Sept. 16, 2014, when the Birds beat the Blue Jays to claim their first AL East crown since 1997. The celebration lasted almost as long as the drought.
Monday, Nov. 16 - 12:30 p.m. - Talk about making a great first impression! On April 8, 2012, in his first start with the Orioles after being acquired in the offseason from the Rockies, Jason Hammel took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before the Twins got back-to-back doubles. Hammel finished eight two-hit innings and Jim Johnson recorded the save in a 3-1 victory.
Monday, Nov. 16 - 11:59 p.m. - Just before the stroke of midnight, you can relive the joy of a five-homer explosion on Aug. 25, 2014 in a 9-1 shellacking of the Rays. Nick Markakis, Steve Pearce, Delmon Young, J.J. Hardy and Chris Davis went deep in the rout. Center fielder Adam Jones made one of the defensive plays of the year.
Tuesday, Nov. 17 - 6 p.m. - Fast-forward to 2020 and the Orioles again tormented the Rays, this time in extra innings on Aug. 1. It took 11 frames before Pat Valaika made his only at-bat count, stroking a walk-off single to right-center to plate Bryan Holaday with the game-winner.
Wednesday, Nov. 18 - 7 p.m. - As debuts go, Dean Kremer’s first major league start on Sept. 6, 2020 was pretty impressive. All the right-hander did was tame the Yankees on one hit through six innings, allowing a single run, walking three and striking out seven. DJ Stewart homered to pace a nine-hit attack in the 5-1 triumph.
Wednesday, Nov. 18 - 11:30 p.m. - Davis got just one at-bat on July 23, 2014 against the White Sox, but it was the turning point of the game. Appearing as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning, he socked a 3-2 pitch from Ronald Belisario over the wall in right field for a walk-off three-run blast and a 6-4 win.