Well, we made it. It’s 2021. We can put last year behind us and look ahead.
Like about six weeks, when spring training begins in Sarasota at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. For the moment, we’ll assume camp starts as scheduled, but as we all know, these days everything is subject to change. Fingers crossed.
In the meantime, we’ll warm the winter chill with some “Orioles Classics” on MASN. This week’s smattering of retro games includes a trip in the wayback machine to October 1970 and a meeting against the Reds, a visit to October 1991, when the Orioles bid adieu to Memorial Stadium, and some more recent powerful displays from Chris Davis.
So start your own countdown to spring training with this week’s “Orioles Classics.”
Friday, Jan. 8 - 7 p.m. - With a 9-3 victory at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium - you know, the one with the splotchy artificial turf - the O’s took Game 3 of the 1970 World Series and a three-games-to-none lead in the best-of-seven showdown. Dave McNally went the distance and hit a grand slam homer, the first by a pitcher in the Fall Classic. Frank Robinson and Don Buford also went deep for the Birds.
Saturday, Jan. 9 - 7 p.m. - The Reds staved off a World Series sweep with a 6-5 victory at Memorial Stadium. Future Oriole Lee May’s homer off Eddie Watt in the eighth was the decisive blow. Brooks Robinson went deep for the home team.
Sunday, Jan. 10 - 8 p.m. - Who needs playoff football when there’s a World Series-winning moment on MASN? In Game 5 of the Fall Classic, the O’s sent a crowd of 45,341 on 33rd Street into a frenzy with a 9-3 win that clinched the World Series. Frank Robinson’s two-run homer in the first cut into an early Reds lead and the Orioles never looked back. Brooks Robinson’s otherworldly defense and a .429/.429/.810 slash line earned The Human Vacuum Cleaner honors as the MVP.
Monday, Jan. 11 - 11:59 p.m. - Here’ a game that will get you in the feels, not so much for the final score - a 7-1 loss to the Tigers - but for the memories created by the final game at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 6, 1991. Mike Flanagan came out of the bullpen to throw the final pitch for the O’s at their former nest and there weren’t many dry eyes after the well-orchestrated postgame ceremony honoring more than three decades of Baltimore baseball on 33rd Street.
Wednesday, Jan. 13 - 1 p.m. - Davis’ second homer of the game, a ninth-inning walk-off off switch-pitcher Pat Venditti, gave the Orioles a 4-3 win over the A’s on Aug. 15, 2015. Davis finished with three RBIs and Gerardo Parra also went deep for the victors.
Wednesday, Jan. 13 - 11:30 p.m. - With one swing of his bat against Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster, Davis wrote his name in the record books. His 51st homer of the year, a franchise single-season record, came in the sixth inning of a 3-2 win. Matt Wieters’ ninth-inning sacrifice fly gave the O’s a 3-2 win at Fenway Park on Sept. 17, 2013. Davis finished the season with 53 longballs.