“Orioles Classics” #TBT: Clinchers and a milestone blast

There’s still snow on the ground, but that may be a temporary condition, with temperatures in the 50s being predicted for tomorrow. My back is still sore from shoveling, though the pre-snow removal Tylenol seems to have helped considerably.

All in all, I’m ready for warmer weather. Spring can be sprung any time. Who’s with me?

Well, we’re all in the same boat. Depending on what the groundhog said in Punxsutawney, Pa., on Tuesday - and whether you believe in old tales dependent on the sun casting a furry rodent’s shadow - we may or may not have six more weeks of winter.

In the meantime, warm yourself with an array of “Orioles Classics” on MASN. This week’s offerings include three pivotal games in the 1983 World Series, a milestone homer by a Hall of Fame slugger and a memorable clincher.

Thursday, Feb. 4 - 9 p.m. - The 1966 World Series, in which the upstart Orioles faced the favored Dodgers and their stellar rotation, was supposed to be a mismatch. And it was - just not in favor of who the oddsmakers thought would win. This 90-minute retrospective of the Fall Classic recaps the O’s improbable World Series triumph in - would you believe it? - four straight games.

Friday, Feb. 5 - 11 a.m. - Down a game after dropping the opener of the 1983 Fall Classic, the Orioles rebounded with a 4-1 win over the Phillies at Memorial Stadium to knot the series at a game apiece. Mike Boddicker checked the Phils on three hits and an unearned run in a complete-game three-hitter, while John Lowenstein’s homer highlighted a three-run fifth inning.

Friday, Feb. 5 - 2 p.m. - The 1983 World Series shifted to the City of Brotherly Love for Game 3 and the Orioles eked out a 3-2 victory to take command. Mike Flanagan spotted the home team an early 2-0 advantage and Jim Palmer came out of the bullpen to collect the win with two scoreless frames. Baltimore’s two-run seventh-inning rally turned the tide, with Benny Ayala singling home Rick Dempsey and then scoring on shortstop Iván de Jesus’ error on Dan Ford’s grounder.

Friday, Feb. 5 - 4:30 p.m. - Our tripleheader concludes with Game 5 from 1983, a 5-0 blanking of the Phillies by southpaw Scott McGregor, who scattered five hits in a complete-game clincher. Eddie Murray homered twice and Dempsey, the eventual series MVP, also went deep.

Saturday, Feb. 6 - 11 p.m. - For your late-night viewing pleasure, here’s a throwback from Sept. 6, 1996 that features Murray’s 500th career homer. The game took 4 hours and 18 minutes, featured a long rain delay and went 12 innings, but the O’s fell 5-4 to the Tigers. Murray connected off Felipe Lira in the seventh, a solo shot to right-center that touched off quite the celebration.

Monday, Feb. 8 - 1 p.m. - During the 1989 “Why Not?” season, fantastic comebacks were commonplace. This one from July 15, 1989, left the then-California Angels fuming (so much so that manager Doug Rader was ejected the next day before the game at the exchange of lineup cards). Mike Devereaux greeted reliever Bob McClure with a two-run homer that capped a four-run ninth inning and walked off the Halos. Third base umpire Jim Joyce ruled that Devereaux’s blast snuck inside the left field foul pole for a game-winning blast in an 11-9 thrilled. The Angels weren’t as sure and protested loud and long.

Tuesday, Feb. 9 - midnight - This game from July 11, 1987 featured three Ripkens - manager Cal Sr., shortstop Cal Jr. and second sacker Billy. The brothers were a combined 0-for-7, as the Birds fell 2-1 to the Twins.

Tuesday, Feb. 9 - 6 p.m. - Hosting the Nationals in an interleague affair on May 9, 2017, the Orioles claimed a walk-off win in 12 innings on Mark Trumbo’s bases-loaded single to left.

Wednesday, Feb. 10 - 10:30 a.m. - We close out this week’s “Orioles Classics” with a memory from the recent past. On Sept. 16, 2014, the O’s clinched their first American League East crown since 1983 with an 8-2 triumph over the Blue Jays. The final score wasn’t in question once Baltimore took a 7-2 lead after a three-run seventh featuring Alejandro De Aza’s three-run triple. Tommy Hunter worked around a ninth-inning single, getting the final three outs. The celebration after first baseman Steve Peace gloved Ryan Goins’ grounder for the final out turned Camden Yards into a wild party that lasted into the wee hours.

Wednesday, Feb. 10 - 12-1:30 p.m. - Missed it Thursday? No worries. Just added to the schedule: a replay of the retrospective on the O’s sweep of the Dodgers in the 1966 World Series.

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