Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in the rear-view mirror, although the credit card bill next month will be a harsh reality that reminds you of how much you spent on holiday gifts. Giving Tuesday has also passed, and it’s always a good time to support your favorite charities with donations of goods and money.
What’s the gift that keeps on giving? Orioles baseball, of course - and here at MASN, we’ve got a full array of “Orioles Classics” to keep your mind’s eye firmly planted in the warmth of the national pastime.
This week’s offerings come in only one color combination - orange and black, naturally - but run the gamut from the 1966 and 1970 World Series to a memorable career milestone for a noted Orioles slugger to a spectacular debut of more recent vintage.
So make sure you have sufficient amounts of ribbons, bows and wrapping paper. And don’t forget the name tags!
Thursday, Dec. 2 - 11 a.m. - The Orioles already had taken the first game of the 1970 World Series against the Reds when Mike Cuellar took the mound for Game 2 at Riverfront Stadium and promptly was betrayed by his defense in a three-run Cincy first. The crafty lefty was long gone by the time the Birds rallied for five runs in the fifth, with Elrod Hendricks’ two-run double capping the outburst and sending the O’s to a 6-5 victory.
Thursday, Dec. 2 - 7 p.m. - As first games go, Dean Kremer couldn’t have asked for a better debut on Sept. 6, 2020 against the Yankees. Kremer threw six innings of one-hit, one-run ball, fanning seven Bronx Bombers in a 5-1 triumph. DJ Stewart homered in support of Kremer.
Thursday, Dec. 2 - 11:59 p.m. - Who doesn’t like big, round numbers - say, 500, as in career home runs? Our Thursday tripleheader concludes with this Sept. 6, 1996 game against the Tigers, a 5-4 Orioles loss in 12 innings. What made this rain-delayed affair memorable happened in the seventh inning, when Eddie Murray reached the 500-homer milestone with a solo shot to right-center off Felipe Lira that touched off a wild celebration.
Friday. Dec. 3 - 2 p.m. - We’re jumping into the way-back machine to return to the 1970 Fall Classic for Game 3 as the World Series shifts to Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium. The Birds brought their lumber out, going deep three times in a 9-3 rout of the Reds. Frank Robinson and Don Buford cranked solo blasts, while winning pitcher Dave McNally got the first grand slam by a hurler in World Series annals.
Monday, Dec. 6 - 11 a.m. - Game 4 of the 1970 World Series saw the Reds claim a 6-5 victory, delaying the champagne for at least another day. Brooks Robinson connected for a homer, but future Oriole Lee May greeted reliever Eddie Watt with a decisive three-run home run in the eighth, erasing a 5-3 Baltimore cushion.
Monday, Dec. 6 - 11:59 p.m. - Before the clock strikes midnight, settle into your comfiest jammies and catch this unbelievable comeback from July 15, 1989, part of the “Why Not?” season that contained so many weird and wonderful happenings. Mike Devereaux’s walk-off two-run blast off Bob McClure may or may not have curled inside the left field foul pole on 33rd Street. While the O’s celebrated an improbable four-run rally in the ninth for an 11-9 win over the Angels, Halos skipper Doug Rader argued long and loud with the men in blue over third base umpire Jim Joyce’s fair call.
Tuesday, Dec. 7 - noon - The 1970 World Series ended with the Orioles’ 9-3 victory in Game 5 at Memorial Stadium, powered by homers by Frank Robinson and Merv Rettenmund. Cuellar went the distance, spotting the Reds a 3-0 lead in the first and then shutting them down. Brooks Robinson claimed MVP honors with a defensive clinic that earned him the nickname of “The Human Vacuum Cleaner.”
Wednesday, Dec. 8 - 5 p.m. - If you liked the 1970 Fall Classic, you’ll love this retrospective of the 1966 World Series, where the upstart Orioles shocked the baseball world by sweeping the favored Dodgers in four games. Nobody forgets their first, and you’ll love the image of Brooks Robinson jumping into the sky as McNally embraces catcher Andy Etchebarren after the 1-0 clincher courtesy of a Frank Robinson homer en route to MVP honors. Fun fact: The Orioles used only four pitchers in the series (McNally started twice, Jim Palmer and Wally Bunker each started a game, and Moe Drabowsky made the club’s lone relief appearance).