The O’s Have Won 100 Games Five Times In Their History. We Look Back And We Wonder If This Year’s Club Can Too.

Featured, Sports and Bets — August 22, 2014 at 6:26 am by

In a fantastic post on Wednesday, Charm City Wire writer, Zach, mentioned that it was still possible for the Orioles to win 100 games this year.  Currently the Birds are perched atop the A.L. East at 73-52, nine games ahead of the second place Yankees.  With just 37 games remaining, that means the O’s would have to go a staggering 27-10 to finish the season in order to reach 100 wins.  Certainly, winning at a 0.729 clip for the rest of the season would be pretty tough to do, but considering how well the Orioles are playing and considering the teams remaining on the 2014 schedule, attaining the century win mark wouldn’t be impossible.  Over their next 20 games, the O’s play teams that are a combined 54 games under .500. (Cubs, Rays, Twins, Reds, Rays, Sox.)  Sure, the Rays will play us tough, they always do, but hopefully the rest of that bunch are more concerned with the offseason instead of the here and now.  The schedule does get tougher as the Birds roll through September, as the last 17 games are all within the division, but hopefully by then the O’s have a double-digit game lead in the A.L. East.  A lot can happen, but I certainly don’t want those final games in the fall to mean anything.  After years of mopping the A.L. East cellar floor, we O’s fans don’t need any nervous drama as the season winds down;  I just want to be able to decompress and mentally prepare for the post season.

But I digress.

Better and more simply put, attaining the 100 game mark, while probably not realistic for this club, will still be a fun point of reference if the wins keep on coming.  (They would have to go 15-5 over their next 20 and then hope the division is in hand by the time they reach that final stretch of regular season games.  Then 12-5, with a bunch of divisional foes that have no shot at the post season, is somewhat feasible?  Maybe?)  And honestly, having the Birds win 100 games isn’t really even relevant.  Winning the division is all that matters, it doesn’t matter how many games it takes.  The 100 win mark is just an easy benchmark to measure regular season success. If a team won 100 games in a season, well then, they were a damn good baseball team.  It certainly isn’t easy to do.  The fact that Orioles have only achieved the feat five times in their sixty year history shows just how difficult it is.  And the fact that we’re trying to imagine a scenario where the Birds go 27-10 over the next 5 1/2 weeks also shows how difficult it is to win 100.  Interestingly enough, the 100 win benchmark doesn’t guarantee a championship; only one of the Orioles’ 100 win teams went on to win the World Series.

Regardless, the 100 win season is goddamn impressive.  Here are the O’s teams in the past that have pulled off this feat. (Listed by wins.)

The 1980 Orioles (100-62)-   This was the last Baltimore squad to reach the Ben Franklin mark and they didn’t even make the damn playoffs.  You can imagine how bitter that must have been for us O’s fans.  ( I was eight years old, and I distinctly remember one of my great uncle’s going on a 10 minute, Miller High Life-induced, rant on how much he hated the Yankees that year.)  The O’s finished three games behind the squid Yankees.  Back then, the American League was just 14 teams and it was divided into the East and West divisions.  The winners of each division played one another in a best of 5 ALCS.  Whoever won that went on to the World Series.  There was no Wild Card or three division format.

Anyway, even though they didn’t make the playoffs, this team was stacked.  Eddie Murray (32 HR/116 RBI/.300 AVG) and Ken Singleton (24 HR/104 RBI/ .304 AVG) paced the offense and pitcher Steve Stone won the Cy Young award, going 25-7 with a 3.23 ERA.  Ah, what could have been, had there been a wild card…..

Player from the team who you definitely haven’t heard of:  Drungo Hazewood.  He played in five games and went hitless.

 

The 1971 Orioles (101-57)- This is the team that featured four twenty games winners in the starting rotation.  (Palmer, Cuellar, McNally, Dobson.)  Palmer had the lowest ERA of that group at 2.68  and he went 20-9.  The Birds won the A.L. East by 12 games over the Tigers and Frank Robinson lead the offense with 28 HRs and 99 RBIs.  Don Buford led the team in batting average with a solid  .290 mark.   This team made its third consecutive World Series. How they lost the World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates in seven after sweeping the A’s in the ALCS is beyond me.  And writing that sentence made me want to freakin’ puke even though I wasn’t even in existence yet when the series happened. (Fucking Pittsburgh.)

Player from the team who you definitely haven’t heard of:  Orlando Pena.  He went 0-1 in five pitching appearances.

The 1979 Orioles (102-57)-   I don’t know why these teams didn’t always play a full 162 games, but maybe they missing games were rain-outs that they didn’t bother making up because the O’s were so in control of the division.  They finished eight games in front of Milwaukee in this great year.  Ken Singleton, who is so underrated, hit 35 HRs and knocked in 111 runs in 1979.  He batted .295, which also led the club.  The late Mike Flanagan won the Cy Young award, going 23-9 and boasting a 3.08 ERA.  The O’s somehow managed to blow a 3-1 game lead in the World Series to lose to the damn Pirates again.  This was the, “We Are Family”, Pirates team, and to this day if I hear that song I immediately want to start breaking shit.  I was at Game 1 of that series at the old Memorial Stadium.  I barely remember being there, but I remember sitting one section over from 34, and I remember the upper deck shaking as the Orioles started the game with a five-run first inning.  I knew right then that I’d be an O’s fan for life…..

Player from the team that you definitely haven’t heard of:  Bob Molinaro.  He went hitless in eight games, which would help explain why we haven’t heard of him, even though we have.

 

The 1970 Orioles (108-54)-  Finally, we get to the 100 game winning and World Series winner club.  This is what many consider the greatest O’s team of all time.  (Because they won the team’s second championship, the second in six years.)  Boog Powell and Frank Robinson both had monster seasons in ’70.  BBQ Boog had 35 HR/114 RBIs/ .297 Avg. and he walked 104 times. (His OBP was .412.) Frank batted .306 while belting 25 HRs and knocking in 78.  The O’s boasted three 20-game winners on their pitching staff, with Mike Cuellar going 24-8 and pitching 297 innings.  Mr. Oriole, Jim Palmer, led the squad with a tiny 2.71 ERA.  The O’s won the division by 15 games over the second place Yankees and then went 7-1 in the postseason by sweeping the Twins 3-0 in the ALCS and then by beating the Big Red Machine in the world series, 4-1.  They had Brooks, Elrod, Bobby Grich, The Blade, Buford, Blair, Johnny Oates, McNally and even Don Baylor.  Yeah, they just might have been the best O’s team ever….

Player from the team that you definitely haven’t heard of :  Fred Beene.  Pitcher appeared in four games.

 

The 1969 Orioles (109-53)-  This team won a ridiculous .672 percent of its games.  That means they averaged out to winning every series they played in during the regular season.  Yikes.  They won the division by 19 damn games over the second place Tigers.  Can you imagine winning 90 games and losing the division by 19?!  Frank (32 HR/100 RBI/.308) and Boog (37 HR/121 RBI/.304) were a force in the middle of the lineup and Mike Cuellar won the Cy Young award. (He shared it, actually)  Cuellar went 23-11 with a 2.38 ERA and a 1.005 WHIP.  Weird stat, Brooks Robinson only batted .234 this season. (He still hit 23 HR and had over 80 RBI.)

This squad swept the Twins in the ALCS and then somehow lost to the juggernaut that was the Miracle Mets.  This year was also Earl Weaver’s first full season as manager of the Orioles.  Over the next three years he would guide the Birds to 318 wins, three American League Championships, and one World Series title.  Boom.

Player from the team that you definitely haven’t heard of:  Frank Bertaina.  He pitched in six innings the entire season and he struck out five batters.  Where the hell did he go, that’s solid production?

 

 

 

 

 

One Comment

  1. Nice!
    Also nice to c your fat ass out of bed !
    3 future hall of famers!

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