Baltimore Orioles Franchise Timeline



On September 28, 1953, baseball's owners unanimously agreed upon the move of the St. Louis Browns to Baltimore. The move followed a season in which the Browns went 54-100 and drew a crowd of only 3,174 to their season finale, an 11-inning loss to Chicago.


The Orioles debut in the modern day game was not a stellar one, as they finished 54-100 and 57 games back in the division. However, the love affair with the Birds had begun as the O's drew 1,060,910 fans to their 67 home dates of their inaugural season.


The second season of the Orioles actually began in the previous off-season, as Paul Richards took over as manager and general manager and fashioned a 17-player trade with New York that brought eventual Orioles Hall of Famers Gus Triandos and Gene Woodling to the club. Triandos led the team with 12 homers and 65 RBI while the Birds improved by three wins (57-94) but remained in 7th place. Brooks Robinson, signed out of high school in June, made his big league debut in September.


The 1956 Orioles improved to 69-85 and finished 6th in the American League, led again by first baseman Gus Triandos with 21 homers and 85 RBI. Future Hall of Famer George Kell was acquired from the White Sox in late May and became the first Oriole to start in an All-Star Game.


An indication of better days appeared in '57 as the Birds finished at .500 for the first time. Veteran Connie Johnson (14-11, pictured right) led the charge of a surprising Orioles pitching staff that saw four pitchers throw shutouts on consecutive days in late June.


For the first time, the 1958 Orioles had four starters win at least 10 games during the season, finishing in 6th place with a 74-79 record. The Orioles hosted their first All-Star Game in 1958, with reliever Billy O'Dell retiring the last nine National League batters in a row for the save. Knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm, claimed on waivers in late August, made history by pitching the first no-hitter in club history, beating New York 1-0 on September 20 at Memorial Stadium.


Following the 1958 season, Lee MacPhail was hired as general manager, with Paul Richards remaining as manager. The 1959 Orioles finished 6th, led by 15-game winners Hoyt Wilhelm and Milt Pappas. Brooks Robinson, sent to AAA in early May, was recalled after the All-Star break, never to return to the minors.