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70 Years of Orioles Magic Moments...10 Years at a Time: 2004-2013

March 19, 2024

Two days after the St. Louis Browns finished the 1953 season in last place, American League owners approved the sale and transfer of the franchise to Baltimore, putting the city back in the big leagues for the first time since 1902.

The newly renamed Baltimore Orioles moved into Memorial Stadium, thus beginning a 70-year love affair with Charm City. Good times were lean in the early years; it would take seven years for the team to post its first winning season.

The Orioles eventually would produce three World Series titles, numerous memorable players including a manager and five players whose Hall of Fame careers led to their numbers being retired, and countless magic and improbable moments, including the 2023 AL East Division title.

Now, with a new 30-year lease for Oriole Park at Camden Yards that will take the club through its 100th season in Baltimore, the Orioles are poised to create even more memories in the years ahead.

But first, let’s take a look at the highlights of the first 70 years – memorable moments from seven decades of Orioles Baseball. We’ll look at the players and events that shaped “Orioles Magic” 10 years at a time.

We’ll also include some moments we didn’t know were going to be so memorable at the time.

In recent weeks, we’ve looked at the first five decades. This time, it’s decade six:


1/23/2004: The Orioles sign free agent shortstop Miguel Tejada to a six-year contract. Tejada will earn three All-Star berths in four seasons before being traded to Houston for five players after the 2007 season. He returns to the Orioles to play third base in 2010 before being traded to San Diego in July.

4/4/2004: In the first home opener at night in club history, the Orioles surprise a national television audience with a 7-2 win over the Boston Red Sox. Sidney Ponson pitches into the 6th inning, allowing one run, to beat Pedro Martinez. In his Orioles debut, catcher Javy Lopez homers on the first pitch to him and goes 3-for-4 with three RBI.

6/20/2004: Down to their final out, Brian Roberts hits a grand slam off Rockies pitcher Shawn Chacon in the 9th inning to give the Orioles a 4-2 win at Colorado.

7/2/2004: The Orioles bullpen tosses 15 innings without allowing an earned run as the O’s outlast the Phillies, 7-6 in 16 innings at Citizens Bank Park. Miguel Tejada’s RBI single in the top of the 16th is the difference and comes nine innings after either team had scored. Eddy Rodriguez earns his first big league win and fellow rookie Daniel Cabrera earns his first (and only) career save.

7/15/2005: Rafael Palmeiro doubles to left at Seattle’s Safeco Field to become the fourth of seven players in the exclusive 3,000/500 club, He joins Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Eddie Murray and will be joined by Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera.

8/22/2007: Sixty-five days after taking over as interim manager, Dave Trembley has the interim tag removed when he is named Orioles manager for the 2008 season. Hours later, the Orioles lose the first game of a doubleheader to Texas, 30-3, the most runs allowed in a game in the modern era (since 1900). Trembley will manage the Orioles into the 2010 season before being replaced.

2/8/2008: The Orioles trade left-handed pitcher Erik Bedard, who won 13 games and set the club’s single-season strikeout record with 221 in 2007, to Seattle in exchange for five players, including outfielder Adam Jones and pitcher Chris Tillman, George Sherrill and Kam Mickolio. Jones goes on to a stellar 11-year career with the Orioles, Tillman wins 74 games in 10 seasons with the club, and Sherrill saves 51 games in 1 ½ seasons before being traded. Bedard, 40-34 in five years with the Orioles, goes 31-48 in six more big league seasons.

6/30/2009: The Orioles stage the biggest comeback in club history to beat the Red Sox, 11-10. Trailing 10-1 in the bottom of the 7th, the Birds score five runs in the 7th and five more in the 8th to overtake the Sox. Nick Markakis doubles with two outs in the 8th to cap the rally, scoring pinch-runner Jeremy Guthrie and Brian Roberts with the tying and go-ahead runs.

6/20/2009: Trailing the Phillies 5-3 in the 9th inning at Philadelphia, Gregg Zaun hits a one-out solo homer and Brian Roberts hits a two-out, two-run homer off Phillies closer Ryan Madson. George Sherrill shuts down the Phils in the 9th for his 14th save and the Orioles win, 6-5. They go on to sweep the Phillies the next day.

8/14/2009: Felix Pie becomes just the fourth Oriole to hit for the cycle and the O’s tie their club records with 12 extra base hits and nine doubles in a 16-6 win over the Angels at Camden Yards. Pie doubles in a six-run first inning, homers in the 3rd and completes the cycle with a single and triple in a seven-run 7th inning. Pie’s four RBI leads the team, while every Oriole batter has at last one hit including Brian Roberts whose four hits include three doubles.

2/18/2010: Pitchers and catchers report to the Orioles new spring training home in Sarasota, FL, for their first workout at Ed Smith Stadium. The stadium, bedecked in the colors of the former tenants, the Cincinnati Reds, will be completely remodeled after spring training to fit with the local décor and orange and black colors of the Orioles.

2/13/2011: The Orioles open spring training in their second spring training in Sarasota, FL, in newly remodeled Ed Smith Stadium. The ballpark, which seats 7,428 fans with standing room space for a capacity of 8,500, includes refurbished seats from Oriole Park at Camden Yards and three air-conditioned suites numbered 66, 70 and 83 marking the club’s three World Series titles.

9/20/2011: The Curse of the Andino begins: Trailing Boston 5-4 in the 8th inning at Fenway Park, Robert Andino delivers a bases-loaded double to right off Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, scoring all three runners. The Orioles hang on for a 7-5 win. Eight days later, Andino will beat Papelbon again in even more dramatic fashion with a walk-off single in the 9th at Camden Yards.

9/28/2011: Twice down to their last strike in the season’s final game, Chris Davis and Nolan Reimold hit doubles off Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon, and Robert Andino follows with a game-winning single to left as the Orioles stun the Red Sox, 4-3, at Camden Yards. Moments later, the Rays beat the Yankees, eliminating Boston from post-season play.

5/6/2012: Designated Hitter Chris Davis tosses two scoreless innings to become the first position player ever to earn a victory for the Orioles. Called on in the 16th as the Orioles’ 9th hurler, Davis allows two hits and gets the win when Adam Jones hits a three-run homer in the 17th off former Orioles outfielder Darnell McDonald. It’s the first time two position players get a decision in the same game since 1902.

5/10/2012: The Orioles open the first inning with back-to-back-to-back homers from Ryan Flaherty, J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis en route to a 6-5 win over Texas in the first game of a doubleheader at Camden Yards. The homers – in a span of eight pitches from the Rangers’ Colby Lewis -- mark the 4th time in big league history a team has started a game with three homers and the first time in the American League.

6/10/2012: Adam Jones scores from first base with one out in the bottom of the 10th on Matt Wieters’ double to the right field corner, giving the Orioles their second straight walk-off win over the Phillies, 5-4, and 9th straight extra-inning win. Jones’ two-run, 12th inning homer the night before gave the Orioles a 6-4 win.

7/14/2012: Playing his first game for the Orioles after starting the season on the disabled list, back-up catcher Taylor Teagarden’s first hit of the season, a three-run homer in the bottom of the 14th, gives the Birds an 8-6 win as they overcome a pair of extra-inning deficits. A bronze statue of Jim Palmer – the third of six erected at Camden Yards – is unveiled before the game.

8/8/2012: Baltimore-born Steve Johnson, making his second big league appearance and first start, goes six innings to beat Seattle, 9-2, at Camden Yards for his first major league victory – 23 years to the day after his father, Dave Johnson, earned his first big league win for the Orioles at Memorial Stadium when he beat the Red Sox, 6-1, at Memorial Stadium.

8/10/2012: Playing in his second big league game, Manny Machado hits two homers and drives in four runs as the Orioles beat the Royals, 7-1, at Camden Yards. Machado becomes the first player in history to record a triple and two homers in his first two games.

9/30/2012: The Orioles beat the Red Sox, 6-3, in their home finale as Jim Johnson records his 50th save. Afterward, the players joined 41,257 fans to watch the Angels-Rangers game on the scoreboard as the Orioles look to clinch a wild card berth. An Angels comeback delayed the Orioles’ post-season spot – but only for a few hours as the Angels lose the second game of a doubleheader at Texas.

10/5/2012: Playing in their first post-season in 15 years, the Orioles beat the Rangers, 5-1, at Texas in the first-ever American League Wild Card Game. Joe Saunders goes 5 2/3 innings and three Oriole relievers shut down the Rangers to advance the Orioles to the AL Division Series.

10/8/2012 The Orioles beat the Yankees, 3-2, before 48,187 fans to even their AL Division Series at one game apiece in the first post-season game at Camden Yards in 15 years. One night after he allowed five runs in the 9th inning of a 2-2 tie, Jim Johnson retires the Yankees in order in the 9th, striking out Alex Rodriguez for the final out. Chris Davis’ two-run single and Mark Reynolds’ RBI single score the Orioles runs as Wei-Yin Chen beats Andy Pettitte.

10/11/2012 J.J. Hardy’s one-out double to left in the top of the 13th inning scores Manny Machado and the Orioles go on to beat New York, 2-1, at Yankee Stadium in the 4th game of the AL Division Series. Joe Saunders and seven Orioles relievers hold the Yankees to seven hits to even the series.

4/5/2013: Chris Davis becomes the fourth player in big league history to homer in his first four games of the season and sets the record for most RBI in that span with 16. Davis’ grand slam and five RBI lead the Orioles to a 9-5 win over the Twins in the Birds’ home opener at Camden Yards. Davis joins Willie Mays, Mark McGwire and Nelson Cruz and later will be joined by Trevor Story in homering in his first four games.

4/10/2013: Trailing Boston 5-3 at Fenway Park, Chris Davis greets Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan with a lead-off homer in the 9th. After loading the bases, Hanrahan’s wild pitch ties the game, and Manny Machado hits his next pitch over the Green Monster for a three-run homer. The Orioles go on to an 8-5 win.