The Orioles franchise was one of the eight original American League teams that entered the MLB in 1901. After spending more than 50 years as the St. Louis Browns, the franchise moved to Baltimore. The early years were not easy for the Orioles, but it was not long before they were one of the most decorated teams in the league.
This historic franchise will carry on its legacy well into the future, but they will likely never have a team more talented than the 1970 Baltimore Orioles. Here’s more information:
Leading Up to the 1970 Season
The Baltimore Orioles entered the 1970 season with huge expectations. The club swept the Dodgers to win the World Series in 1966. They came up just short of another title two years later when they were shockingly upset by the Mets. It is hard to improve such a talented team, but the Orioles did exactly that entering the 1970 season. During this time, however, Jim Palmer, a hall of famer, was also on the roster.
Dominant Regular Season
The Orioles clearly wanted to put the disappointing finish of the previous season behind them. This determination helped them win their first five games to open the 1970 season. Baltimore never looked back after the hot start. They cruised their way to 108 wins in the regular season, which was good enough to win the American League East division by 15 games over the New York Yankees.
The dominant regular season was propelled by three superstars in both the lineup and starting rotation. Boog Powell, Frank Robinson and Brooks Robinson combined to hit 78 home runs and drive in 254 runs. The great year earned Powell his only AL MVP award. The rotation was carried by Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally and Jim Palmer. All three starters won more than 20 games.
Becoming World Series Champs
The Orioles faced the Minnesota Twins in the ALCS for the second straight season. The outcome in 1970 was exactly the same as the previous season. Baltimore swept the Twins with three easy wins. The Orioles outscored Minnesota by 17 runs in the series. This set up a World Series matchup against 102-win Cincinnati Reds.
The Reds had a dangerous lineup led by Tony Perez, Johnny Bench and Pete Rose, but the Orioles pitchers had no problem limiting the runs. Late heroics helped Baltimore win the first two games of the series by one run. The offense put on a show in Game 3 as the Orioles won 9-3. A late collapse by the bullpen in Game 4 prevented the sweep, but Baltimore had no problem locking up the championship with another 9-3 win in Game 5.
Despite being one of the most dominant teams in MLB history, the 1970 Orioles don’t always get the credit they deserve. Baltimore cruised to a World Series title and had three Hall of Famers on that roster, so they should have our respect!