This day in baseball: Spring training attendance record at Joe Robbie

An exhibition game held on March 30, 1991 at Joe Robbie Stadium (now known as Hard Rock Stadium) featured the New York Yankees versus the Baltimore Orioles.  The contest drew a crowd of 67,654 fans, which, at that time, set a spring training attendance record.  South Florida fans came out due in part to their eagerness to draw an expansion team to the area.  You can find the Baltimore Sun‘s coverage of the event here.

The Florida Marlins would begin playing at Joe Robbie Stadium in 1993.

Hard Rock Stadium Miami

Hard Rock Stadium (stadiumsofprofootball.com)

 


This day in baseball: Babe’s first professional homer

Babe Ruth hit his first home run in professional baseball on March 7, 1914 in the last inning of a spring training exhibition game for the International League’s Baltimore Orioles. The homer was a 400-foot shot at the Cape Fear Fairgrounds in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

babe Ruth Orioles 1914

Ruth in 1914 (untoldentertainment.com)


This day in baseball: The modern Orioles are born

On November 17, 1953, the St. Louis Browns officially became the Baltimore Baseball Club, Inc., changing the team’s name to the Orioles.  After 52 years in St. Louis, the franchise was purchased by a syndicate of Baltimore business and civic interests headed by Clarence Miles and Mayor Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr.

Orioles_Mascot

Wikipedia

 


Cal Ripken in rap

Today marks twenty-four years since Cal Ripken, Jr. set a new major league record by playing in his 2,131st consecutive baseball game (September 6, 1995), breaking the record previously held by Lou Gehrig.  In honor of the anniversary, the Baltimore Sun published a piece that features clips from a long list of rap songs (over 50 total) that mention Ripken in them.  I don’t often think of rap when I think of baseball, but I suppose when you make a mark like the one Cal made, rappers are going to notice you.

Check out the piece here.

Cal_Ripken,_Jr_in_1996

Cal Ripken, Jr in 1996 (by Joe Shlabotnik)


Earl Weaver’s Hall of Fame induction speech

I love this man’s sense of humor.  Earl Weaver managed in Major League Baseball for 17 years with the Baltimore Orioles (1968–82 and 1985–86).  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996.


Charley Horse

charley horse

If you’ve ever experienced a Charley (or Charlie) horse, you can vouch they are not pleasant experiences.  They do, however, have kind of a funny name.  And some say the etymology of that funny name is rooted in baseball.

A popular story revolves around a pitcher named Charley Esper. At the beginning of the twentieth century, groundskeepers often brought in old and lame horses to pull the equipment used to keep the playing field in good condition.  Charley Esper of the Baltimore Orioles walked with a bit of a limp, the result of years of injuries. Because his limp reminded his teammates of the groundskeeper’s lame horse, they called Esper “Charley Horse.”

A different origin story also involves the Orioles organization. Several players had gone to the racetrack and backed a horse named “Charlie.”  Unfortunately, Charlie ultimately pulled up lame and lost the race.  The next day, when one player pulled a tendon in his leg, his teammates likened him to “our old Charlie horse.”

As for the actual, true origins of the term, nobody knows for sure.  A number of stories, even beyond these, seem to relate to baseball and/or the racetrack, which makes sense since these were the primary American pastimes from the 1880s into the twentieth century.


Quote of the day

On my tombstone, just write “The sorest loser who ever lived.”

~Earl Weaver

earl weaver