Thursday, October 20, 2011

The 1983 World Series Champs

As I'm watching yet another Orioles-free World Series, I thought it might be a good time to look back at the most recent O's team that was able to win the championship. It has sadly been 28 seasons since the Orioles last played in and won a World Series. While that accomplishment occurred within my lifetime, I was sadly much too young to understand, appreciate or celebrate the victory at that time.

Since the Orioles have played in a World Series game, 24 different teams have made it to the October Classic, and 18 teams have won it (with the Rangers possibly becoming the 19th if they win this year).

The other teams who haven't played in the World Series since at least 1983 are the Seattle Mariners, Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Chicago Cubs. A few of those teams (Mariners, Nats/Expos, & Brewers) have never made it to the World Series, and as most of you know, the Cubs haven't won it since 1908, so I guess the Orioles have it better than those teams, but it's still frustrating. The Brewers and Cubs have made the playoffs in recent years, so they at least have that going for them.

We all should agree that parity is alive and well in baseball, especially if you don't like any of those six teams.

Without further ado, here are some random never-before-seen-on-my-blog scans of autographs from the '83 Orioles World Series Champs.

"Whacko" was the long-time Orioles second baseman who, like many who play the position, was known more for his glove than his bat. He still holds two A.L. single season fielding records for the position; 86 consecutive errorless games and 425 straight errorless chances, both of which he set in 1978.

Tito's 10th inning home run in the 4th game of the ALCS propelled the O's past the White Sox and into the Series. He appeared in three World Series game as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement but didn't have any plate appearances during the Series.

Sammy was the only middle reliever that the O's needed during the series (ahem Tony LaRussa) and pitched five total innings over three games of the series, allowing zero runs while striking out six. These days, he is much better remembered for his drug use and subsequent jail-time.

Joe was the O's back-up catcher and went hitless in two at-bats during the series. Ah 1983, when backup catchers were included in card sets.


Paul Hadsall said...

I think just about every Mets blogger has reflected on the 1986 team this week. It's only been 11 years since they've been there, but it's almost as long as the Orioles since they won - and I don't really remember it either. :(

zman40 said...

I barely remember the Royals winning in '85, but I know that I rooted against them.

Nice Tito!!

Orioles Magic said...

Paul- It's sad. I guess at least the Mets have made it back to the World Series, but it's not much consolation since they didn't win.

Zach- It's nice that you at least have somewhat of a memory of that World Series, but why were you rooting against them?!?

And thanks! It took awhile to track that one down!