Top 10 Baltimore Orioles Teams

The Baltimore Orioles played 52 years as the St. Louis Browns and never won a World Series as the American League team in St. Louis. They then moved to Baltimore and became one of the best franchises in baseball for most of three decades. A look at the 10 greatest teams in Orioles/Browns history:

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It's really no contest -- this team is one of the greatest ever. It had one of the greatest starting pitching staffs ever assembled and won 108 games in the regular season, then went 7-1 in the playoffs to win the franchise's second championship. With three Hall of Famers on the roster (Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer) and a Hall of Fame manager (Earl Weaver), the O's led the league in runs scored and had a team ERA of 3.15.

Manager: Earl Weaver

Regular season: 108-54, won AL East by 15 games over the New York Yankees.

Playoffs: Swept the Minnesota Twins in three games in the American League Championship Series; beat the Cincinnati Reds in five games (4-1) in the World Series.

Hitting leaders: 1B Boog Powell (.297, 35 HR, 114 RBI), RF Frank Robinson (.306, 25 HR, 78 RBI), 3B Brooks Robinson (.276, 18 HR, 94 RBI)

Pitching: RHP Jim Palmer (20-10, 2.71 ERA), LHP Mike Cuellar (24-8, 3.48 ERA), LHP Dave McNally (24-9, 3.22 ERA) More »

In 1983, Cal Ripken played in every game of a season for the first time, and the Orioles had a season to remember. Ripken won the MVP and the Orioles won their third World Series. There were three Hall of Famers on the roster - Ripken, Eddie Murray and an aging Jim Palmer, who missed most of the season but did win a World Series game. Palmer is the only Orioles player to play on all three title teams.

Manager: Joe Altobelli

Regular season: 98-64, won AL East by six games over the Detroit Tigers.

Playoffs: Beat the Chicago White Sox in four games (3-1) in the American League Championship Series; beat the Philadelphia Phillies in five games (4-1) in the World Series.

Hitting leaders: SS Cal Ripken (.318, 27 HR, 102 RBI), 1B Eddie Murray (.306, 33 HR, 111 RBI), DH Ken Singleton (.276, 18 HR, 84 RBI)

Pitching: LHP Scott McGregor (18-7, 3.18 ERA), RHP Mike Boddicker (16-8, 2.77 ERA), LHP Tippy Martinez (9-3, 2.35 ERA, 21 saves) More »

Frank Robinson was the missing piece in the puzzle, coming over in a trade from the Cincinnati Reds in one of the most lopsided trades in big-league history. He won the Triple Crown and the MVP in his first American League season and the Orioles swept the Dodgers to win their first championship.

Manager: Hank Bauer

Regular season: 97-63, won American League by nine games over the Minnesota Twins.

Playoffs: Swept the Los Angeles Dodgers (4-0) in the World Series.

Hitting leaders: RF Frank Robinson (.316, 49 HR, 122 RBI), 1B Boog Powell (287, 34 HR, 109 RBI), 3B Brooks Robinson (.269, 23 HR, 100 RBI)

Pitching: RHP Jim Palmer (15-10, 3.46 ERA), LHP Dave McNally (13-6, 3.17 ERA), LHP Steve Barber (10-5, 2.30 ERA) More »

This team could have gone down as one of the greatest ever, but their legacy instead just added to the legend of the Miracle Mets, who pulled off one of the biggest World Series upsets ever by beating the Orioles. Baltimore outscored its opponents 779-517 in the regular season. The Tigers won 90 games and finished 19 games out in the first season of divisional play.

Manager: Earl Weaver

Regular season: 109-53, won the AL East by 19 games over the Detroit Tigers.

Playoffs: Swept the Minnesota Twins in the ALCS (3-0); lost to the New York Mets in five games (4-1) in the World Series..

Hitting leaders: RF Frank Robinson (.308, 32 HR, 100 RBI), 1B Boog Powell (.304, 37 HR, 121 RBI), CF Paul Blair (.285, 26 HR, 76 RBI, 20 SB)

Pitching: LHP Mike Cuellar (23-11, 2.38 ERA), LHP Dave McNally (20-7, 3.22 ERA), RHP Jim Palmer (16-4, 2.34 ERA) More »

A year after a championship, the Orioles were still very strong and won 100 games for a third consecutive season. Since then, only the Yankees from 2002-04 have achieved that. But twice in the 1970s, the Pirates kept a very good Orioles team from winning the championship.

Manager: Earl Weaver

Regular season: 101-57, won AL East by 12 games over the Detroit Tigers.

Playoffs: Swept the Oakland Athletics in three games in the ALCS; lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates in seven games (4-3) in the World Series.

Hitting leaders: RF Frank Robinson (.281, 28 HR, 99 RBI), LF Don Buford (.290, 19 HR, 54 RBI), 1B Boog Powell (.256, 22 HR, 92 RBI)

Pitching: LHP Mike Cuellar (20-9, 3.08 ERA), RHP Pat Dobson (20-8, 2.90 ERA), RHP Jim Palmer (20-9, 2.68 ERA), LHP Dave McNally (21-5, 2.89 ERA) More »

They weren't as good as the great teams, but the 1979 group was good enough to come within a game of the championship. Mike Flanagan won the Cy Young as the Orioles had a team 3.28 ERA. In a rematch of the 1971 World Series, the Pirates prevailed again, winning the last two games in Baltimore as Willie Stargell went 4 for 5 in Game 5 of the World Series.

Manager: Earl Weaver

Regular season: 102-57, won AL East by eight games over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Playoffs: Defeated the California Angels in four games (3-1) in the ALCS; lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates in seven games (4-3) in the World Series.

Hitting leaders: RF Ken Singleton (.295, 35 HR, 111 RBI), 1B Eddie Murray (.295, 25 HR, 99 RBI), LF Gary Roenicke (.261, 25 HR, 64 RBI)

Pitching: LHP Mike Flanagan (23-9, 3.08 ERA), RHP Dennis Martinez (15-16, 3.66 ERA), LHP Scott McGregor (13-6, 3.35 ERA) More »

Steve Stone became a surprise 25-game winner -- the last of the 20th century -- and won the Cy Young Award and Scott McGregor also won 20, but the Orioles spent much of the first half under .500 and dug themselves too big a hole to make the playoffs despite wining 100 games.

Manager: Earl Weaver

Regular season: 100-62, finished second in the AL East, three games behind the New York Yankees.

Hitting leaders: 1B Eddie Murray (.300, 32 HR, 116 RBI), RF Ken Singleton (.304, 24 HR, 104 RBI), CF Al Bumbry (.318, 9 HR, 53 RBI, 44 SB)

Pitching: RHP Steve Stone (25-7, 3.23 ERA), LHP Scott McGregor (20-8, 3.32 ERA), RHP Jim Palmer (16-10, 3.98 ERA) More »

The Orioles went wire to wire in first place and upset the Yankees for the AL East title, but ran into a red-hot team in the playoffs in the Cleveland Indians. It was the Orioles' last winning season for 15 years.

Manager: Davey Johnson

Regular season: 98-64, won AL East by two games over the New York Yankees.

Playoffs: Beat the Seattle Mariners in four games (3-1) in the American League Division Series; lost to the Cleveland Indians in six games (4-2) in the ALCS.

Hitting leaders: 2B Roberto Alomar (.333, 14 HR, 60 RBI), 1B Rafael Palmeiro (.254, 38 HR, 110 RBI); CF Brady Anderson (.288, 18 HR, 73 RBI, 18 SB)

Pitching: RHP Mike Mussina (15-8, 3.20 ERA), LHP Jimmy Key (16-10, 3.43 ERA), RHP Randy Myers (2-3, 1.51 ERA, 45 saves) More »

Again led by a great starting rotation, the Orioles won the AL East and had a strong playoff team, but they fell to the eventual champions, the Oakland A's, in a five-game series, getting shut out in Game 5 by future Hall of Famer Catfish Hunter.

Manager: Earl Weaver

Regular season: 97-65, won AL East by eight games over the Boston Red Sox.

Playoffs: Lost to the Oakland Athletics in five games (3-2) in the ALCS.

Hitting leaders: LF Don Baylor (.286, 11 HR, 51 RBI, 32 SB), C Earl Williams (.237, 22 HR, 83 RBI), DH Tommy Davis (.306, 7 HR, 89 RBI)

Pitching: RHP Jim Palmer (22-9, 2.40 ERA), LHP Mike Cuellar (18-13, 3.27 ERA), LHP Dave McNally (17-17, 3.21 ERA) More »

Guess we have to have one St. Louis team represented, and this is probably the most anonymous team to ever make a World Series. It was the Browns' only pennant-winner, and it happened when most of the best players were fighting in baseball were serving in World War II.

Manager: Luke Sewell

Regular season: 89-65, won American League by one game over the Detroit Tigers.

Playoffs: Lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in six games (4-2) in the World Series.

Hitting leaders: SS Vern Stephens (.293, 20 HR, 109 RBI), 1B George McQuinn (.250, 11 HR, 72 RBI), 3B Mark Christman (.271, 6 HR, 83 RBI)

Pitching: RHP Jack Kramer (17-13, 2.49 ERA), RHP Nels Potter (19-7, 2.83 ERA), RHP Bob Muncrief (13-8, 3.08 ERA) More »

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Kendrick, Scott. "Top 10 Baltimore Orioles Teams." ThoughtCo, Feb. 23, 2016, thoughtco.com/top-baltimore-orioles-teams-319929. Kendrick, Scott. (2016, February 23). Top 10 Baltimore Orioles Teams. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/top-baltimore-orioles-teams-319929 Kendrick, Scott. "Top 10 Baltimore Orioles Teams." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/top-baltimore-orioles-teams-319929 (accessed November 20, 2017).