A recap of the O’s most recent winning season
By Matthew Taylor
Even with the Birds’ stirring victory last night, times are tough in Baltimore. But things haven’t always been this bad.
As the O’s head toward their 10th straight losing season, Roar from 34 will periodically take a look back at the team’s most recent winning campaign, the 1997 Wire-to-Wire run. The “When We Were Winning” series is a reminder that things do change, and they hopefully will – for the better – with the Orioles.
Even just a decade ago – on July 3, 1997 – the game looked much different than it does today. The Tigers were in the AL East and still played in Tiger Stadium. The team was working on its fourth of 12 straight losing seasons.
Other franchises that are winning now but struggled then included the Red Sox (38-45, 17 games behind the O’s in the East), the Twins (36-46, 7.5 out in the Central), and Oakland (36-50, 15 out in the West).
Here’s what happened back in 1997, “When We Were Winning” …
Twelve was the magic number for the Birds on July 3, 1997, as Jimmy Key picked up his 12th win of the season against the Detroit Tigers and Jeffrey Hammonds hit his 12th home run to power the O’s to a 10-1 victory.
Key pitched eight strong innings, giving up five hits and only one run. Hammonds went 3-for-5, adding two doubles on top of his home run, with four RBIs. He also played all three outfield positions, not at the same time.
With the win the Birds’ record stood at 54-27, putting them 7.5 games up on the hated Yankees. The Tigers fell to 38-43, dropping them to fourth place in the NL East, a game ahead of the last place Red Sox.
Attendance for the game at Tiger Stadium was 13,209.