June 1, 2008

Putting "Baltimore" Back in the Orioles

Finally, the news we've all been waiting for. The Baltimore Orioles have requested permission from Major League Baseball to alter their uniforms beginning in 2009. The big change? "Baltimore" will return to the front of the road jerseys for the first time since 1973.

Why was it ever removed? When the second incarnation of the Senators left Washington in 1971, then-Orioles owner Edward Bennett Williams realized he needed to capture the now team-less fan base in Washington. By removing "Baltimore" from the front of the road jerseys, he felt the team could be more of a regional power. In many ways he was right. Children growing up in the 1970's to 1990's in the metropolitan D.C. area generally became Orioles' fans. It helped that the team did not suck. In fact, EBW had already made inroads with the notoriously flaky bandwagon D.C. crowd by virtue of the fact that the Orioles played in the 1966, 1969, 1970 and 1971 World Series. In many ways, the Orioles led to the Senators' demise. The late Williams, a prominent D.C. criminal defense attorney, Georgetown alum, and the Williams in the powerful law firm Williams & Connolly (clients include Bill Clinton) also owned the Redskins for a period and was a fixture in Washington.

The Orioles are not the only team to use their uniforms or official name to expand their market. The Los Angeles/California/ Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim only had Anaheim on their jerseys in 2002 and 2003 (though the team had Los Angeles on their jerseys from 1961-1964). The Texas Rangers have always capitalized on Dallas and Fort Worth, and the Florida Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies likewise try to capture a region rather than a city. The Minnesota Twins, NFL's Houston Texans and NHL's New York Islanders have used the name of the team as well to try to capture additional markets. Of course, we see this in other sports as well (Arizona Cardinals, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, New England Patriots, Carolina Hurricanes, Utah Jazz, Indiana Pacers, etc. etc.).

According to a poll on the Baltimore Sun's website, 96.5% percent of over 2500 voters want "Baltimore" back on the road jerseys. Read The Sun's coverage here.
The team will not confirm or deny that the change will take place due to procedural aspects of the licensing process. All indications from reliable sources are that it's a done deal, though.

6 Responses:

big tuna said...

It was great to see Manny hit his 500th home run and home with all the fans behind him.

big tuna said...


J-Red said...

We appreciate the Sox fans business. I only ask that they refrain from roofie-ing anyone until they get back home to all their fat chicks.

Seriously, Baltimore is not the most attractive city in the world, but when you add in the pasty cottage-cheese legged Sox ladies and the man-tit possessing Sox men, it's really a tough time.

Brien said...

It's about damn time they made this change. It's been a total no-brainer for years.

JC said...

I appreciate that the Orioles are trying to rep for the city once again, but it really would be a lot better if they weren't the Kansas City Royals of the east coast.

Nic said...

Well B-More is definitely better than Memphis.

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