Thursday, February 24, 2011

How have the Orioles fared during your lifetime?

If you're in your 30s, or even younger, and you're still a fan of the Baltimore Orioles, you qualify as a dedicated fan. A diehard even. Words like bandwagon and front runner do not apply. That's because any Orioles fan born in 1974 or later has seen more losing than winning on the baseball diamond.

You have to go back to 1973 before the Orioles' cumulative record through 2010 reaches .500. Since 1973, when Baltimore posted a 97-65 mark - the O's have gone 3,013-3,005 overall.

Obviously, this cumulative misery has been weighed down greatly by the team's current stretch of losing seasons. For example, the Orioles won 90 games the year I was born and didn't experience a losing season until I was 11. During that span the Orioles won 90 or more games seven times and 100 games twice. Things looked so promising. But it's just like a bird to go South. The Orioles' cumulative record during my lifetime is 2,825-2,869 (.496).

Perhaps (hopefully) current teenagers will have the exact opposite luck that I've had as an Orioles fan. Bird backers born in 1998 - they either have turned or will turn 13 this year - have never seen a winning baseball season. The O's are 921-1183 (.437) in that span.

So while dads can tell their sons about having to walk several miles in the snow to school - uphill no less - they can't exaggerate their agony as baseball fans. Those tall tales belong to the young. But take heart, the Orioles are still a winning franchise overall: 4,617-4,405 (.511). And if you're in your late 50's, you can honestly say you've seen it all.

How have the Orioles done during your lifetime? Check the spreadsheet to find out.



Gina said...

What's kind of amazing to me, a die-hard-born-in-1985 fan, are the people who come here and ADOPT the Orioles. They weren't raised to be a fan, they chose it. I realize that these people are rarer than radium, but I know for a fact they exist. A friend of mine was born in Detroit, raised in New York, and moved here in college, so he knew what he was getting into.

Roar from 34 said...

That's a good point, Gina. I hadn't really thought about that.

Stacey said...

Over the years I've heard people say something about how if you're lucky your baseball team will go to the World Series a couple times in your lifetime. That always really bums me out because the Orioles lost the WS the year I was born and then won it four years later. And if those are the two Orioles WS in my lifetime, I'm screwed.

Roar from 34 said...

I hope that's not true. At the very least, there should be an addendum to the "World Series a couple of times in your lifetime" theory: You have to be old enough to actually understand/enjoy the World Series for them to count.

Dave C said...

Unfortunitly, we were born in the downturn of our father's team, which I really feel was brought on by the owner. Mr Angelos came in throwing money around and was able to buy a strong team (Alomar, Bordick, et al). He didn't however reinvest the money he made from a great stadium with great fans into building a strong minors and we are where we are today because of it. He managed to drive out the best and only winning manager (Dave Johnson) the team had would have for two decades. He pushed fans out of the stadium by putting a bad product on the field and driving up prices year after year (I believe we both know two men who had season tickets for 20 plus years and finally said enough is enough).

With all that being said, its not the losing team we should be frustrated with, its the loss of Orioles Way, but we are all too in love with our birds.

How bout dem O's hun (I say that with a risk of being sued for copy right violations). Lets break .500 this year and feel that Orioles magic again.

Roar from 34 said...

Thanks for the comment, Dave. Spoken like a true fan who's loyal without being blindly loyal. (Nice job on the Hon reference as well.)