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Can you believe it's been 50 years since 1966 World Series?

Can you believe it's been 50 years since 1966 World Series?

BALTIMORE—It’s been 50 years since the Orioles won their first World Series, and on Friday night, the 1966 champions were honored at Oriole Park. 

Many of the key players from the team were honored. There were big names: Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer and Boog Powell, and some lesser known ones, too. Twelve players and a coach were introduced. 

“It was a special time for all of us,” Palmer said on Friday. 

“In ’66 we had the best team, that’s all,” Robinson said. “It was big. It was the dream come true for me, and for these guys, too.”

Frank Robinson, who was not present, was considered the missing piece of a potential World Series team. The Orioles beat the heavily favored Los Angeles Dodgers in four straight games. 

“As soon as you saw Frank, you knew this was a team that could win,” pitcher John Miller said. 

Miller, who was a native Baltimorean, is truly a lifelong Orioles fan. He was 12 years old when the Orioles moved from St. Louis to Baltimore, and still lives in the area. 

“I was lucky to be on that team,” Miller said. 

An injury to Miller, who played parts of five seasons with the Orioles, opened the way for Palmer to make the starting rotation. 

Palmer won the second game of the 1966 World Series, becoming the youngest pitcher to throw a shutout in the World Series. 

He beat the great Sandy Koufax in his final game. 

Koufax started the second game of the World Series instead of the first game because he was observing Yom Kippur, longtime third base coach Billy Hunter remembered. 

The 87-year-old Hunter said if the Orioles had faced Koufax in the first game instead of Don Drysdale, the Series might have turned out differently.

In the four game sweep, the Orioles used just 13 of their 25 players and got three complete games. 

Some key members of the team have died: Paul Blair, Curt Blefary, Moe Drabowsky and Dave McNally. Catcher Andy Etchebarren recently had back surgery and couldn't attend. Pitcher Wally Bunker, who pitched a complete game six-hit shutout in Game 3, has health issues, too and couldn’t be there, either. 

Infielder Bob Johnson was in a nursing home recently for neurological issues, and he used the reunion as an incentive. 

“I wasn’t sure I was going to come out of the home,” Johnson said. 

Davey Johnson was back, too. Johnson, who played six seasons for the Orioles, and later managed them for two, thinks of himself as an Oriole even though he managed four other teams, including the Nationals. 

“I thought I might stay a little longer, but it didn’t pan out,” Johnson said of his time in Baltimore. 

Palmer, Powell and Robinson have all stayed in the area. Powell gets to interact with fans each game when he sells his “Boog’s Barbecue” on Eutaw Street. 

Of course, they received the biggest ovations when they were introduced to the crowd and threw out first balls to Chris Davis, Manny Machado and Chris Tillman. 

Palmer, Powell and Robinson all played in four World Series—winning in 1966 and 1970, but losing in 1969 and 1971. 

“You’ve got to win in this game. You can’t second best. We won a lot of games,” Robinson said. 

It’s been a long time for Robinson.

“Sometimes, honest to God, I don’t remember playing,” Robinson said. 

“When I see Machado make a great play, I say, ‘man did I ever do that?’ I know I did, but I just don’t think about it. It just goes by like that.” 

As an Orioles broadcaster, Palmer knows that comparisons between his time and today are part of the fun.

“I watch Manny, and he makes all the plays. What did Brooks do? He made all the plays,” Palmer said. 

For Powell, the memories are vivid. 

“It’s like snapping your fingers. It seemed like it happened right now. It’s all still real,” Powell said. “It was like living in fantasy land. After it went so fast, what do we do now?” 

It was a great time. The Baltimore Colts were one of the best teams in the NFL, and people here loved winners.

“You could go to any restaurant, any bar. You could go anywhere in town. You go to sit down, somebody will buy you dinner. This is a great town for that,” Powell said. 

At 79, Robinson knows this reunion is special. 

“This will be the last time I’ll see a lot of these guys,” Robinson said. 


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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A person familiar with the negotiations says pitcher Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract.

The deal includes performance bonuses, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal had not yet been announced.

Tillman was 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 19 starts and five relief appearances last year. He would be the second starter added by the Orioles in the past week after right-hander Andrew Cashner.

Tillman likely would join right-handers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Cashner in the rotation.

The 29-year-old right-hander lives in Sarasota and had been working out at the Orioles' facility before spring training. Manager Buck Showalter watched Tillman throw and was impressed.

Tillman began last season on the disabled list with right shoulder stiffness.

"Better than he did last year at this time. I think he's got the chance to pitch well for somebody this year," Showalter said. "A lot of the challenges he had last year -- this time last year -- aren't there. Somebody's going to reap the benefits."

Tillman's is 73-55 with a 4.43 ERA in nine major league seasons, all with the Orioles. He won 16 games in both 2013 and 2016.

"He's a guy when he's healthy you can bank on him giving you 200 innings and keeping his ERA between a 3 and a 4," Gausman said. "That in the AL East is always going to be very valuable."


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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

Live baseball is close to gracing our television screens again. The Orioles haven't had the most active offseason, to put it mildly. Fans are still wondering who will make up more than half the spots in this year's rotation, and Manny Machado's upcoming free agency is looming over every decision the organization makes.

Still, it's exciting to be able to follow the team again. Not every game is televised, so get ready to constantly refresh your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll be comforting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Jonathan Schoop is building on his breakout season, or if top-prospect Austin Hays is all he's cracked up to be (spoiler: he is).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing in the next few weeks. The O's haven't yet made a big splash this offseason, but with the sheer volume of capable players still on the market, you have to wonder if they'll try to sign some impact players at bargain values.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the lineup or rotation has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be taking place while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hectic few weeks as teams prepare for thier seasons, so bookmark this page to check on on the Orioles spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Orioles 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Feb. 26 - Tigers at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Cardinals at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 1 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Tuesday, Mar. 6 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 9 - Orioles at Blue Jays, 1:07 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 (SS) - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Phillies at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Orioles at Pirates, 1:05 pm 
Tuesday, Mar. 13 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 14 - Yankees at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Orioles at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 - Orioles at Mets, 1:10 pm 
Saturday, Mar. 17 (SS) - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Mets at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Orioles at Tigers, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Rays at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Orioles at Yankees, 6:35 pm 
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Mar. 27 (in Norfolk, VA) - Orioles at Tides (AAA), 3:05 pm