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Cal Ripken Jr. recalls the Orioles' 1988 return home after 1-23 start and meeting the 'Kissing Bandit'

Cal Ripken Jr. recalls the Orioles' 1988 return home after 1-23 start and meeting the 'Kissing Bandit'

The 1988 season started with a historically bad 1-23 record for the Baltimore Orioles, and the team was set to return home to play the Texas Rangers. 

Even with the worst start to a season in modern history, 50,402 fans packed Memorial Stadium to support the Orioles on May 2. 

Cal Ripken Jr. reminisced about that night for a number of reasons in a Twitter video posted Saturday, the 32nd anniversary of that date. Not only were the Orioles welcomed with a sellout crowd, but Ripken also hit a homerun and received a kiss from Morganna, the notorious "Kissing Bandit" that caught the sports world by storm.

That year was especially odd for Ripken as he saw the Orioles fire his father as their manager after an 0-6 start to the season. Baltimore replaced the elder Ripken with Frank Robinson, a former Oriole himself. 

But the managerial change didn't trigger a difference in results. Robinson was at the helm as the Orioles lost their next 15 games to fall to a woeful 0-21 on the season. 

Finally, on the 10th game of a 12-game road trip, Baltimore etched its first mark in the win column with a 9-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox. 

Baltimore dropped the next two games to fall 15.5 games back of the division lead as the calendar turned to May and the team returned home.

"Basically, the season feels like it's over at that point. You've started way behind," Ripken said in the video. "But our fans were so great that they came out in 50,000 strong."

Ripken laced a home run in that game, and the Orioles won their second game of the season with a 9-4 win over the Rangers in front of the Memorial Stadium crowd.

Among the sellout crowd was Morganna, otherwise known as "Kissing Bandit." And she made the night memorable for yet another reason. From 1970 to 1990, Morganna Roberts crashed sporting events to kiss athletes. Her targets included Johnny Bench, George Brett and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, among a host of others. 

On that night, she had her sights set on Ripken. 

"The 'Kissing Bandit' came out of the stands that time while I was at home plate, and I was her target," Ripken said. "My first instinct was to run. And I felt that I'd be embarrassed if I ran around and had her chase me around, so I just stayed at home plate. She came up and kissed me, and then ran back off the field."

It was an all-around memorable night for those 1988 Orioles during an otherwise dreadful 54-101 season.

"So the 'Kissing Bandit,' a home run and our second win of the season were highlights for that date," Ripken said. 

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Orioles' 2021 schedule is released, looks similar to 2020

Orioles' 2021 schedule is released, looks similar to 2020

Though the 2020 MLB season has not yet begun, the 2021 MLB schedule was released on Thursday. For the Baltimore Orioles, next year's campaign is somewhat similar to the condensed season they'll begin playing starting at the end of July.

Much like this year, Baltimore will open up the season on the road against the Boston Red Sox. The three-game series will take place from April 1-4, with an off day scheduled after the first game of the series. Opening Day for all 30 teams will be on April 1.

As for interleague play, the Orioles face the same National League opponents they'll see in 2020. Facing off against the NL East, Baltimore will play the Marlins and the Phillies on the road, and host the Braves and Mets. They'll also have the standard home-road series with the Nationals. Games at Nationals Park will be played on May 21-23, while the matchups at OPACY will be on July 23-25.

RELATED: O'S 2020 SCHEDULE

Sticking with the theme, the Orioles will close the season with a three-game road series against the Toronto Blue Jays, just like they do in 2020. The 2021 regular season will come to a close on October 3.

There are really two main differences between the Orioles 2020 and 2021 schedules, and in a normal season, they wouldn't be as noticeable. First, the plan is to once again have 162 games be played in the next campaign. That means Baltimore will get the opportunity to play teams from the AL West and AL Central, something that was eliminated this year.

The release of the 2021 schedule came at an unexpected time, as baseball just figured out 2020 earlier in the month. There were no prior hints that a drop was coming, and it's the earliest the league has ever released the schedule for the following year.  

A 60-game season in 2020 may slightly delay Baltimore's plan for the future in terms of prospects, but 2021 could still prove to be the year that faces of the rebuild like Adley Rutschman make their MLB debuts.

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Orioles' 60-game 2020 season begins with Opening Day on the road in Boston

Orioles' 60-game 2020 season begins with Opening Day on the road in Boston

Baseball is coming.

Major League Baseball announced its 2020 schedule on Monday evening, as each of the league's 30 clubs found out their 60-game slate for this year's pandemic-shortened season. For the Baltimore Orioles, that means an away date with the Boston Red Sox when the sport returns.

Baltimore will travel to Boston for a three-game series with rival Red Sox, starting on Friday, July 24, to begin its 2020 season. After a quick two-game series with the Miami Marlins following their weekend series in Boston, Baltimore returns home for an eight-game homestand beginning with the team's home opener on July 29 against Miami.

The Orioles are scheduled for a 10-game homestand from August 14-23, hosting series with the Washington Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox.

However, the O's will head on the road for over a week immediately after, as Baltimore will play seven consecutive games away from Camden Yards from August 25-31.

RELATED: WHAT HAPPENS IF THE O'S ARE IN PLAYOFF CONTENTION?

The New York Yankees, arguably Baltimore's toughest opponent this season, first come to Baltimore on August 3 for a three-game series. Baltimore will have an extended stay in New York from September 8-13, as they are scheduled for a two-game series with the Mets before a four-game set with the Yankees.

Baltimore's season will conclude with two road series, beginning in Boston from September 22-24 before traveling to Toronto from September 25-27.

You can see the full schedule below:

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