Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Quick Explanation of the Oriole Nickname

Ran across this yesterday. (Think it was a link from NBC Sports' Hardball Talk...) He provides a little blurb about the origin of each team nickname in Major League Baseball. The Oriole entry:

Baltimore Orioles: Originally the St. Louis Browns, team owners changed the name for the 1954 season. The name “Orioles” had been used for decades by Baltimore minor league and club teams.

Really? That's all you got? Weak. Sauce.

He references Wikipedia as a source. But here's a whole page on Wikipedia that gives brief backgrounds on the origin of each teams nickname. Here's just a portion of the Orioles entry:

The team's nickname is taken from the baltimore oriole (Icterus galbula) a small blackbird of the passerine family. The bird received its name in about 1808 from the fact that the male's colors resembled those on the coat of arms of George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, who was part of the Calvert family that established the Maryland colony in the 17th century. The baltimore oriole is also the state bird of Maryland.

Most of the professional baseball teams in Baltimore have been dubbed the "Orioles", with a few exceptions.

The earliest Baltimore teams, in the early 1870s, were called "Lord Baltimore" and "Maryland" respectively. These clubs were short-lived. The "Lord Baltimore" team chose the unusual team color of yellow, and was often called the Canaries or the Yellow Stockings. The Maryland club was simply called the "Marylands", in the pluralized style of the day.

The first club to be called the Baltimore Orioles was a charter member of the American Association in 1882. When the AA folded after the 1891 season, four of its teams were brought into the expanded National League, including the Orioles. These Orioles became a dominant team in the league during the 1890s, in part because of their innovations and their tough, relentless play. The term "Old Oriole" is sometimes used to describe a player whose aggressive style fits the legacy of those 1890s teams. The team's fortunes took a downturn in 1899 when many of its stars were transferred to the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Baltimore was one of four teams contracted out of existence in 1900.

And there's more if you care to read it but that's the gist of the story. And all the writeups are pretty informative.

If Jeff Edelstein had thoroughly used Wikipedia as a reference, his "story" would not have been peppered with "probably" and "possibly".

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