Baltimore to New York

New York Highlanders, 1903As much as we hate to admit it, Baltimore and New York are forever united in baseball.  And as much as they like to gloat, the New York Yankees technically have their roots in Baltimore.  One hundred ten years ago, on January 9, 1903, the then-Baltimore Orioles were sold to Frank Ferrell and William Devery who then moved the team to New York.  Known at first as the New York Highlanders, the team played in Hilltop Park not far from the Polo Grounds and the New York Giants.

Immediately the new New York team began to irritate the Washington Senators, by beating them 6-2 on Opening Day 1903.  I don’t know what Baltimore thought about them at that point, but the New York Giants weren’t that fond of them.  (That is, until the Polo Grounds burned down in 1911 and the Highlanders agreed to share their ballpark.)  However, in those days, the team formerly known as the Baltimore Orioles only ever got as far as second in the league (in 1904, 1906, and 1910).  In 1913, the Highlanders moved into the new Polo Grounds and officially became the New York Yankees.  And they’ve just continued to be more and more annoying ever since.

George Bush and Derek Jeter, 2001 World SeriesThe first Yankee to throw a no-hitter was George Mogridge in 1917.  Then they bought Babe Ruth’s contract in 1920, won their first AL pennant in 1921, and won the World Series for the first time in 1923.  In total, they’ve won the American League championship 40 times and the World Series 27 times.  And don’t get me started (again) on Jeter.

Until recently, many people (outside of Baltimore that is) had forgotten the long-standing Orioles-Yankees rivalry.  Without some serious historical research, I can only speculate on the true reasons.  But at least on the anniversary of that tragic Baltimore to New York transaction, we should remember that the Yankees wouldn’t be the Yankees without Baltimore.

~ baseballrebecca


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