Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I'm going to use this thread to post interesting things about the minor league Orioles that played in the Eastern League and then the International League from 1903-1953, with the exception of 1915.

They're kind of the forgotten heroes of Baltimore baseball because anything that's not Major League is sometimes treated like it didn't happen. So even the 1890s Orioles get Hall of Fame plaques, while the seven consecutive IL champ Orioles are rarely mentioned at all.

My first bit will be on the 1925 Orioles, the 7th of the seven consecutive IL champs.  After the '24 season Jack Dunn finally relented and sold Lefty Grove to the A's for $100,600 (about $1.5M today).  In '24 he'd gone 26-6 for the Orioles.  As an Oriole Grove went 108-36 in parts of five years.

But not to worry, those 26 wins would have been fourth on the 1925 Orioles. Tommy Thomas, who'd pitch for the White Sox for years after leaving Baltimore, threw 56 games, 354 innings, and went 32-12.  George Earnshaw started 41 games, pitched in 53, threw 332 innings, and went 29-11.  And sitting in the back of the rotation was Jack Ogden who only got into 51 games, 327 innings and went 28-11.

89 wins out of their top three starters.  The 2019 Orioles got 28 out of theirs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you talk about the best seasons in Oriole history you get some usual candidates.  Frank's triple crown year.  Cal's MVP seasons.  Some of Palmer's big years.  Maybe Brady or Chris Davis' 50-homer seasons.

But I'm going to submit one that almost none of you have ever heard of: Jack Bentley, 1921.

Bentley was sometimes referred to as the Babe Ruth of the Minors. He played parts of nine years in the majors for the Senators, Giants and Phillies.  And had some pretty solid MLB seasons.

But the year that made his legend was '21 with the league Champion Orioles.  He hit .412.  A loud .412.  He had a league-leading 47 doubles, 16 triples, and had 24 homers, five more than anyone else in the league.  He slugged .665, over 100 points higher than any other batting title qualifier.  That's a pretty fair season, right?

Well, it was.  But he also pitched 18 games and 119 innings.  He went 12-1 with a 2.34 ERA.  He had a better ERA than teammate Lefty Grove, who went 25-10 and is in the Hall of Fame.  In fact, among IL pitchers with 100+ IP he was 3rd in the league in ERA.  The guy who led the league in average, doubles, homers, and slugging was also 3rd in ERA.

That's an astonishing season.  The only thing remotely like that in modern MLB history is the Babe's 1919 season where he led the AL in OPS and homers in a year where he also went 9-5, 2.97 on the mound.  He pitched twice as much and had almost twice as many plate appearances as Shohei Ohtani did in '18.

All hail the Orioles' two-way beast, Jack Bentley.bent.0.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A team that's a little lost to history is the 1929-30 Philadelphia A's.  You think of the 1920s and 1930s as part of a long string of Yankee dominance.  But those A's teams won consecutive pennants, beating out the Ruth/Gehrig Yanks by 18 and 16 games, respectively.  They took a dynasty with two of the inner-circlest of inner circle HOFers to the woodshed.

And four of the key players on those A's teams were Orioles.  Second baseman Max Bishop was from an extinct class of players, the kind who'd hit .260 with 20 doubles, eight homers, and 125 walks.  He was a local kid, going to both high school and college in Baltimore.  Connie Mack bought him from Jack Dunn in '24.  The shortstop was Joe Boley, who played in Baltimore from 1919-26 and hit over .300 almost every year with 30+ doubles, double-digit triples.

Of course on the mound was Lefty Grove, who still has a halfway decent argument for being the best left-hander or even the best pitcher of all time.  Grove was from Lonaconing, MD, just down from Frostburg.  And finally George Earnshaw, mentioned a few posts above for going 29-11 in 1925.  Mack pried him loose from the O's in mid-season 1928, and in his first full year in the majors at age 29 he went 24-8, leading the AL in wins.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

A team that's a little lost to history is the 1929-30 Philadelphia A's.  You think of the 1920s and 1930s as part of a long string of Yankee dominance.  But those A's teams won consecutive pennants, beating out the Ruth/Gehrig Yanks by 18 and 16 games, respectively.  They took a dynasty with two of the inner-circlest of inner circle HOFers to the woodshed.

And four of the key players on those A's teams were Orioles.  Second baseman Max Bishop was from an extinct class of players, the kind who'd hit .260 with 20 doubles, eight homers, and 125 walks.  He was a local kid, going to both high school and college in Baltimore.  Connie Mack bought him from Jack Dunn in '24.  The shortstop was Joe Boley, who played in Baltimore from 1919-26 and hit over .300 almost every year with 30+ doubles, double-digit triples.

Of course on the mound was Lefty Grove, who still has a halfway decent argument for being the best left-hander or even the best pitcher of all time.  Grove was from Lonaconing, MD, just down from Frostburg.  And finally George Earnshaw, mentioned a few posts above for going 29-11 in 1925.  Mack pried him loose from the O's in mid-season 1928, and in his first full year in the majors at age 29 he went 24-8, leading the AL in wins.

Jimmie Foxx was from Maryland, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Number5 said:

Jimmie Foxx was from Maryland, too.

I have a '34 Goudey Jimmie Foxx* card that I once bought for something like $10 because it's in poor condition, and the first line on the back is "Down in Sudlersville, Md., a farmer boy was playing on a high school team and dreamed of big league baseball..."

Foxx never played for the O's but he spent a season on the Easton Farmers of the Eastern Shore League.  One of the few Class D teams to have two Hall of Famers.  Foxx was 16 and hit .296, led the team with 10 homers.  And Home Run Baker (also from the Eastern Shore) was the player-manager at 38.

* The card spells his name "Jimmy"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

Orioles Information


Orioles News and Information

Daily Organizational Boxscores
News

Tony's Takes

Orioles Roster Resource

Orioles Prospect Information

2018 End of Season Top 30 Prospects List

Prospect Scouting Reports

Statistics

2019 Orioles Stats

2019 Orioles Minor League Stats

Baseball Savant Stats






  • Posts

    • Talk about "lack of imagination..." -- I'm talking about the ZiPS figures, not Szymborski or the Orioles. Hardly seems worth running the projections over five years if there's so little variation from year to year for each of those players. Maybe I'm just spoiled by wildly fluctuating careers in baseball sim games... or reality itself.
    • Wow, I'm shocked to see we're technically still in it. I basically called it done a couple of losses ago. But how could I forget, it ain't over till it's over! 6 games left, so basically the O's have been in contention for 90 percent of the season. Who'd a thunk?
    • The original intention is to stock up on international players which he’s also done. 
    • Well, we're up against it now.   Toronto beat the Yankees tonight.  There's now only one way the O's can make the playoffs: 1) Sweep the Red Sox 2) Toronto loses three to the Yankees the next three days 3) Seattle loses at least 2 games ([email protected], 4 vs Oak)*     *If Seattle goes 5-1 or better, we would still be OK if Houston loses at least 5 of their last 6 (2vsSea, 4 vs Tex) 4) Angels lose at least 1 more game (2 vs SD, 3 @Dodgers)
    • o   (vs. DEVIL RAYS, 9/21)   deGrom had 14 Strikeouts over 7 Inning Pitched tonight ...... but he was charged with a loss, as his Mets fell by a score of 2-1.   https://www.espn.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=401226481   For the 2020 season overall, deGrom has a 2.14 ERA and an 0.921 WHIP.   o
    • “Keegan Akin started in the bullpen this year with the Baltimore Orioles but has since moved to the rotation. So far it has been paying off for the Orioles as the rookie has been nothing short of impressive. In four starts Akin has produced a 2.35 ERA, 1.62 FIP, 36.4 K%, and 15.5 SwStr%. What is even more impressive is who he put those numbers up against. In those four starts he has faced the Yankees twice, the Braves, and the Blue Jays. All very formidable offenses.  “The only issue with Akin besides the small sample size is that he lives in the zone a little too much. He has a low O-Swing% of 26.3% which means hitters aren’t chasing him outside of the zone. With command issues stemming from the minors he also might be hesitant to live outside the zone and risk walking too many hitters. This is definitely something we have to monitor.   “Akin’s main strength is his fastball which has above average movement in both vertical and horizontal movement. While it doesn’t have much velocity the movement of the pitch makes up for it. He also places it well trying to place it high in the zone as often as possible. That fastball is paired with a changeup that straight up fools hitters. It comes in 10 mph slower than his fastball with late vertical drop at the bottom of the zone. His changeup currently holds an impressive 20.3 SwStr%. “As for 2021 Akin will be an interesting pitcher to evaluate. A very small sample size alone puts a lot of this into question. But with what looks like a solid fastball/changeup combination he will be worth a shot towards the end of drafts.” https://fantasy.fangraphs.com/analyzing-rookie-pitchers-part-ii/
  • Popular Contributors

×
×
  • Create New...