The Baltimore Orioles are one victory away from 90 wins. With their next victory Baltimore will join their beltway brothers, the Washington Nationals, in the 90 win club. Washington is 95-61. This would mark the first time in MLB history that Baltimore and Washington teams both won 90 games in the same season.
Major league baseball has been in Baltimore and Washington since 1954 when The Cleveland Browns became the Orioles. There was a 34 year gap when the old Washington Senators left and became the Texas Rangers in 1972. The Nationals came to town in 2005.
In the 35 years that there has been teams in Baltimore and Washington, both have had winning records the same season only once. The Senators and Orioles did it in 1969. The Nationals and Orioles had not done it until this season.
In the first incarnation of Baltimore/Washington baseball the Orioles became very good in the late 1960′s. They won four pennants in a six year span from 1966 to 1971. Three of those were won consecutively from 1969 to 1971. Baltimore won the World Series in 1966 and 1970.
Meanwhile the Senators struggled. Washington saw its first franchise move after the 1960 season and become the Minnesota Twins. They were replaced by an expansion team. This group was as bad as the one that left.
In 1969 Ted Williams took over as manager. He somehow took a group of nobodies and won 86 games. That same season the Orioles won 109. The 195 win total is the most in Baltimore/Washington baseball history for one season.
Now the Nationals are a 90 win team and Baltimore is about to be one. There wasn’t anyone who expected this at the beginning of 2012. The Nationals talked playoff run, but few outside of the organization or city believed it. The Orioles were considered a young team on the rise, but not good enough to compete in the American League East. Both were expected to make noise in 2013. Instead, Washington has clinched a post season spot and Baltimore is currently in fourth place in the AL.
These are good times in the District, Maryland and Virginia. Fans of baseball have had to put up with no team in one city for 34 years and a poorly run one in the other. Until the Nationals came to town Baltimore did not do much to improve. Since then they have built a solid organization. So has Washington.
What it has led to are two successful teams that are post season bound. There is nothing more that any of their fans could ask for.
Then again, a Baltimore-Washington World Series would be nice.