September 7, 2009

MLB Ball Clubs and their Minor League Affiliates: the Baltimore Orioles.

Filed under: Baseball Clubs/Farm Teams — admin @ 4:34 pm


Below : Baltimore Orioles Auxiliary Chart,  featuring selected uniforms and logos from the history of the Baltimore Orioles franchise,  established in 1894 in the minor league Western League (I),  as the Milwaukee Brewers (I) / in 1901 as a charter member of the major league American League,  as the Milwaukee Brewers (I) / St. Louis Browns (II) (1902-1953) / Baltimore Orioles (III) (1954-2009).


Baltimore Orioles team history with photos,  at the Sports E-Cyclopedia site {click here}.

The Bluefield Orioles have the longest running affiliation with the same MLB franchise.  This is the 52nd year that Bluefield has been part of the Baltimote Orioles farm system.   Here is an article about the history of baseball in Bluefield,  from {click here}.  Here is the Bluefield Orioles’ ballpark,  Bowen Field, capacity 3,000 {click here (Bluefield page)} {@}. 

The Bluefield Blue-Grays were a team that played in the Coalfield League in 1924 and 1925;  in the Blue Ridge League for two seasons;  and then joined the Class D Mountain State League.  A decade later,  the Blue-Grays’ championship season of 1938 led to the construction of a new ballpark,  Bowen Field,  in 1939.  The National League’s Boston Braves were Bluefield’s first MLB parent club,  sponsoring them from 1939 to 1953.  The Appalachian League was formed in 1954,  and the Bluefield Blue-Grays were a charter member.  The team changed their major-league affiliation three times during this era,  with the Washington Senators in 1954,  the Boston Red Sox in 1955 and ’56,  and the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1957.  The following year, 1958,  the Baltimore Orioles took over,  and the team became the Bluefield Orioles.


Since 1958,  around 100 former Bluefield Orioles players have played in the big leagues,  including Don Baylor,  Mark Belanger,  Eddie Murray,  Sparky Lyle,  Boog Powell,  and Cal Ripken, Jr.  

Bowen Field was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1974.  It was rebuilt without the funds for seating,  and fans brought lawn chairs and blankets the first few seasons.  The belatedly installed seats were castoffs from the California Angels (when the Angels expanded their ballpark into a dual sport stadium in the late 1970s).  The Bowen Field ballpark site straddles the West Virginia/Virginia border,  and the field itself is actually in Bluefield, Virginia.

Thanks to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s ‘Dressed to the Nines’ site,  featuring baseball uniforms templates drawn by Marc Okkonen {click here (set at Baltimore Orioles 1954-1962)}.   Thanks to MLB shop {click here}.   Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page {click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at wikipedia {click here (set at Baltimore Orioles page)}.   Thanks to .   Thanks to the fantastic site Little Ball, Baseball Parks of the Minor Leagues {click here}. 

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