For half a century the St. Louis Browns were nothing short of spectacular ... when it came to futility. Whatever promise or hope or grandeur dreams held by the franchise and its fans after a second place finish in its inaugural season in St. Louis was quickly replaced by this abysmal reality: the Browns were dead last in the eight-team American League ten times in 52 seasons.
Then in 1954 the club began play in Baltimore and its new owners shed the "Browns" and every imaginable link to the club's past. It's not that the Orioles don't respect history ... it's that from the very beginning Baltimore was intent on making its own history.
And to that end the franchise has been extraordinarily successful.
In St. Louis, the Browns had more 100-loss seasons than any team in baseball history -- in Baltimore, it barely took Earl Weaver a decade to manage the Orioles to five 100-win seasons. In St. Louis, the Browns backed into one Pennant in five decades. In Baltimore, the Orioles built a powerhouse that dominated the better part of two decades and won six Pennants.
There have been ups-and-downs obviously -- like every franchise -- and plenty of lean years to go with the championships, but with its successes and the many legends its produced since 1954, the Orioles have achieved the same "status" if you will as its division rivals New York and Boston as being one of baseball's truly great franchises.
A virtual who's who of baseball royalty spent time playing in Baltimore -- from Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson and Jim Palmer, to Cal Ripken, Jr. and Eddie Murray, to today's superstars Chris Davis and Manny Machado. You can't discuss the game's greatest moments without including the Orioles. You can't tour the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown without seeing the influence of the Birds.
This is a book of trivia and history. It's meant for diehard baseball fans, but whether or not you count yourself part of Orioles fandom is irrelevant, because the history of the Birds is inextricably linked with the history of baseball -- so sit back and reminisce with ten chapters of Baltimore Orioles history, baseball stories, and 200 brand new trivia questions that will wrack your brain and test your skills. It's your Orioles IQ, the ultimate test of true fandom.