Memorable plays pepper Orioles' postseason past

Memorable plays pepper Orioles' postseason past

With the Orioles in the American League Championship Series for the first time since 1997, let's take a look back at some of the most memorable plays in their postseason history.

Oct. 6, 1966. Even after the Orioles won the World Series opener, the Dodgers felt good about breaking even at home, because they had Sandy Koufax -- who went 27-9 with a 1.73 ERA, winning his third Cy Young Award in four years and finishing second in the MVP Award voting -- pitching Game 2. But Jim Palmer pitched a four-hit shutout, and the Orioles took command with a 6-0 win.

Oct. 9, 1966. Frank Robinson homered off Don Drysdale in the fourth inning at Memorial Stadium. It turned out to be the only run of the game as the Orioles completed their sweep of the favored Dodgers. Robinson was named the World Series MVP, and later, the American League MVP. Baltimore used just four pitchers in the four games and they combined to give up a total of two runs.

Video: 1966 World Series retrospective

Video: 1966 World Series retrospective

Oct. 4, 1969. The Twins led the ALCS opener, 3-2, in the bottom of the ninth but Boog Powell tied the game with a homer. The Orioles won it in the 12th, when with two outs and Mark Belanger on third, Paul Blair surprised even manager Earl Weaver by dropping a bunt to bring the winning run home. The Orioles went on to sweep the Twins.

Oct. 10, 1970. Before Game 1 at Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium, Orioles third baseman Brooks Robinson was asked about playing the first World Series game on artificial turf. "I'm a Major League third baseman. If you want to go play in a parking lot, I'm supposed to stop the ball," he said. In the sixth inning, he made a spectacular backhanded stab of a hard line drive hit down the line by Reds first baseman Lee May, one of several spectacular defensive plays he made in the series. Robinson also hit the game-winning homer in the seventh.

Brooks robs May

Video: Brooks robs May

Oct. 13, 1970. Not only did Dave McNally pitch a complete game in Baltimore's 9-3 win in Game 3 of the World Series at Memorial Stadium, he also became the first pitcher to hit a grand slam in the World Series when he connected against reliever Wayne Granger to break the game open in the sixth.

McNally hits grand slam

Video: McNally hits grand slam

This was also another defensive clinic for Brooks Robinson, who helped short circuit a potential first-inning rally by the Reds by making a sensational leaping catch of a high hopper by Tony Perez and starting a double play, robbing Tommy Helms by fielding his slow grounder and throwing him out in the second and making a diving catch of a line drive by Johnny Bench in the sixth. When Robinson came to the plate in the bottom of the inning, the fans gave him a standing ovation. And then he doubled to left.

Robinson leads O's to '70 title

Video: Robinson leads O's to '70 title

Oct. 4, 1971. The Orioles managed just seven hits against Athletics starter Catfish Hunter in Game 2 of the ALCS, but four of them were home runs, two by Boog Powell and one each by Brooks Robinson and Elrod Hendricks. The Orioles went on to sweep Oakland to advance to the World Series.

Oct. 3, 1979. Game 1 of the ALCS was tied in the bottom of the 10th with two outs and a runner on second. Hoping to get to .167-hitting shortstop Mark Belanger, the Angels walked Al Bumbry only to have pinch-hitter John Lowenstein hit a walk-off homer off John Montague. The O's again advanced to the World Series.

Lowenstein's walk-off home run

Video: Lowenstein's walk-off home run

Oct. 8, 1983. White Sox starter Britt Burns pitched nine scoreless innings in Game 4 of the ALCS at Comiskey Park and came back out to start the 10th in a scoreless tie. But with one out, Tito Landrum homered, and the Orioles eliminated the Sox and went on to the World Series.

Oct. 16, 1983. Eddie Murray was 2-for-16 in the first four games, but broke out with two homers and three RBIs in Game 5 to give the Orioles the third World Series championship in franchise history. Scott McGregor pitched a complete game five-hitter in Baltimore's 5-0 victory. But the World Series MVP was light-hitting catcher Rick Dempsey, who batted .385.

Orioles win 1983 Series

Video: Orioles win 1983 Series

Oct. 11, 1997. In Game 3 of the ALCS against the Indians at Jacobs Field, Orioles right-hander Mike Mussina set an LCS record with 15 strikeouts; it would be matched by Florida's Livan Hernandez later in the postseason. The Orioles trailed by a run in the ninth and tied the game after Cleveland outfielder Marquis Grissom lost a Brady Anderson fly ball in the lights, but eventually lost in 12 innings.

Mussina sets LCS record

Video: Mussina sets LCS record

Paul Hagen is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.