Miguel Tejada

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Posted by kaori 03/08/2009 @ 23:07

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News headlines
Astros Notes: Berkman back in usual lineup spot - Houston Chronicle
Shortstop Miguel Tejada, who has started all of the Astros' games this season, will likely be out of the lineup at some point during this six-game trip through Denver and Chicago. Jeff Keppinger, who has shared time at third base with Geoff Blum,...
Rodriguez, Lee, Tejada pace 12-5 win over Padres - Houston Chronicle
Carlos Lee and Miguel Tejada each drove in four runs as the Astros put an end to the longest winless drought of Oswalt's career with a 12-5 victory over the San Diego Padres at Minute Maid Park. “He's been struggling to get that first win,” Astros...
Astros Notes: GM checks in before Backe comes back - Houston Chronicle
Cecil Cooper is considering giving Miguel Tejada a day off on this six-game trip, and he realizes the veteran shortstop despises days off. Tejada is likely to start today against the Rockies and perhaps get his day off during the three-game series...
Tejada doesn't like it, but day off looming - Astros.com
By Alyson Footer / MLB.com DENVER -- Miguel Tejada doesn't like days off, but he's going to get one at some point during the Astros' two-city road trip. The Astros have four day games coming up -- the series finale in Denver on Thursday, and three day...
Play by play - USA Today
Double: Troy Tulowitzki reached first on Miguel Tejada's throwing error.On the play, Troy Tulowitzki advances to second. Runner on second with one out and Todd Helton due up. Out: Todd Helton flied out to center. Runner on third with two outs and Brad...
Tejada pleads guilty to lying to Congress - Ottawa Citizen
By James Vicini, ReutersFebruary 11, 2009 Houston Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada, seen here playing for the Baltimore Orioles in 2007, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress on Wednesday. WASHINGTON -- In the latest blow to Major League Baseball,...
Tejada contributing without power - Astros.com
By Jeff Seidel / Special to MLB.com WASHINGTON -- Miguel Tejada may have lost his power stroke for the moment, but he's still contributing to the Astros' offense. The shortstop has gone 168 at-bats without a homer, but he's still batting .297 and leads...
Three of Tejada's 4 hits go for extra bases - Rotoworld.com
Miguel Tejada went 4-for-5 with two doubles and a home run in a loss to the Cubs on Thursday night. Tejada has seen his bat cool off considerably after a fast start, having gone 10-for-52 in his past 12 games entering tonight's contest....
Bad news precedes Astros' loss to Cubs - Houston Chronicle
The Astros had a chance to tie the game with one swing in the third after Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee drew consecutive two-out walks to load the bases for Miguel Tejada. But Harden escaped by inducing Tejada into a popout to second....

Miguel Tejada

Miguel Tejada talks to reporter Kelli Johnson 2005.

Miguel Odalis Tejada Martinez (born Miguel Odalis Tejeda Martinez on May 25, 1974 in Baní, Dominican Republic) is a Major League Baseball shortstop for the Houston Astros. He began his first six seasons of his career with the Oakland Athletics, where he began his streak of 1,152 consecutive games, that ended with the Baltimore Orioles on June 22, 2007. In 2002, he was awarded the AL MVP award, and he was the MVP of the 2005 All-Star Game. Tejada entered the 2007 season with an active streak of eight straight 20 home run seasons. His nickname is "La Gua Gua" which means "the bus" in certain Spanish dialects, as Tejada is known to drive in runs. On February 11, 2009, he plead guilty to one count of perjury for lying to Congress in his testimony on whether or not Rafael Palmeiro lied about whether or not he used steroids.

Tejada grew up in extreme poverty in Baní, a city approximately 40 miles (65 km) southwest of Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic. Miguel Tejada grew up idolizing the Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr.

At age 19 his childhood dream of playing professional baseball was realized when he signed with the Oakland Athletics for two thousand dollars, although at the time the organization believed him to be 17 years old.

Tejada developed quickly into a top-notch prospect, showing early signs of power. He reached the Majors towards the end of the 1997 season, joining a struggling Oakland Athletics club. Though he only hit .202 in 26 games that year, the A's saw potential in the 23-year-old Tejada and gave him the starting shortstop job beginning in 1998.

The A's, and Tejada, steadily improved over the next two years. His hitting improved as he gained more discipline at the plate. In 1998, he hit .233 with 11 home runs and in 1999 his average jumped to .251 with 21 home runs.

After a solid 87-win campaign in 1999, Tejada and a core of young players led their A's to their first American League Western Division title in eight years in 2000. Bolstered by an American League MVP-winning performance by first baseman Jason Giambi, and aided by Tejada's .275 average and 30 home runs, the A's won 91 games. The A's faced the New York Yankees in the first round of the postseason, which was won by the Yankees 3-2 in Oakland. The Yankees would go on to win the World Series that year, their fourth championship in five years.

In 2001, Tejada had a comparable offensive year, hitting .267 with 31 homers. The A's captured the American League wild card with a 102-60 record. In the postseason, however, the A's fell to the Yankees in five games, blowing an initial 2-0 series lead.

Tejada's breakout year came in 2002. With the departure of Jason Giambi to the New York Yankees during the offseason, and a leg injury to slugger Jermaine Dye, the A's lost two of their key offensive players. Tejada hit .308 with 34 homers and led the A's to their second Western Division title in three years. Their campaign included an American League record 20 game winning-streak. Tejada contributed one-out, game-winning hits in the 18th and 19th games of that run: a three-run homer off Minnesota Twins closer Eddie Guardado for a 7-5 victory and a bases-loaded single against Kansas City Royals reliever Jason Grimsley to break a 6-6 tie. Tejada also showed modest speed on the basepaths with 18 steals over a two-year stretch. His performance was rewarded with the 2002 American League MVP award. For the third straight year, though, the A's fell in the fifth game of the ALDS, this time to the Minnesota Twins.

The next year, both the A's and Tejada got off to a slow start, with the shortstop hitting under .200 for the first month of the season. Improved play in the second half of the season led the A's to their second straight Western Division title and their third in four years. Tejada hit .278 with 27 homers for the year, a decrease from his numbers in 2002, but still leading many offensive categories for shortstops.

In a tension-filled series, the powerful offense of the Boston Red Sox narrowly edged out the A's in the first round, once again in five games. Tejada was known for his public display of anger toward Boston starting pitcher Derek Lowe at the series' conclusion for what he perceived as obscene gestures. Lowe denied the accusation, claiming his fist pump was in celebration only.

By the end of the 2003 season, Tejada had established himself as one of baseball's premier shortstops. The A's elected not to resign the free agent, citing budget concerns and a young Bobby Crosby coming through the system, so Tejada signed a six-year, $72 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles during the offseason.

On arrival in Baltimore, Tejada was given uniform number 10, since 4, his number in Oakland, had been retired for former manager Earl Weaver. As an Oriole, Tejada followed in the footsteps of legendary Baltimore shortstop Cal Ripken Jr.. Like Ripken, Tejada is a strong and durable shortstop with unusual power numbers for a middle infielder. Ripken currently holds baseball's record for consecutive games played at 2,632. Tejada played in his 1,000th consecutive game on July 1, 2006. Tejada's streak was at 1,151 games when he was hit on his left wrist by a pitch on June 20, 2007. The next day, he went up to bunt in the top of the first inning, bunted into a force play, and was replaced by a pinch runner. Following that game, it was announced that he had a broken wrist. On June 22nd he was placed on the disabled list, ending his streak at 1,152 consecutive games, the fifth longest in Major League history, behind Cal Ripken (2632), Lou Gehrig (2130). Everett Scott (1307). and Steve Garvey (1217).

On July 12, 2004, Tejada won the Century 21 Home Run Derby in Houston. Tejada hit a record 27 home runs in the contest, including a record 15 homers in the second round. He defeated Houston Astros outfielder Lance Berkman (whom would later become his teammate) 5-4 in the final round of the contest. Both records were broken the following year in Detroit by Bobby Abreu.

Tejada led the league with 150 RBIs in 2004.

While Tejada did not participate in the Home Run Derby in 2005, he was an All-Star and starter for the AL. In his first All-Star start, Tejada hit a solo home run against John Smoltz of the Atlanta Braves, had a sacrifice RBI and was part of an all-Oriole double play with teammate Brian Roberts. His efforts earned him the All-Star MVP, winning a Chevrolet Corvette.

On December 8, 2005, it was widely reported by the Associated Press that Tejada asked the Orioles for a trade, citing unhappiness with the team's direction. Tejada challenged those statements in an interview with Comcast Sportsnet's Kelli Johnson, saying he only asked for a better team, referring to his hope that the Baltimore Orioles would improve after their eighth straight losing season.

Several weeks later, Tejada reiterated his complaints with the Orioles' lack of action and demanded to be traded, sparking immediate rumors of a trade to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher Matt Clement and outfielder Manny Ramírez. Tejada stated that he wants a "good group that helps me to win" and commented briefly on his alleged non-involvement in Palmeiro's steroid scandal.

Rumors went around in early 2006 that Tejada might be traded to the Red Sox or Cubs. But on January 7, 2006, Tejada stated his intent to remain with Baltimore for "the rest of career." This statement was made to Orioles Vice President Jim Duquette in a meeting arranged by mutual friend and teammate Melvin Mora. It was reported that Tejada was claimed by the Chicago White Sox off trade waivers, but the two teams did not make a deal for Tejada to go to Chicago.

On December 12, 2007, Tejada was dealt to the Houston Astros for five players, including SP Troy Patton, OF Luke Scott, Rp Dennis Sarfate and RP/SP Matt Albers.. The Astros then opted against the renewal of shortstop, Adam Everett's contract, ensuring Tejada's place and role on the team. He continued to wear number 10, as he had in Baltimore.

Tejada scored his 1000th career run on July 7, 2008 at PNC Park. In the 2008 All-Star Game Tejada singled leading off the top of the eighth stole second with one out and advanced to third on a throwing error and scored on Padres' first baseman Adrian Gonzalez's sacrifice fly.

On September 22, 2005, ESPN reported that Rafael Palmeiro, who had tested positive for steroids and was suspended for 10 games under Major League Baseball's steroid policy, implicated Tejada to baseball's arbitration panel, suggesting that a supplement given to him by Tejada was responsible for the steroid entering his system. Tejada has denied the allegations, saying that the only thing he gave Palmeiro was vitamin B-12, a completely legal substance under current MLB policy.

In José Canseco's 2005 book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big, he mentions that he believes Tejada might have taken steroids. He claims to have spoken to him about them and the next season seeing him at spring training looking more defined. He never claims to have injected him with them, like he did with Palmeiro, McGwire and other ballplayers.

On September 30, 2006 the Los Angeles Times reported that former relief pitcher Jason Grimsley, during a June 6, 2006 federal raid, told federal agents investigating steroids in baseball named Tejada as a user of "anabolic steroids." The Times reported that Tejada was one of five names blacked out in an affidavit filed in federal court. However, on October 3, 2006, the Washington Post reported that San Francisco United States attorney Kevin Ryan said that the Los Angeles Times report contained "significant inaccuracies." Tejada, along with the other four players named, has denounced the story.

A report surfaced on January 15, 2008 stating that Rep. Henry Waxman had asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Tejada was truthful when speaking to the House committee when being interviewed in 2005 regarding possible connections to Rafael Palmeiro.

Despite all the allegations of steroids and HGH usage, Tejada was named to the 2008 National League All-Star team.

On February 10, 2009, Tejada was charged with lying to Congress about performance enhancing drug usage in Major League Baseball. On February 11, Tejada pleaded guilty to charges that he lied to Congress in 2005. He faces up to one year in federal prison and deportation.

On April 17, 2008, Tejada was confronted by an ESPN reporter during an interview who revealed that Tejada had been lying about his age ever since he first signed a Major League Baseball contract in 1993. Tejada had claimed to have been born in 1976 when a Dominican birth certificate showed that he was born in 1974. That birth certificate also shows the spelling of his surname as "Tejeda" rather than "Tejada". Tejada stormed off the set, effectively ending the interview.

During the MLB offseason, Tejada resides in the Dominican Republic with his wife, Alessandra, his daughter, Alexa, and his son, Miguel Jr. He also plays for the Aguilas Cibaenas, Dominican Winter League team during the MLB offseason.

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Baltimore Orioles

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The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League (AL). Since 1992, the Orioles have played its home games at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The "Orioles" name refers to the official state bird of Maryland. Nicknames for the team include the O's and the Birds.

One of the American League's eight charter franchises, it was established as a major league club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1901. The Milwaukee Brewers moved to St. Louis in 1902 and became the St. Louis Browns. After spending 52 years in St. Louis, the Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954 and adopted the Orioles name which had been used previously by various Baltimore baseball clubs.

The modern Orioles franchise can trace its roots back to the original Milwaukee Brewers of the minor Western League, beginning in 1894 when the league reorganized. The Brewers were there when the WL renamed itself the American League in 1900.

At the end of the 1900 season, the American League removed itself from baseball's National Agreement (the formal understanding between the NL and the minor leagues). Two months later, the AL declared itself a competing major league. As a result of several franchise shifts, the Brewers were one of only two Western League teams that didn't either fold or move (the other being the Detroit Tigers). During the first American League season in 1901, they finished last (8th place) with a record of 48–89. During its lone Major League season, the team played at Lloyd Street Grounds, between 16th and 18th Streets in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In 1902, however, the team did move to St. Louis, where it became the "Browns", in reference to the original name of the 1880s club that by 1900 was known as the Cardinals. They even built a new park on the site of the old Browns' former home, Sportsman's Park. In their first St. Louis season, the Browns finished second. Although the Browns usually fielded terrible or mediocre teams (they had only four winning seasons from 1902 to 1922), they were very popular at the gate during their first two decades in St. Louis, and trounced the Cardinals in attendance. In 1909, the Browns rebuilt Sportsman's Park as the third concrete-and-steel park in the majors.

During this time, the Browns were best-known for their role in the race for the 1910 American League batting title. Ty Cobb took the last game of the season off, believing that his slight lead over Nap Lajoie would hold up unless Lajoie had a near-perfect day at the plate. However, Cobb was one of the most despised players in baseball, and Browns catcher-manager Jack O'Connor ordered third baseman Red Corriden to station himself in shallow left field. Lajoie bunted five straight times down the third base line and made it to first easily. On his last at-bat, Lajoie reached base on an error – officially giving him a hitless at-bat. O'Connor and coach Harry Howell tried to bribe the official scorer, a woman, to change the call to a hit – even offering to buy her a new wardrobe. Cobb won the batting title by just a few thousandths of a point over Lajoie (though it later emerged that one game may have been counted twice in the statistics). The resulting outcry triggered an investigation by American League president Ban Johnson. At his insistence, Browns owner Robert Lee Hedges fired O'Connor and Howell; both men were informally banned from baseball for life.

In 1916, Hedges sold the Browns to Philip DeCatesby Ball, who owned the St. Louis Terriers in the by-then-defunct Federal League. Four years later, Ball allowed the Cardinals to move out of dilapidated Robison Field and share Sportsman's Park with the Browns. This move was one of many that eventually doomed the Browns; Cardinals owner Sam Breadon and general manager Branch Rickey (a former Browns manager) used the proceeds from the Robison Field sale to build baseball's first modern farm system. This effort eventually produced several star players that brought the Cardinals more drawing power than the Browns.

The 1922 Browns excited their owner by almost beating the Yankees to a pennant. The club was boasting the best players in franchise history, including future Hall of Famer George Sisler and an outfield trio of Ken Williams, Baby Doll Jacobson, and Jack Tobin that batted .300 or better from 1919–23 and in 1925. In 1922, Williams became the first player in Major League history to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a season, something that would not be done again in the Majors until 1956.

Ball confidently predicted that there would be a World Series in Sportsman's Park by 1926. In anticipation, he increased the capacity of his ballpark from 18,000 to 30,000. Ball was right, as there was a World Series in Sportsman's Park in 1926 – the Cardinals upset the Yankees. St. Louis had been considered a "Browns town" until then; after their 1926 series victory, however, the Cardinals dominated St. Louis baseball while still technically tenants of the Browns. Meanwhile, the Browns rapidly fell into the cellar.

During the war, the Browns won their only St. Louis-based American League pennant, in 1944. Some critics called it a fluke, as most major league stars voluntarily joined or were drafted into the military; however, many of the Browns' best players were classified 4-F: unfit for military service. They faced their local rivals, the incredibly successful Cardinals, in the 1944 World Series, the last World Series to date played entirely in one stadium. However, they lost the series in six games.

In 1945, the Browns posted an 81–75 record and fell to third place, 6 games out, again with less than top-ranked talent. The 1945 season may be best remembered for the Browns' signing of utility outfielder Pete Gray, the only one-armed major league position player in history. 1945 proved to be the Browns' last hurrah; they would never have another winning season in St. Louis. In fact, 1944 and 1945 were two of only eight winning seasons they enjoyed in the 31 years after nearly winning the pennant in 1922.

In 1951, Bill Veeck, the colorful former owner of the Cleveland Indians, purchased the Browns. In St. Louis, he extended the promotions and wild antics that had made him famous and loved by many and loathed by many others. His most notorious stunt in St. Louis came on August 19, 1951, when he sent Eddie Gaedel, a 3-foot 7-inch, 65-pound midget, to bat as a pinch hitter. When Gaedel stepped to the plate he was wearing a Browns uniform with the number 1/8, and little slippers turned up at the end like elf's shoes. With no strike zone to speak of, Gaedel walked on four straight pitches, as he was ordered to not swing at any pitch. The stunt infuriated American League President Will Harridge, who voided Gaedel's contract the next day.

After the 1951 season, Veeck made Ned Garver the highest-paid member of the Browns. Garver remains the last pitcher to win 20 games for a team that lost 100 games in a season. He was the second pitcher in history to accomplish the feat.

Veeck also brought Satchel Paige back to major league baseball to pitch for the Browns. Veeck had previously signed the former Negro League great to a contract in Cleveland in 1948 at age 42, amid much criticism. At 45, Paige's re-appearance in a Browns uniform did nothing to win Veeck friends among baseball's owners. Nonetheless, Paige ended the season with a respectable 3–4 record and a 4.79 ERA.

Veeck believed that St. Louis was too small for two franchises and planned to drive the Cardinals out of town. He signed many of the Cardinals' most popular ex-players and, as a result, brought many of the Cards' fans in to see the Browns. Notably, Veeck inked former Cardinals great Dizzy Dean to a broadcasting contract and tapped Rogers Hornsby as manager. He also re-acquired former Browns fan favorite Vern Stephens and signed former Cardinals pitcher Harry Brecheen, both of whom had starred in the all-St. Louis World Series in 1944. Veeck also stripped Sportsman's Park of any Cardinals material and dressed it exclusively in Browns memorabilia, even moving his family to an apartment under the stands. Although the Browns fielded hideous teams during this time, Veeck's showmanship and colorful promotions made attendance at Browns games more fun and unpredictable than the conservative Cardinals were willing to offer.

Veeck's all-out assault on the Cardinals came during a downturn in the Cardinals' fortunes after Rickey left them for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1942. Indeed, when Cardinals' owner Fred Saigh was convicted of massive tax evasion late in 1952, it looked almost certain that the Cardinals were leaving town, as most of the top bids came from non-St. Louis interests. However, Saigh accepted a much lower bid from Anheuser-Busch, whose president August Busch, Jr. immediately announced that he had no intention of moving the Cardinals. Veeck quickly realized the Cardinals now had more resources than he could ever hope to match and decided to move the Browns.

Veeck attempted to move the Browns back to Milwaukee (where he had owned the Brewers of the American Association in the 1940s), but the move was blocked by the other American League owners, seemingly for reasons that were more personal than business-related. An undaunted Veeck then tried to move the Browns to Baltimore, but was again rebuffed by the owners, still seething at the publicity stunts he had pulled at Browns home games. Meanwhile, Sportsman's Park had slipped into disrepair, and Veeck was forced to sell it to the Cardinals since he could not afford to make the necessary improvements to bring it up to code. With his only leverage gone and facing threats of the liquidation of his franchise, Veeck was all but forced to sell the Browns to a group of Baltimore-based investors led by attorney Clarence Miles. With Veeck "out of the way," the American League owners quickly approved the relocation of the team to Baltimore for the 1954 season on September 29, 1953. Miles became the franchise's chairman of the board and president.

Unlike other clubs that had relocated in the 1950s, retaining their nickname and a sense of continuity with their past (such as the Brooklyn-Los Angeles Dodgers, New York-San Francisco Giants, Boston-Milwaukee Braves, and Philadelphia-Kansas City Athletics), the St. Louis Browns were renamed the Baltimore Orioles upon their transfer, implicitly distancing themselves at least somewhat from their history. In December 1954, the Orioles further distanced themselves from their Browns past by making a 17-player trade with the New York Yankees that included most former Browns of note still on the Baltimore roster. Though the deal did little to improve the short-term competitiveness of the club, it helped establish a fresh identity for the Orioles franchise. Indeed, to this day, the Orioles make almost no mention of their past as the Browns.

The Orioles finally cut the last ties to the Browns era in August 1979. In 1936, the Browns sold 20,000 shares of stock to the public at $5 a share--an unusual practice for a sports franchise even today. In 1979, new owner Edward Bennett Williams bought back those shares, making the franchise privately held once again. Although the buyout price is not known, it is assumed that given the Orioles' prosperity over their then 25 years in Baltimore, the owners made a handsome return on their investment.

Many older fans in St. Louis remember the Browns fondly, and some have formed societies to keep the memory of the team alive; also, it is not uncommon to see sporting goods stores in the St. Louis area stock Browns shirts and hats. The club was in St. Louis for 52 years. As of the 2006 season, the club had been in Baltimore longer than they were in St. Louis.

Believed to be the oldest former major leaguer, the Browns' Rollie Stiles, 100, died July 22, 2007 in St. Louis County.

As mentioned above, the Miles-Hofberger group renamed their new team the Baltimore Orioles soon after taking control of the franchise. The name has a rich history in Baltimore, having been used by Baltimore baseball teams since the late 19th century.

In the 1890s, a powerful and innovative National League Orioles squad included several future Hall of Famers, such as "Wee" Willie Keeler, Wilbert Robinson, Hughie Jennings, and John McGraw. They won three straight pennants, and participated in all four of the Temple Cup Championship Series, winning the last two of them. That team had started as a charter member of the American Association in 1882. Despite its on-field success, it was one of the four teams contracted out of existence by the National League after the 1899 season. Its best players (and its manager, Ned Hanlon) regrouped with the Brooklyn Dodgers, turning that team into a contender.

In 1901, Baltimore and McGraw were awarded an expansion franchise in the growing American League, but again the team was sacrificed in favor of a New York City franchise, as the team was transferred to the city in 1903. After some early struggles, that team eventually became baseball's most successful franchise - the New York Yankees.

As a member of the high-minor league level International League, the Orioles competed at what is now known as the AAA level from 1903–1953. Baltimore's own Babe Ruth pitched for the Orioles before being sold to the AL Boston Red Sox in 1914. The Orioles of the IL won nine league championships, first in 1908, followed by a lengthy run from 1919 to 1925, and then dramatically in 1944, after they had lost their home field Oriole Park in a disastrous mid-season fire. The huge post-season crowds at their temporary home, Municipal Stadium, caught the attention of the big league brass and helped open the door to the return of major league baseball to Baltimore. Thanks to the big stadium, that "Junior World Series" easily outdrew the major league World Series which, coincidentally, included the team that would move to Baltimore 10 years later and take up occupancy in the rebuilt version of that big stadium.

After starting the 1954 campaign with a two-game split against the Tigers in Detroit, the Orioles returned to Baltimore on April 15 to a welcoming parade that wound through the streets of downtown, with an estimated 350,000 spectators lining the route. In its first-ever home opener at Memorial Stadium later in the afternoon, they treated a sellout crowd of 46,354 to a 3–1 victory over the Chicago White Sox. The remainder of the season wouldn't be as pleasant, with the team enduring 100 losses while avoiding the AL cellar by only three games. With fellow investors both frustrated with his domination of the franchise's business operations and dissatisfied with yet another seventh place finish, Clarence Miles resigned in early November, 1955. Real estate developer James Keelty Jr. succeeded him as president with investment banker Joseph Iglehart the new board chairman.

The seeds of long-term success were planted on September 14, 1954 when the Orioles hired Paul Richards to become the ballclub's manager and general manager. He laid the foundation for what would years later be called the Oriole Way. The instruction of baseball fundamentals became uniform in every detail between all classes within the organization. Players were patiently refined until fundamentally sound instead of being hastily advanced to the next level.

For the remainder of the 1950s, the Orioles crawled up the standings, reaching as high as fifth place with a 76–76 record in 1957. Richards succeeded in stocking the franchise with a plethora of young talent which included Dave Nicholson, Pete Ward, Ron Hansen (1960 AL Rookie of the Year), Milt Pappas, Jerry Adair, Steve Barber (20 wins in 1963), Boog Powell, Dave McNally and Brooks Robinson. Unfortunately, Richards also had the tendency to recklessly spend money on individuals with dubious baseball skills. This became a major problem as bidding wars between the ballclubs to land the best amateur players escalated signing bonuses.

The solution came on November 5, 1958 when Lee MacPhail was appointed general manager, allowing Richards to focus on his managerial duties. MacPhail added much needed discipline to the scouting staff by establishing crosscheckers who thoroughly evaluated young hopefuls to determine whether they were worthy of being tendered a contract. He also accepted the title of president after Keelty resigned in mid-December, 1959.

One month prior to the end of the 1961 season, Richards resigned as the team's skipper to become the general manager of the expansion Houston Colt 45s. A year earlier, he succeeded in establishing the Orioles as a legitimate contender when they stood atop the AL standings as late as early September before finishing in second place at 89–65.

In 1964, the Birds, piloted by Hank Bauer in his first year of managing the ballclub, were involved in a tight pennant race against the Yankees and White Sox. They ended up in third with a 97–65 record, only two games out. It was generally regarded that they would've advanced to the Fall Classic had it not been for a minor wrist injury that sidelined Powell for two weeks in late August. Nevertheless, Robinson enjoyed a breakout season with a league-high 118 runs batted in (RBI) and winning the AL Most Valuable Player Award.

CBS' purchase of a majority stake in the Yankees on September 9 of that same year resulted in a change to the ownership situation in Baltimore. Iglehart, the Orioles' largest shareholder at 32% and owner of a sizable amount of CBS stock, straightened out his conflict of interest issues on May 25, 1965 by selling his 64,000 shares in the ballclub to the National Brewing Company, an original team investor which finally had controlling interest at 65%. Brewery president Jerold Hoffberger became the Orioles' new chairman of the board.

With the benefit of a deep talent pool and superior scouts, the franchise continued to make improvements at the major league level. Three months before the start of the 1963 season, the Orioles stabilized its infield by acquiring Luis Aparicio in a transaction that involved sending a trio of homegrown players (Hansen, Nicholson and Ward) to the White Sox. They also scoured the minor leagues for selections in the Rule 5 draft (Paul Blair from the Mets in 1962, Moe Drabowsky from the Cardinals in 1965) and claims off waivers (Curt Blefary, 1965 AL Rookie of the Year, from the Yankees in 1963).

On December 9, 1965, the Orioles traded pitcher Milt Pappas (and several others) to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for slugging outfielder Frank Robinson. The following year, Robinson won the American League Most Valuable Player award, thus becoming the first (and so far only) man to win the MVP in each league (Robinson won the NL MVP in 1961, leading the Reds to the pennant). In addition to winning the 1966 MVP, Robinson also won the Triple Crown (leading the American League in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in.) The Orioles won their first ever American League championship in 1966, and in a major upset, swept the World Series by out-dueling the Los Angeles Dodgers aces Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. The only home run ball ever hit completely out of Memorial Stadium was slugged by Robinson on Mother's Day in 1966, off Cleveland Indians pitcher Luis Tiant. It cleared the left field single-deck portion of the grandstand. A flag was later erected near the spot the ball cleared the back wall, with simply the word "HERE" upon it. The flag is now in the Baltimore Orioles museum.

In the 1960s, the Orioles farm system produced a number of high quality players and coaches and laid the foundation for two decades of on-field success. This period included 18 consecutive winning seasons (1968–1985)-- an unprecedented run of success which saw the Orioles become the envy of the league, and the winningest team in baseball.

From 1966 to 1983, the Orioles would play baseball the Oriole Way, an organizational ethic best described by longtime farm hand and coach Cal Ripken, Sr.'s phrase "perfect practice makes perfect!" The Oriole Way was a belief that hard work, professionalism, and a strong understanding of fundamentals were the keys to success at the major league level. It was based on the belief that if every coach, at every level, taught the game the same way, the organization could produce "replacement parts" that could be substituted seamlessly into the big league club with little or no adjustment.

It began in 1966 after the Robinson for Pappas deal as Robinson won the Triple Crown Award. His Orioles would easily sweep the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1966 World Series. After a mediocre 1967 season, Hank Bauer would be replaced by Earl Weaver halfway into 1968. The Orioles would finish 2nd in the American League. This would only be a prelude to 1969 where the Orioles won 109 games and easily won the newly-created American League East division title. Mike Cuellar would share the Cy Young Award with Detroit's Denny McLain. After sweeping Minnesota, Baltimore would be shocked by losing to the New York Mets in a five-game World Series. The next year, Boog Powell won the MVP and the Orioles won another 108 games. After sweeping the Twins once again, the Orioles would win another World Series by defeating the Cincinnati Reds' Big Red Machine. This was in part to Brooks Robinson's amazing defense.

In 1971, the Orioles won another division title thanks to having four 20-game winners on their pitching staff (Cuellar, Jim Palmer, Pat Dobson, and Dave McNally). After defeating the young Oakland A's in the ALCS, the Orioles would lose a heartbreaking seven-game World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Orioles would miss the playoffs in 1972, but rebounded to win the division in 1973 and 1974. Each time, they would lose to Oakland in the ALCS. During this stretch, the Orioles began to phase out their veteran infield by replacing Davey Johnson and Brooks Robinson with younger stars Bobby Grich and Doug DeCinces, respectively. Johnson would be dealt along with Johnny Oates to the Atlanta Braves for catcher Earl Williams. Although Williams would hit 63 home runs in two seasons with Atlanta, he would only hit 36 homers in two seasons with the Orioles.

In 1975, Jim Palmer won the Cy Young Award, but the Orioles lost the division title to the Boston Red Sox and their mega-rookies Fred Lynn and Jim Rice. The 1976 brought Reggie Jackson, Ken Holtzman, and Lee May from trades with Oakland and Houston, but the Orioles only won 83 games. It was this season when the Orioles made a trade that brought them players such as Tippy Martinez and Rick Dempsey. This young foundation, along with the departures of the unhappy Jackson and Holtzman, would create the basis for 1977. The "No Name Orioles," along with Rookie of the Year Eddie Murray would win 97 games and finish tied for second place with Boston. After finishing fourth in 1978, the Orioles finally won the division in 1979 thanks to strong play from Ken Singleton and Cy Young Winner Mike Flanagan. The Orioles defeated the Angels in the ALCS, but they lost to Pittsburgh in another stunning World Series. This would start a period of heartbreak for Baltimore.

The Orioles would win 100 games in 1980 thanks to Cy Young Winner Steve Stone, but the Yankees won 103 games. Although Baltimore had the best overall record in the AL East in 1981, they finished second in each half. As a result, they were out of the playoffs. 1982 had Baltimore eliminated on the final weekend of the season when the Milwaukee Brewers defeated them. Earl Weaver retired and Joe Altobelli took over for 1983. Altobelli would lead the Orioles to 98 games and a division title thanks to MVP Cal Ripken, Jr.. The Orioles defeated the Chicago White Sox in the ALCS thanks to a 10th inning homer by Tito Landrum in the deciding game. The Orioles would once again win the World Series in 5 games by defeating the Philadelphia Phillies.

During this stretch, three different Orioles were named Most Valuable Player (Frank Robinson in 1966; Boog Powell in 1970; and Cal Ripken, Jr. in 1983). The pitching staff was phenomenal, with four pitchers winning six Cy Young Awards (Mike Cuellar in 1969; Jim Palmer in 1973, 1975, and 1976; Mike Flanagan in 1979; and Steve Stone in 1980). In 1971, the team's four starting pitchers, McNally, Cuellar, Palmer, and Pat Dobson, all won 20 games, a feat that has not been replicated since. In that year, the Birds went on to post a 101–61 record for their third straight AL East title. Also during this stretch three players were named rookies of the year: Al Bumbry (1973), Eddie Murray (1977), Cal Ripken Jr. (1982).

After winning the 1983 World Series, the Orioles would spend the next five years in steady decline, finishing 1986 in last place for the first time since the franchise moved to Baltimore. The team reached its nadir in 1988 when it started the season 0–21, en route to 107 losses and the worst record in the majors. The Orioles would surprise the baseball world the following year by spending most of the summer in first place until September when the Toronto Blue Jays overtook them and seized the A.L. East title on the penultimate game of the regular season. The next two years were spent below the .500 mark, highlighted only by Cal Ripken, Jr. winning his second A.L. MVP Award in 1991. The Orioles also bade farewell to Memorial Stadium, its home for 38 years, at the end of the 1991 campaign.

Opening to huge fanfare in 1992, Oriole Park at Camden Yards was an instant success, spawning other retro-designed major league ballparks within the next two decades. It was where the 1993 All-Star Game was played. The Orioles returned to contention in those first two seasons at Camden Yards, only to finish in third place both times. Also in 1993, with then-owner Eli Jacobs forced to divest himself of the franchise, Baltimore-based attorney Peter Angelos was awarded the Orioles in bankruptcy court, returning the team to local ownership for the first time since 1979.

After the 1993 season, the Orioles acquired first baseman Rafael Palmeiro from the Texas Rangers. The Orioles, who spent all of 1994 chasing the New York Yankees, occupied second place in the new five-team A.L. East when the players strike, which began on August 11, forced the eventual cancellation of the season.

The labor impasse would continue into the spring of 1995. Almost all of the major league clubs held spring training using replacement players, with the intention of beginning the season with them. The Orioles, whose owner was a labor union lawyer, were the lone dissenters against creating an ersatz team, choosing instead to sit out spring training and possibly the entire season. Had they fielded a substitute team, Cal Ripken, Jr.'s consecutive games streak would have been jeopardized. The replacements questions became moot when the strike was finally settled.

The Ripken countdown resumed once the season began. He finally broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak of 2,130 games in a nationally televised game on September 6. This was later voted the all-time baseball moment of the 20th Century by fans from around the country in 1999. Ripken would finish with 2,632 straight games, finally sitting on September 20, 1998 against the Yankees at Camden Yards.

The Orioles finished two games under .500 in third place in Phil Regan's only season of managing the ballclub.

Before the 1996 season, Angelos hired Pat Gillick as the Orioles' general manager. Given the green light by his boss to spend heavily on established talent, Gillick signed several premium players like B.J. Surhoff, Randy Myers, David Wells and Roberto Alomar. Under new manager Davey Johnson and on the strength of a then-major league record 257 home runs in a single season, the Orioles returned to the playoffs after a twelve-year absence by clinching the A.L. wild card berth. Alomar set off a firestorm in September when he spat into home plate umpire John Hirschbeck's face during an argument in Toronto. He was later suspended for the first five games of the 1997 season, even though most wanted him banned from the postseason. After dethroning the defending A.L. Champion Cleveland Indians 3-1 in the Division Series, the Orioles fell to the Yankees 4-1 in an ALCS infamous for right field umpire Rich Garcia's failure to call fan interference in Game 1.

The Orioles went "wire-to-wire" (first place from start to finish) in winning the A.L. East title in 1997. After eliminating the Seattle Mariners 3-1 in the Division Series, the team lost again in the ALCS, this time to the underdog Indians 4-2, with each Oriole loss by only a run. Johnson resigned as manager after the season, largely due to a spat between him and Angelos concerning Alomar's fine for missing a team function being donated to Johnson's wife's charity. Pitching coach Ray Miller replaced Johnson.

With Miller at the helm, the Orioles found themselves not only out of the playoffs, but also with a losing season. When Gillick's contract expired in 1998, it was not renewed. Angelos brought in Frank Wren to take over as GM. The Orioles added volatile slugger Albert Belle, but the team's woes continued in the 1999 season, with stars like Rafael Palmeiro, Roberto Alomar, and Eric Davis leaving in free agency. After a second straight losing season, Angelos fired both Miller and Wren. He named Syd Thrift the new GM and brought in former Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove.

In a rare event on March 28, 1999, the Orioles staged an exhibition game against the Cuban national team in Havana. The Orioles won the game 3–2 in 11 innings. They were the first Major League team to play in Cuba since 1959, when the Los Angeles Dodgers faced the Orioles in an exhibition. The game was part of a two-game series, where the Cuban team visited Baltimore in May 1999. Cuba won the second game 10–6.

Going into the 2009 season, the Orioles have had eleven consecutive sub–.500 seasons, due to the combination of lackluster play, constant turnover in the club's front office, and the ascent of the Yankees and Red Sox to the top of the game – each rival having a clear advantage in financial flexibility due to their larger media market size. Further complicating the situation for the Orioles was the relocation of the Montreal Expos franchise to nearby Washington, D.C.. The new Washington Nationals threatened to carve into the Orioles fan base and television dollars. Fortunately for the Orioles, Peter Angelos owns MASN, which hosts all of the Nationals television games, effectively combining two teams' television revenue to support the Orioles. There is some hope that having competition in the larger Baltimore–Washington metro market will spur the Orioles to field a better product to compete for fans with the Nationals. However, neither organization has fielded a team that finished over .500 since the Nationals arrival in 2005.

In an effort to right the Orioles sinking ship, big changes began to sweep through the organization in 2003. General manager Syd Thrift was fired and to replace him, the Orioles hired Jim Beattie as the Executive Vice President and Mike Flanagan as the Vice President of Baseball Operations. After another losing season, manager Mike Hargrove was not retained and Yankees coach Lee Mazzilli was brought in as the new manager. The team signed powerful hitters in SS Miguel Tejada, C Javy López, and former Oriole 1B Rafael Palmeiro. The following season, the Orioles traded for OF Sammy Sosa.

The 2005 season may go down as one of the most controversial and strangest in the Orioles' history. The team got hot early and jumped out in front of the AL East division, holding onto first place for 62 straight days. However, turmoil on and off the field began to take its toll as the Orioles started struggling around the All-Star break, dropping them close to the surging Yankees and Red Sox. Injuries to Lopez, Sosa, Luis Matos, Brian Roberts, and Larry Bigbie came within weeks of each other, and the team grew increasingly dissatisfied with the "band-aid" moves of the front office and manager Mazzilli to help them through this period of struggle. Various minor league players such as Single-A Frederick OF Jeff Fiorentino were brought up in place of more experienced players such as OF David Newhan (son of a hall-of-fame baseball writer), who batted .311 the previous season.

In March 2005, Rafael Palmeiro testified in front of the United States Congress and clearly denied any allegations that he used steroids. On July 15, 2005, he collected his 3,000th hit in Seattle and became only the 4th person in Major League Basebell to amass 500 HR's and 3,000 hits (the others being Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Eddie Murray). But 15 days later (July 30) he was suspended for a violation of MLB's drug policy, after testing positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol. The Orioles continued tumbling, falling out of first place and further down the AL East standings. This downfall cost Mazzilli his managerial job in early August, allowing bench coach and 2003 managerial candidate Sam Perlozzo to take over as interim manager and lead the team to a 23–32 finish. The Orioles called up Dave Cash from the Ottawa Lynx to serve as the team's first base coach.

After starting the season 42–28 (.600), the Orioles finished just 32–60 (.348). Only the Kansas City Royals (.346) had a worse winning percentage for the season than did the once first place Orioles for those final 92 games. The club's major offseason acquisition, Sammy Sosa, posted his worst performance in a decade, with 14 home runs and a paltry .221 batting average. The Orioles did not attempt to re-sign him, considering his exorbitant salary and his miserable performance. The Orioles also allowed Palmeiro to file for free agency and publicly stated they would not re-sign him. On August 25, pitcher Sidney Ponson was arrested for DUI and on September 1, the Orioles moved to void his contract (on a morals clause) and released him. The Major League Baseball Players Association filed a grievance on Ponson's behalf and the case was sent to arbitration and was eventually resolved.

The Orioles finished the up and down 2006 season with a record of 70 wins and 92 losses, 27 games behind the AL East leading Yankees.

On June 18, 2007, the Orioles fired Sam Perlozzo after losing 8 straight games. He was then replaced on interim basis by Dave Trembley. On June 22, Miguel Tejada's consecutive-games streak came to an end due to an injury. This is the 5th longest such streak in major league history. A minor highlight came on June 29 against the Angels. Aubrey Huff recorded his 1000th hit, 200th double, and became the first Oriole to hit for the cycle at home. He joins Brooks Robinson (1960) and Cal Ripken (1984) as the third Oriole to hit for the cycle in team history. On July 7, Erik Bedard struck out 15 batters in a game against the Texas Rangers tying a franchise record held by Mike Mussina. On July 31, 2007, Andy MacPhail, President of Baseball Operations named Dave Trembley as the Orioles Manager through the remainder of the 2007 season, and advised him to "Keep up the good work." Facing the Texas Rangers at Camden Yards on August 22, a team which had suffered 19 strikeouts at the hands of Minnesota Twins pitching three days earlier, the Orioles surrendered 30 runs--a modern era record for a single game--in a 30–3 defeat. The Orioles led in that game 3–0 after three innings of play. Sixteen of Texas' 30 runs were scored in the final two innings.

The Orioles began the 2008 season in a rebuilding mode under GM Andy MacPhail. The rebuilding phase began as the Orioles traded away star players Miguel Tejada to the Astros and ace Erik Bedard to the Seattle Mariners for prized prospect Adam Jones, lefty reliever George Sherrill, and minor league pitchers Kameron Mickolio, Chris Tillman, and Tony Butler. Respectively, baseball analysts across the country wrote off the Orioles as a team likely to finish last in the A.L. East. The Orioles started off the first couple weeks of the season very well near the top of their division as players such as Nick Markakis and newcomer Luke Scott led the team offensively. Although the Orioles were able to stay competitive for most of the season hovering around .500, they had fallen back by September and were over 20 games back from the first place Rays. They would finish the season losing 11 of their final 12 games and 28 of their final 34. Their final record of 68–93 (.422) would mark the 2nd worst of their 11th consecutive losing season. The team once known as the "Landlords of Fourth Place" finished in dead last for the first time since their infamous 1988 season. After the season ended, the Orioles showcased altered uniforms, with a circular 'Maryland' patch added to the right hand sleeve of all jerseys and the grey road jerseys displaying Baltimore across the chest for the first time since 1972.

Since its introduction at games by the "Roar from 34," led by Wild Bill Hagy and others, in the late 1970s, it has been a tradition at Orioles games for fans to yell out the "Oh" in the line "Oh, say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave" in the "The Star-Spangled Banner." "The Star-Spangled Banner" has special meaning to Baltimore historically, as it was written during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812 by Francis Scott Key, a Baltimorean. "O" is not only short for "Oriole," but the vowel is also a stand-out aspect of the Baltimorean accent. This tradition is also carried out during the Orioles' spring training home games in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The practice carries on to this day, although not with the zest of years gone by. Sentiment for the tradition has dwindled partly due to supposed patriotic concerns, and also because the Orioles' results are less a source of hometown pride than they were when the tradition was started in the 1970s.

The tradition is often carried out at other sporting events, both professional or amateur, and even sometimes at non-sporting events where the anthem is played, throughout the Baltimore/Washington area and beyond, notably at Baltimore Ravens, Georgetown Hoyas, Maryland Terrapins, and Aberdeen Ironbirds games. Fans in Norfolk, VA chanted "O!" even before the Tides became an Orioles affiliate. "O!" has also been shouted during the anthem at Washington Redskins and Washington Capitals home games. The "O" Shout has traveled from across the DC Metro Area, from the snowy hills in Frostburg to the warm shores of Salisbury, Md. Washintonians that traveled to college kept their Orioles spirit from Kansas State, Michigan, and Central Florida. The practice caught some attention in the spring of 2005, when some fans performed the "O!" cry at Washington Nationals games at RFK Stadium. At Cal Ripken, Jr.'s induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the crowd, mostly of Orioles fans, carried out the "O!" tradition during Tony Gwynn's daughter's rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner.

It has been an Orioles tradition since 1975 to play John Denver's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" during the seventh inning stretch.

In the July 5, 2007 edition of Baltimore's weekly sports publication Press Box, an article by Mike Gibbons covered the details of how this tradition came to be.

Some songs from special events include "One Moment in Time" for Cal Ripken's record-breaking game. For his last game, the theme from Pearl Harbor, "There You'll Be" by Faith Hill, was featured. The theme from Field of Dreams was played at the Last Game at Memorial Stadium in 1991, and the song "Magic to Do" from the stage musical Pippin was used that season to commemorate "Orioles Magic" on 33rd Street. During their heyday in the 1970s, a club song, appropriately titled "Orioles Magic", was composed, and played when the team ran out until Opening Day of 2008. Starting the following game, the song (a favorite among many fans, who appreciated its references to Wild Bill Hagy and Earl Weaver) was only played (along with a video featuring several Orioles stars performing the song) after wins.

In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, the Orioles contributed more players than any other major league team, with eleven players suiting up for their home nations. Erik Bedard and Adam Loewen pitched for Canada; Rodrigo López and Geronimo Gil (released before the season began by the club) played for Mexico; Daniel Cabrera and Miguel Tejada for the Dominican Republic; Javy López and Luis Matos for Puerto Rico; Bruce Chen for Panama; Ramon Hernandez for Venezuela; and John Stephens for Australia.

Orioles games are broadcast on a 20-station radio network in Maryland and nearby states, anchored by flagship station WJZ-FM (105.7 MHz). Fred Manfra, and Joe Angel alternate radio announcing duties.

As part of the settlement of a television broadcast rights dispute with Comcast SportsNet over the Washington Nationals, the Orioles severed their Comcast ties at the end of the 2006 season. All Orioles' games are now televised on the Orioles-controlled Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), with some games also airing locally on WJZ-TV (ch. 13). Longtime sportscaster Gary Thorne, who is also recognized for his work as a hockey announcer, is the current television announcer for the Orioles, Hall of Fame former Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer, former Orioles catcher Rick Dempsey, and former major leaguer Buck Martinez. Some MASN telecasts in conflict with Washington Nationals' game telecasts air on an alternate MASN2 feed. All Oriole games are televised, as their non-MASN games are televised by ESPN, FOX, or TBS.

Four former Oriole franchise radio announcers have received the Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting: Chuck Thompson (who was also the voice of the old NFL Baltimore Colts), Ernie Harwell, Herb Carneal and Harry Caray (as a St. Louis Browns announcer in the 1940s. ). Other former Baltimore announcers include ESPN's Jon Miller, FOX's Josh Lewin, the late Bill O'Donnell, and Baltimore radio veteran Tom Marr, who called the games during the "Oriole Magic" years on the old WFBR-AM (now WJZ). In 1991, the Orioles experimented with longtime TV writer/producer Ken Levine as a play-by-play broadcaster. Levine was best noted for his work on TV shows such as Cheers and M*A*S*H, but only lasted one season in the Orioles broadcast booth.

Other previous flagship radio stations include WBAL (1090 kHz AM) from 1987–2006, the now–defunct WFBR (1300 kHz AM) from 1979 through 1986, and a brief period with WCBM (680 kHz AM) for the 1987 season. Previous to 1979, WBAL had been the flagship station.

Former Oriole television broadcasters include: Thompson, Miller, former Baltimore Ravens broadcaster Scott Garceau, longtime versatile sportscaster Mel Proctor, former Cleveland Cavaliers broadcaster Michael Reghi, as well as former Oriole players including Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson, former pitcher Mike Flanagan, and former outfielder John Lowenstein.

Previous Baltimore television flagship stations have included: WMAR-TV (Channel 2) and WNUV-TV (Channel 54), as well as regional cable network Home Team Sports (HTS) which eventually evolved into Comcast SportsNet.

For 23 years, Rex Barney was the PA announcer for the Orioles. His voice became a fixture of both Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards, and his expression "Give that fan a contract," uttered whenever a fan caught a foul ball, was one of his trademarks – the other being his distinct "Thank Yooooou..." following every announcement (He was also known on occasion to say "Give that fan an error" after a dropped foul ball). Rex Barney died on August 12, 1997, and in his honor that night's game at Camden Yards was held without a public–address announcer.

Of the eight original American League teams, this franchise had once had the sparsest post-season record, and was the last of the eight to win the World Series, doing so in 1966 with its four–game sweep of the heavily favored Los Angeles Dodgers. When the Orioles were the St. Louis Browns, they played in only one World Series, the 1944 matchup against their Sportsman's Park tenants, the Cardinals. The 1966 season was the start of an era of some great Orioles teams, during which they were a frequent contender, including winning the 1966, 1970, and 1983 World Series.

Eddie Murray Jim Palmer Cal Ripken, Jr.

Note: Cal Ripken Sr.'s number 7 and Elrod Hendricks' number 44 have not been retired, but a moratorium has been placed on them and they have not been issued by the team since their deaths.

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John Smoltz

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John Andrew Smoltz (born May 15, 1967 in Warren, Michigan) is a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. He is best known for his prolific career of more than two decades with the Atlanta Braves, in which he garnered eight All-Star selections and received the Cy Young Award in 1996. Though predominantly known as a starting pitcher, Smoltz was converted to a reliever in 2001, following his recovery from Tommy John surgery, and spent four years as the team's closer before returning to a starting role. In 2002 he became only the second pitcher in history to have had both a 20-win season and a 50-save season (the other being Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley). He is the only pitcher in major league history to top both 200 wins and 150 saves. He became the 16th member of the 3,000 strikeout club on April 22, 2008 when he fanned Felipe Lopez of the Washington Nationals in the third inning in Atlanta.

Smoltz throws a four-seam fastball that has been clocked as high as 98 miles per hour, a strong, effective slider, and an 88–91 mph split-finger fastball that he uses as a strikeout pitch. He also mixes in a curveball and change-up on occasion, and in 1999, he began experimenting with both a knuckleball and a three-quarters delivery, though he rarely uses either in game situations today.

John Smoltz was an All-State baseball and basketball player at Waverly High School in Lansing, Michigan before the Detroit Tigers drafted him in the 22nd round of the 1985 amateur draft. He was the 574th selection of the draft.

Smoltz played first for the Lakeland Flying Tigers minor league team and then moved on to the Glens Falls Tigers in 1987. On August 12, 1987, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves. The 1987 Tigers were in a three-team race, chasing the Toronto Blue Jays for the AL East division lead. In need of pitching help, Detroit sent their 20-year-old prospect to the Braves for the 36-year-old veteran Doyle Alexander.

Smoltz made his Major League debut on July 23, 1988. He posted poor statistics in a dozen starts, but in 1989, Smoltz blossomed. In 29 starts, he recorded a 12–11 record and 2.94 ERA while pitching 208 innings and making the All-Star team. Teammate Tom Glavine also had his first good year in 1989, raising optimism about the future of Atlanta's pitching staff.

Smoltz began the 1991 season with a 2–11 record. He began seeing a sports psychologist, after which he closed out the season on a 12–2 pace, helping the Braves win a tight NL West race. His winning ways continued into the 1991 National League Championship Series. Smoltz won both his starts against the Pittsburgh Pirates, capped by a complete game shutout in the seventh game, propelling the Braves to their first World Series since moving to Atlanta in 1966. Smoltz had two no-decisions against the Minnesota Twins, with a 1.26 ERA. In the seventh and deciding game, he faced his former Detroit Tiger hero, Jack Morris. Both starters pitched shutout ball for seven innings, before Smoltz was removed from the 0–0 game in the eighth. Morris had eventually pitched a 10-inning complete game victory.

The next year, Smoltz won fifteen regular season games and was the MVP of the 1992 National League Championship Series, winning two games. He left the seventh game trailing, but ended up with a no-decision as the Braves mounted a dramatic ninth-inning comeback win. In the World Series that year, Smoltz started two of the six games in the series, with a no-decision in Game Two and a win with the Braves facing elimination in Game 5.

Before the 1993 season, the Braves signed renowned control pitcher Greg Maddux, completing what many consider to be the most accomplished starting trio ever assembled on a single Major League team. Smoltz again won fifteen games, but suffered his first postseason loss to the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS despite a 0.00 ERA.

Smoltz had a 6-10 record in the strike-shortened 1994 season, and during the break, had bone chips removed from his elbow. Returning as the Braves' #3 starter, he posted a 12–7 record in 1995. Smoltz had shaky postseason numbers, avoiding a decision despite a 6.60 ERA. But Smoltz and the Braves won their only World Series, thanks in great part to Maddux and Glavine, who had begun to overshadow Smoltz.

The following season, 1996, was Smoltz's best year as a professional. He went 24–8 with a 2.94 ERA and 276 strikeouts, including winning a franchise record fourteen straight decisions. He won the National League Cy Young with 26 of the 28 first-place votes. Smoltz's effectiveness in 1997 was only slightly less than his Cy Young season, but frugal run support limited him to a 15–12 record. Smoltz was also awarded a Silver Slugger Award for his batting.

Smoltz continued to post excellent statistics in 1998 and 1999, but he was spending significant time on the disabled list and missed about a fourth of his starts. In 1999, Smoltz began experimenting with both a knuckleball and a three-quarters delivery, though he rarely uses either in game situations today.

He underwent Tommy John surgery prior to the 2000 season, missing the entire year. When he was unable to perform effectively as a starter in 2001, Smoltz made a transition to the bullpen, filling a void as Atlanta's closer down the stretch.

In 2002, his first full season as a closer, Smoltz broke the National League saves record with 55 saves (the previous record was 53; Éric Gagné would equal Smoltz's new record a year later). Smoltz finished third in the Cy Young Award voting. Injuries limited Smoltz slightly in 2003, but he still recorded 45 saves with a 1.12 ERA in 64.3 innings pitched. In 2004, Smoltz finished with 44 saves, but was frustrated with his inability to make an impact as a closer during another Braves' postseason loss.

By this point, Smoltz was all that remained of the once-dominant Atlanta Braves' rotation of the 1990s. Tom Glavine had moved on to play for the New York Mets, a divisional rival, while Greg Maddux returned to his old team, the Chicago Cubs.

After three years as one of baseball's most dominating closers, the team's management agreed to return Smoltz to the starting rotation prior to the 2005 season.

Smoltz's renewed career as a starter began inauspiciously. He allowed six earned runs in only 1 2/3 innings — matching the shortest starts of his career--as the Braves were blown out on Opening Day by the Florida Marlins. Poor run support contributed to an 0–3 start despite stronger pitching performances by Smoltz. After these initial difficulties, though, things fell into place. At the All-Star break, Smoltz was 9–5 with an ERA of 2.68 and was chosen for the 2005 NL All-Star team. Smoltz gave up a solo home run to Miguel Tejada in the second inning of the American League's 7–5 victory and received the loss. For his career, he is 1–2 in All-Star games, putting him in a tie for the most losses.

Smoltz finished 2005 at 14–7, with a 3.06 ERA with 169 strikeouts while allowing less than one hit per inning. Smoltz had answered the critics who doubted would be able to reach the 200 inning plateau after three years in the bullpen. Nonetheless, Smoltz's increased workload caused him to wear down towards the end of the season.

Despite a sore shoulder, Smoltz pitched seven innings in the Braves' 7–1 win over the Houston Astros in Game Two of the 2005 NLDS. It was the only game the Braves would manage to win in the series against the eventual National League champions. The victory over Houston gave Smoltz a 13–4 record as a starter (15–4 overall) with a 2.65 ERA in the postseason. He currently has more career postseason wins than any other player in history. He is followed by Andy Pettitte (14), Tom Glavine (14), and Greg Maddux (11).

In 2006, Smoltz finished the season with a record of 16–9, an earned run average of 3.49, and 211 strikeouts. He was tied for the National League lead in wins, and was third in strikeouts. The fact that the Braves bullpen blew six of Smoltz's leads in 2006 robbed him of a strong chance at a 20-win season.

On September 21, 2006, the Braves announced they had picked up Smoltz's $8 million contract option for the 2007 season. On April 26, 2007 Smoltz agreed to a contract extension with the Braves. The extension includes a $14 million salary for the 2008 season, a $12 million vesting option for 2009 dependent on Smoltz's ability to pitch 200 innings in 2008, and a $12 or $13 million team option for 2010 dependent on Smoltz's ability to pitch 200 innings in 2009.

2007 was a year of reunions and milestones for Smoltz. On May 9, he faced Greg Maddux for the first time since July 10, 1992. Smoltz earned a win in a 3–2 victory over the San Diego Padres; Maddux received a no-decision. On May 24, exactly eleven years to the day after recording his 100th win, Smoltz recorded his 200th win against Tom Glavine. He faced Glavine 3 other times faring 3–1 overall against him. On June 27, Smoltz, Glavine and Maddux all recorded wins on the same day. On August 19, 2007, Smoltz set the new Atlanta Braves strikeout record by striking out Arizona Diamondbacks' Mark Reynolds. It was his 2,913th strikeout and he passed Phil Niekro on the Braves all-time list; striking out a season-high 12 in the game. He finished the year 14–8 with a 3.11 ERA and 197 strikeouts. The stalwart pitcher was the only holdover on the Braves' roster from their 1991 worst-to-first season until Glavine returned to the Braves after an absence of several years following the 2007 season.

On April 22, 2008, Smoltz became the 16th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to reach 3,000 career strikeouts. He is one of four pitchers to strike out 3,000 batters for one team, joining Walter Johnson, Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton.

On April 28, 2008, Smoltz was placed on the 15 day disabled list due to an inflamed right shoulder.

On May 1, 2008, Smoltz indicated that he intended to return to being a relief pitcher. After coming off the disabled list on June 2, 2008, he blew his first save opportunity in three years. Two days later, the Braves placed him back on the disabled list. John Smoltz underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on June 10, 2008. His contract expired at the end of the season, and the contract offer from the Braves was not sufficient to keep him.

In December of 2008, several members of the Boston Red Sox organization including pitching coach John Farrell, Vice President of Player Personnel Ben Cherington, and assistant trainter Mike Reinold, flew to Atlanta, Georgia to participate in a 90-minute workout with Smoltz. Throwing for only the second time since having surgery on a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder, Smoltz threw a 50-pitch side session and showcased not only his tremendous progress since the surgery, but an arsenal of well-developed pitches which has made him so successful throughout his career. Smoltz impressed the Red Sox members enough during the workout that less than a month later, a one-year contract was offered by the organization.

On January 13, 2009, Smoltz signed a one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox for a reported base salary of $5.5 million with roster time incentives and miscellaneous award incentives which could net as much as $10 million. He is expected to be pitching in the Boston Red Sox rotation roughly around June 1, 2009.

Smoltz met his wife Dyan at the Omni Hotel in downtown Atlanta; the couple had four children before divorcing in 2007 after 16 years of marriage. Smoltz lives in Atlanta and also has a home at Sea Island, Georgia, a golf resort.

Smoltz is a born-again Christian and is Chairman of the Board at Alpharetta-based King's Ridge Christian School, and a member of the Presbyterian Church in America. He has also been involved in the development of a new Christian school in the metropolitan Atlanta region.

Smoltz is a good friend of professional golfer Tiger Woods. The two often golf together. Woods has stated that Smoltz is the best golfer outside of the PGA Tour that he has observed.

John made his debut as a baseball commentator on August 16, 2008. He was the color-commentator along side Joe Simpson.

Smoltz and his good friend Jeff Foxworthy teamed up for the charity event "An Evening With Smoltz and Friends" on November 9, 2008 at the Verizon Amphitheater in Alpharetta, GA to raise money for the John Smoltz Foundation, which has supported numerous charitable endeavors in the Atlanta area over the past decade.

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Brian Roberts

Brian Michael Roberts (born October 9, 1977, in Durham, North Carolina), nicknamed B-Rob, is a switch hitting second baseman who plays for the Baltimore Orioles in the American League. He has spent his entire professional career with the Orioles organization and made his Major League debut in 2001.

Roberts lived in Salinas, CA, as his father was the baseball coach at Palma. He graduated from Chapel Hill High School. During his freshman year in 1997 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) Roberts hit .427, with 102 hits, 24 doubles, 47 SB and was named to the NCBWA Second Team and the Collegiate Baseball Third Team. His sophomore year, he hit .353, 13 HR, 49 RBI, 21 doubles, 63 SB and was named to the NCBWA 1st Team, The Sporting News 2nd Team and the Collegiate Baseball 2nd Team.

His 63 stolen bases was more than any player in college baseball that year. He became the first Tar Heel to be named ACC player of the year, and was a first team All-America.

Mike Roberts, Brian's father and head coach at UNC, was fired by UNC athletic director Dick Baddour after the 1998 season, and Brian transferred to play for coach Ray Tanner at the University of South Carolina. Roberts started at shortstop for the Gamecocks and was named the best defensive college player by Baseball America. Playing in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), he batted .353, hit 12 home runs, and collected 36 RBI. He still owns the school and SEC record for stolen bases in a season with 67. He again was named an All-America and was a member of the All-SEC team.

Roberts was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the first round of the 1999 MLB draft. He played Single A baseball with Delmarva in 1999 where he appeared in 47 games and hit .240.

In 2000 he started with the Gulf Coast Orioles (a.k.a. Sarasota Orioles, hitting .310 in nine games. He also played 48 games with Single A Club Frederick hitting .301.

He made his Major League debut in 2001 and played 75 games in Baltimore, batting .253. He also played for AAA Rochester and AA Bowie that year.

In 2002 he played 38 games with the Orioles and batted .227. He stole 22 bases on 26 attempts. He also played 78 games with the Orioles AAA affiliate in Rochester.

In 2003 he started for AAA Ottawa, playing 44 games and hitting .315. In late May he was called up for injured second baseman Jerry Hairston, Jr. He hit his first Major League grand slam in his second game (and his first in any sort of professional play) in the 9th inning against the Anaheim Angels to win that game. He finished with a .270 average in 112 games and stole 23 bases on 29 attempts (tied for eighth in American League).

The Orioles started spring training in 2004 with both Hairston and Roberts on the roster. Hairston fractured his finger in spring training, however, and Roberts became the opening day starter. After Hairston returned from the disabled list, he was moved to right field, leaving Roberts at second base. In August Roberts batted .347 with ten doubles in 107 at-bats. During the second week of August, Roberts was named the American League Player of the Week for hitting .531 over a span of six games. He finished 2004 with a .273 average, collecting 175 hits in 159 games. He also hit 50 doubles, which led the American League and was third-best in the majors. His 50 doubles also broke the Orioles single-season record for doubles (originally set by Cal Ripken, Jr.) and the single-season AL record for doubles by switch hitters.

Prior to the 2005 season, Jerry Hairston, Jr. was traded to the Chicago Cubs (along with Oriole prospects Mike Fontenot and David Crouthers) for Sammy Sosa, thereby cementing Roberts' position as the Orioles' starting second baseman.

In 2005, Roberts rewarded Orioles management for their faith in him by beginning the season red-hot, leading the AL in batting average for the first several months of the season. In addition, he showed an incredible increase in power; prior to the 2005 season, he had only 12 career home runs, but by late June, he had already outmatched that total. Fans awarded Roberts explosive offensive first half by voting him the starting second baseman in the 2005 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. It was Roberts' first appearance in the All-Star game. As the season wore on Roberts slumped heavily and the Orioles were no longer as dominant.

On September 20, 2005, Roberts dislocated his elbow in a game against the New York Yankees. The injury occurred in a collision with New York's Bubba Crosby at first base in the bottom of the second inning. The injury prevented Roberts from playing the rest of the season.

Roberts rebounded from his 2005 injury with a strong 2006 campaign. He played in 138 games scoring 85 runs with 55 RBI. He stole 36 bases in 43 attempts and finished the season with a .286 average, hitting seven home runs in the last two months of the season. He spent the early part of May on the 15-day DL.

Roberts played in over 150 games for the Orioles. Along with teammate Nick Markakis, he finished in the AL top 10 for at-bats, batting .290 with a .377 OBP on the way to his second All-Star berth. His 50 stolen bases, a career high, was tied with Carl Crawford for the AL lead; Roberts also set career marks in hits and walks. He was rummored in trade talks in the offseason to the Chicago Cubs but nothing ocurred.

On June 24 Roberts went 3 for 5 against the Cubs in a 7-5 victory. His third hit of the game was his 1,000 career base hit. He collected the 250th double of his career on July 28th against the New York Yankees. On September 21, 2008 Roberts grounded into the final out in the history of Yankee Stadium.

The Orioles and Brian Roberts agreed to a contract extension on February 20th, 2009. The contract ensures that Roberts will remain an Oriole through the 2014 season.

On September 30, 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported that during a June 6, 2006, federal raid, former relief pitcher Jason Grimsley named Roberts as a user of anabolic steroids. The Times reported that Roberts was one of five names blacked out in an affidavit filed in federal court. However, on October 3, 2006, the Washington Post reported that San Francisco United States attorney Kevin Ryan said that the Los Angeles Times report contained "significant inaccuracies." On December 20, 2007, the actual names in the Grimsley search warrant affidavit were revealed to the public. Roberts, Jay Gibbons, Andy Petitte and Roger Clemens were not actually named in the report and Miguel Tejada was named only for having a conversation about amphetamines. Roberts, along with the other four players named, denounced the story. Roberts was subsequently named in George Mitchell's report on performance enhancing drugs. According to page 158 of the Mitchell Report, Roberts lived with then-teammate Larry Bigbie in David Segui's house near the end of the 2001 season. Bigbie and Segui were regular steroid users; while they were using the performance enhancing drugs and Brian was present, he asserted that he did not participate. According to Bigbie's testimony, Roberts told him in 2004 that he had injected himself with steroids "once or twice" in 2003.

On December 17, 2007, Brian Roberts released a statement in which he admits to using steroids on a single occasion.

Roberts further stated that he had no ill-will against former Oriole Larry Bigbie whose testimony to the Mitchell Committee was responsible for his inclusion in the report.

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Rafael Palmeiro

Palmeiro swing2.png

Rafael Palmeiro Corrales (born September 24, 1964 in Havana, Cuba) is a former Major League Baseball player with a career spanning 20 years, 1986 to 2005. Though technically not officially retired, Palmeiro has not played since 2005.

Palmeiro was an All-American at Mississippi State University before being drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1985. His major league debut came on September 8, 1986 with the Cubs. He played three seasons with the Cubs (1986-1988), ten seasons with the Texas Rangers (1989–1993, 1999–2003), and seven seasons with the Baltimore Orioles (1994–1998, 2004–2005). He was named to the All-Star Team four times, and won the Gold Glove three times. He is a member of the exclusive 500 home run club and the 3000 hit club and is only the fourth player in history to be a member of both. He ranks tenth in history with 569 home runs.

Palmeiro debuted on September 8, 1986 in a game between the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field, as a left fielder. During his tenure with the Cubs, he normally played left field, though occasionally he would play other outfield positions or first base. Palmeiro was the runner up to National League batting champion Tony Gwynn in 1988 with a .307 batting average, only six points below Gwynn's. After the 1988 season, Palmeiro was traded by the Cubs to the Texas Rangers along with Jamie Moyer and Drew Hall in exchange for Mitch Williams, Paul Kilgus, Steve Wilson, Curt Wilkerson, Luis Benitez, and Pablo Delgado.

Upon moving to the American League, Palmeiro was primarily used as a first baseman or designated hitter. Palmeiro blossomed as a hitter while with the Rangers, leading the league in hits in 1990 and doubles in 1991. In 1990, he was third in the American League in batting.

Prior to Palmeiro's 1995 season, he had hit more than thirty home runs only once (37 in 1993). Starting in 1995, Palmeiro began a streak of 38+ home run years that continued through the 2003 season. He hit 373 home runs during this nine-season span, while also driving in over 100 runs in each of these seasons. However, Palmeiro never led the league in home runs, and is history's most prolific home run hitter to have never won the home run crown. Palmeiro's nine consecutive years with 38+ home runs set the record - breaking record of seven consecutive years by Babe Ruth (1926–1932).

On May 11, 2003, Palmeiro hit his 500th home run off David Elder in a game against the Cleveland Indians. Two years later, Palmeiro joined Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Eddie Murray as the only players in major league history to get 3,000 hits and 500 home runs when he got his 3,000th base hit off Joel Pineiro during a game against the Seattle Mariners on July 15, 2005. Because most of Palmeiro's home runs came with the Rangers and Orioles, he is one of only four players in history to hit over 200 home runs for two different clubs.

Palmeiro has played in 2,831 major league games, the most by any player who has never played in the World Series. His 1999 Gold Glove Award is regarded by many as controversial, because he won the award despite playing only 28 games at first base that season. He played most of his games that year as a designated hitter.

Palmeiro filed for free agency on October 29, 2005, indicating he would attempt to play his 20th season in baseball. As of 2008, he has not signed or played with any team. This makes the possibility of a comeback unlikely, as Palmeiro would have to make an extremely serious effort to be noticed by MLB as a still-able player and hasn't for 3 years. Palmeiro currently resides in Colleyville, TX with his wife and two sons.

Palmeiro was inducted into the Mississippi State University Hall of Fame on Saturday, October 11, 2008.

On August 1, 2005, Palmeiro was suspended for ten days after testing positive for stanozolol. In a public statement, Palmeiro disclosed that an appeal of the suspension had already been denied. He released a statement saying, "I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period. Ultimately, although I never intentionally put a banned substance into my body, the independent arbitrator ruled that I had to be suspended under the terms of the program." It should be noted that all of his previous tests over several years were negative, and a test he took just three weeks after his positive test was also negative.

The Washington Post reported that the steroid detected in Palmeiro's system was a "serious" one. According to The New York Times, Palmeiro tested positive for the potent anabolic steroid stanozolol, the same substance Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson of Canada took in 1988 when he was stripped of the gold medal at the Seoul Summer Olympics. Palmeiro returned to Camden Yards following his 10-day suspension on August 11, 2005, although he did not play in the lineup until August 14. Coincidentally, this was the date that had been planned as "Rafael Palmeiro Appreciation Day" in celebration of his 500-home run, 3,000-hit milestone. It was canceled after Palmeiro's suspension. Palmeiro famously inserted earplugs in his ears to block out the loud boos of the fans during a subsequent game in Toronto against the Blue Jays.

The Baltimore Sun reported that Palmeiro never offered an explanation for his positive test to the MLB arbitration panel, which ran contrary to his public statements. ESPN later reported that Palmeiro implicated Miguel Tejada to baseball's arbitration panel, suggesting a supplement provided to him by Tejada was responsible for his positive test. This supplement was simply vitamin B12, though it could have been tainted. Miguel Tejada and two unnamed teammates provided B12 samples to the panel, and the samples did not contain stanozolol. However, the committee did say they found "substantial inconsistencies between Mr. Tejada's accounts and the accounts of players A and B." Miguel Tejada, who said he received shipments of B12 from the Dominican Republic, was later implicated for steroid use in the Mitchell Report.

On November 10, 2005, ESPN reported that the House Government Reform Committee would not seek perjury charges against Palmeiro, although they were not clearing him.

Palmeiro strongly continues to deny ever using steroids intentionally, telling the Baltimore Sun in June, 2006, "Yes sir, that's what happened. It's not a story; it's the reality of what happened," and "I said what I said before Congress because I meant every word of it." Palmeiro passed a polygraph test in which he was not asked if he ever used steroids, but in which he did state that he unknowingly ingested them via a B12 injection. A 2005 New York Times article expressed one writer's belief that Palmeiro's story could perhaps be the truth.

On December 20, 2007 Palmeiro was also named in Jason Grimsley's unsealed affidavit as a user of amphetamines prior to them being banned by MLB.

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Source : Wikipedia