LIDS #ThrowbackThursday – Orioles

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Orioles logo through the years

Sports fans and MLB cap junkies can tell you when the Baltimore Orioles reverted back to the “Bird” logo on the hats a couple years ago it was like welcoming a member of the family back home. The team’s greatest on-field success came with the little guy adorning the front of the caps during the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s. Led by the Robinsons (Brooks and Frank) and immortal Boog Powell, the Orioles found themselves World Series Champs after introducing the bird cap logo in 1966. That success carried on for the 1970′s into the early 1980s.The team switched to several more “ornithologically correct” bird versions for the next 2 decades, but many carried a torch for the little guy. Even he got a facelift, here’s how he has morphed over the years…

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Young Cal Ripken

You are more than likely most familiar with the white panel version of the home cap, think of a young Cal Ripken, Jr. and the handsome Jim Palmer wearing more than in his underwear ads.

The black version with orange bill is a winner, but I am partial to the orange front panel version sported below by Mr. October himself, Reginald Martinez Jackson. Huh? Who?

Yes it’s true, Reggie played one year for the Birds, sandwiched between the dynasty years in Oakland and the dynasty years in New York. His 134 games for Baltimore came in the bi-centennial year of 1976, just before he became a free-agent and “the straw that stirred the drink” for the Bronx Zoo.

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Reggie from his O’s days

Seeing Jackson in the O’s uni is a shock to the system, he is so identifiable with the pinstripes, the green and gold of the A’s and even the Angels, for you fans of the movie “The Naked Gun”. Other big names have the same situation on the resume, remember Wayne Gretzky’s time with the St. Louis Blues or Mike Piazza as a Florida Marlin? I do, but barely…

Reggie hit over 500 Home Runs in his career but never 30 or more in back to back seasons, that’s grinding it out over a 21 year big-league career. He finished up back in Oakland in 1987, being the last active A’s player to have been a Kansas City Athletic. That’s a topic for another day, another blog.