|The old pigeon hat|
The cartoon bird made its debut on the hats of the 1966 team, and what a year that was, when Frank Robinson came over from the Reds and put a good team over the top. And throughout the 60s the Orioles were great, except for '67 (it's tough to repeat!). The '69-'70-'71 teams are always mentioned when people talk of the greatest nines ever put on a field. And even through the 70's the O's were close to the top, and wrapped up the decade by somehow losing to the Pirates in that first year of Orioles magic.
In '82 they fell one game short and said goodbye to Earl Weaver, and in '83, they put together what would be, until this year, our last world championship team.
By 1988, the year they started off 0-21, the cartoon bird was starting to look like a plucked chicken to satirists, and so in 1989 the Oriole that really looked like an oriole got to start going around on top of heads from here to Walla Walla. I never liked him, although I bought and wore all the various hats on which he appeared. And the first few years were good under his cap, but as everyone knows, there are teenagers hanging around here who don't know what it is to have a winning baseball club in town.
I am superstitious enough to think that the hat first worn by Brooks and Boog and F Robby and that gang, and soon to sit atop the melons of Weiters and Hardy and Adam Jones, will bring us a return to the Good Old Days.