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Last time the Orioles were in the playoffs …

Oct 5, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

jim thome indians

OK, so by now we’ve all heard plenty about how the Orioles are back in the playoffs for the first time since 1997. October 15, 1997 to be exact, when they lost 1-0 to the Indians in Game 6 of the ALCS on a Tony Fernandez homer off Armando Benitez in the 11th inning.

I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at the boxscore from that game. First of all, the starting pitchers were Mike Mussina for the Orioles and Charles Nagy for the Indians, which is more than enough to get a kid who grew up watching baseball in the 1990s giddy.

And here are the lineups:

   CLEVELAND INDIANS               BALTIMORE ORIOLES
1. Omar Vizquel, SS             1. Brady Anderson, CF
2. Tony Fernandez, 2B           2. Roberto Alomar, 2B
3. Manny Ramirez, RF            3. Geronimo Berroa, RF
4. David Justice, DH            4. Harold Baines, DH
5. Matt Williams, 3B            5. Rafael Palmeiro, 1B
6. Jim Thome, 1B                6. Cal Ripken Jr., 3B
7. Sandy Alomar, C              7. B.J. Surhoff, LF
8. Brian Giles, LF              8. Chris Hoiles, C
9. Marquis Grissom, CF          9. Mike Bordick, SS

I mean, where to even start?

Well, first of all Jim Thome batted sixth and played first base for the Indians that day. And tonight, 15 years later, he’ll play for the Orioles.

Omar Vizquel, who led off for the Indians then, just played his final game Wednesday. Sandy Alomar, who caught for the Indians then, just interviewed this week to be the Indians’ new manager. And his brother, Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, played second base for the Orioles then.

Brian Giles, who hit eighth for Cleveland, later went on to be one of the elite hitters in the NL for the Pirates. Brady Anderson, who had 50 homers the previous year, batted leadoff in a Davey Johnson-managed Baltimore lineup that had Rafael Palmeiro fifth and Cal Ripken Jr. sixth.

Oh, and here’s a list of some players who appeared off the bench or out of the bullpen: Eric Davis, Jeffrey Hammonds, Jerome Walton, Lenny Webster, Jose Mesa, Randy Myers, Paul Assenmacher, Mike Jackson.

I’m going to force myself to stop now because I could seriously just stare at the boxscore from now until the Cardinals-Braves game starts tonight and be perfectly happy.

UPDATE: MLB.com has video of Fernandez’s game-winning homer off Benitez:

 

Thanks to Jake Silver for digging up the video.

  1. vallewho - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    I see roiders…

    • nibbish - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      If you can’t at the very least see some 90’s nostalgia, you might be a fan of the wrong sport.

      • vallewho - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:29 PM

        Forgot to add…”not that there’s anything wrong with that”.

  2. stinkfist5 - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    I was at that game…Mussina gave up one hit through 8 innings…It was painful to watch Fernandez’s HR ball leave the park. I was 10 years old and I’ll never forget that night.

    • alang3131982 - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      Hey, i was there too. Even remember my seats. I was 15 and it remains the most deflating moment (not including all the other armando benitez moments) i’ve witnessed

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:15 PM

      Stinkfist: “I was 10 years old and I’ll never forget that night.”
      alang: “I was 15 and it remains the most deflating moment.”

      Two perfect examples of why the great game of baseball is absolutely magical.
      Good luck Orioles!

  3. xmatt0926x - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Wow. Love it. You forget hoe Cleveland had an absolutely kick-ass lineup during that era. That shot of Davey Johnson was classic.

  4. natstowngreg - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    The first thing I noticed was Cal Ripken batting 6th and playing 3B. Cal was 37, and in his penultimate season as an everyday player. In those post-Senators, pre-Nats days, Washington media covered the Orioles a lot. One of the big controversies (perhaps the biggest) was, when would The Streak end? When would Cal get a little rest?

  5. crazyyankee - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    I dont remember much of this series since I was in my fourth year of my architecture undergrad, but i remember what the indians did in the next series and i am sure craig remembers what his braves did against the indians

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      Braves/Indians was 1995, not 1997. In 1997, it was the Marlins that beat the Indians in the WS.

      • crazyyankee - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        sorry about that mix up. i was working from memory and it obviously failed me. thanks for the correction.

  6. alang3131982 - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    If we’re going to bring up Armando benitez can we get a shout-out to Jose Mesa?

    • nolanwiffle - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      Or as the late, great Mike Flanagan used to refer to him……Joe Table.

  7. dowhatifeellike - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    It feels like so long ago, it’s hard to believe it happened at Camden Yards.

  8. fellspointbird - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Man, oh man… you forgot to post the video of Roberto Alomar being called out on ball four to end the game.

    And this is what I get to dwell on until 8:30pm
    Go O’s

  9. stlouis1baseball - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    I enjoyed seeing Paul Assenmacher’s name.

  10. bmorelikeme - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Get this bad voodoo out of here!

    I did love that team though. Nice find Aaron.

  11. someguyinva - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Who’s the Jeff Kent-looking guy with the high socks in the Indians dugout that greets Fernandez with a high ten? Can’t be the survivor his own self, since he was a Giant in 97.

    • toozie21 - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      My money is on a young, svelte Thome with a playoff beard.

  12. Chipmaker - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    My goodness, just how long have fans had to put up with Buck and McCarver?

    • Sam James - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:47 PM

      In Dante’s Inferno the punishment is eternal.

      • mazblast - Oct 5, 2012 at 6:03 PM

        But we’re not dead yet. OTOH, if we have to listen to those two every post-season, we may want to be.

        Seriously, watching the post-season used to be the highlight of my sports year. Now I can’t watch unless I turn the sound off.

  13. hojo20 - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    I would be nice to see MLB clips on Youtube.

  14. jayscarpa - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    I could never figure out how Nagy won games, he always had runners on, always pitching out of games. He was a tough opponent.

    • jayscarpa - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:09 PM

      pitching out of jams

  15. stackers1 - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Harold Baines – that guy was around forever. Not the greatest player ever, but he was a pest. Always liked him.

  16. wethog66 - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Yeah looking at the O’s lineup brings back nice memories. My personal favorite from that year, Chris Hoiles. Between Hoiles and Mickey Tettleton, catchers for the O’s were always my favorites. And thats why when I see Tettleton’s sun light it up as QB for Ohio U I feel real old.

    Benitez and Ponson. Two of the biggest douches to ever pitch for the O’s.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:12 PM

      Yeah…the Bobcats’ football team is for real.

  17. raider2124 - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    How about earlier in the series when the orioles lost on a foul tip. Ump ruled it a wild pitch of Lenny websters glove

  18. schmedley69 - Oct 5, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Some things don’t stand the test of time, but Tim McCarver annoying the Hell out of viewers is timeless.

  19. sabatimus - Oct 5, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    INFIELD FLY MY ASS!!!

  20. ispysomething7 - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    After Fernandez hit the home run, Herb Score yelled “The Indians are going to the world series!”. Then Tom Hamilton calmly said, “after the Orioles bat in the bottom of the inning”. Classic Herb!

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