1996 Baltimore Orioles season
The 1996 Baltimore Orioles season in which the Orioles finishing 2nd in the American League East with a record of 88 wins and 74 losses and qualifying for the post-season as the Wild Card team. The Orioles broke the all-time record for most home runs hit by a team (set at 240 by the 1961 New York Yankees) with 257. During the season, four Orioles scored at least 100 runs, four drove in at least 100 runs and seven hit at least 20 home runs. The Orioles pitching staff allowed 209 home runs, 1,604 hits and had an ERA of 5.15. The Orioles defeated the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS and then lost in the ALCS to the New York Yankees.
- 1 Offseason
- 2 Regular season
- 3 Player stats
- 4 Return of Eddie Murray
- 5 ALDS
- 6 ALCS
- 7 Jeffrey Maier incident
- 8 Farm system
- 9 References
- November 22, 1995: Clay Bellinger was signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Orioles.
- December 14, 1995: Randy Myers signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Orioles.
- December 20, 1995: B.J. Surhoff was signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Orioles.
- December 23, 1995: Billy Ripken was signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Orioles.
- March 13, 1996: Sherman Obando was traded by the Baltimore Orioles to the Montreal Expos for Tony Tarasco.
- On September 27 in Toronto, Roberto Alomar spat at home-plate umpire John Hirschbeck after getting thrown out of a game for arguing a called third strike.
Opening Day starters
- Roberto Alomar
- Brady Anderson
- Bobby Bonilla
- Jeffrey Hammonds
- Chris Hoiles
- Mike Mussina
- Rafael Palmeiro
- Cal Ripken, Jr.
- B.J. Surhoff
- Tony Tarasco
- April 19, 1996: Luis Polonia was signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Orioles.
- June 6, 1996: Todd Frohwirth was signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Orioles.
- August 12, 1996: Luis Polonia was released by the Baltimore Orioles.
- August 23, 1996: Gregg Zaun was sent by the Baltimore Orioles to the Florida Marlins to complete an earlier deal made on August 21, 1996. The Baltimore Orioles sent a player to be named later to the Florida Marlins for Terry Mathews. The Baltimore Orioles sent Gregg Zaun (August 23, 1996) to the Florida Marlins to complete the trade.
|New York Yankees||92||70||.568||--|
|Baltimore Orioles *||88||74||.543||4.0|
|Boston Red Sox||85||77||.525||7.0|
|Toronto Blue Jays||74||88||.457||18.0|
|1996 Baltimore Orioles|
|= Indicates team leader|
Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In
|Cal Ripken, Jr.||163||640||178||26||102||.278|
|Position||Name||Games Pitched||Games Started||ERA||Wins||Losses||Saves||Innings Pitched||Strikeouts|
|Mike Mussina ||36||36||4.81||19||11||0||243.3||204|
|Scott Erickson ||34||34||5.02||13||12||0||222.3||100|
|David Wells ||34||34||5.14||11||14||0||224.3||130|
|Rocky Copinger ||23||22||5.18||10||6||0||135||104|
|Kent Mercker ||14||12||7.76||3||6||0||58||22|
|Jesse Orosco ||66||0||3.40||3||1||0||55.7||52|
|Arthur Rhodes ||28||0||4.08||9||1||0||53||62|
|Alan Mills ||49||0||4.28||3||2||0||54.7||52|
|Archie Corbin ||18||0||2.30||2||0||0||27.3||20|
|Keith Shepperd ||13||0||8.71||0||1||0||20.7||17|
|Terry Mathews ||14||0||3.38||2||2||0||18.7||13|
|Armando Benítez ||18||0||3.77||1||0||0||14.3||20|
|Jimmy Myers ||11||0||7.07||0||0||0||14||6|
|Esteban Yan ||4||0||5.79||0||0||0||9.3||7|
|Mike Milchin ||13||0||5.73||1||0||0||11||10|
|Garrett Stephenson ||3||0||12.79||0||1||0||6.3||3|
|Brian Sackinsky ||3||0||3.86||0||0||0||4.7||2|
|Jimmy Haynes ||26||11||8.29||3||6||0||89||65|
|Rick Krivda ||22||11||4.96||3||5||0||81.7||54|
|Nerio Rodríguez ||8||1||4.32||0||1||0||16.7||12|
|Randy Myers ||62||0||3.53||4||4||31||58.7||74|
Return of Eddie Murray
On July 21, 1996 the Baltimore Orioles re-acquired longtime Oriole Eddie Murray from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for pitcher Kent Mercker. Murray, a member of the 1983 World Series Champion Baltimore Orioles, would subsequently hit his 500th career home run later in the season. As a commemoration of this event, an orange seat was installed in the outfield stands where Murray's 500th home run landed. The Orioles had a record of 49 wins and 46 losses before the trade, and 39–28 after the trade, not including the playoffs. During the 1996 playoffs, Eddie Murray hit .333 and hit HR while producing 3 home runs.
The trade for Eddie Murray sparked the Orioles to have a better record after his arrival, than before. One can attribute that to his great leadership, which is well documented, as a Sporting News correspondent, Michael P. Geffner said, "To think of Murray as anything other than a great player these days is not to have a dissenting opinion anymore but to be dead wrong, blind not only to the inner game but to an understanding of what truly raises baseball to something classic and beautiful--when the game is executed purely and seamlessly. Which is Eddie Murray to a T.". The Orioles success after the trade can also be attributed to the theory of "Power, worth, and recognition, " which Thomas S. Parish who is an associate professor of psychology at Upper Iowa University, Fayette, Iowa describes as a type of motivation where athletes attempt to out do or "show off" to each other, which leads to better statistics, and more wins. In Eddie Murray's last at-bat with the Orioles he hit a home run off of New York Yankee pitcher, Andy Pettitte.
Game 1, October 1
| WP: David Wells (1-0) LP: Charles Nagy (0-1)|
Cle: Manny Ramírez (1)
Bal: Brady Anderson (1), B.J. Surhoff (1, 2), Bobby Bonilla (1)
Game 2, October 2
| WP: Armando Benítez (1-0) LP: Eric Plunk (0-1) Sv: Randy Myers (1)|
Cle: Albert Belle (1)
Bal: Brady Anderson (2)
Game 3, October 4
| WP: Paul Assenmacher (1-0) LP: Jesse Orosco (0-1)|
Bal: B.J. Surhoff (3)
Cle: Manny Ramírez (2), Albert Belle (2)
Game 4, October 5
| WP: Armando Benítez (2-0) LP: José Mesa (0-1) Sv: Randy Myers (2)|
Bal: Rafael Palmeiro (1), Bobby Bonilla (2), Roberto Alomar (1)
|1||Baltimore 4, New York 5||October 9|
|2||Baltimore 5, New York 3||October 10|
|3||New York 5, Baltimore 2||October 11|
|4||New York 8, Baltimore 4||October 12|
|5||New York 6, Baltimore 4||October 13|
Jeffrey Maier incident
During Game 1 of the ALCS, New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter hit a deep fly ball to right field. Orioles outfielder Tony Tarasco appeared to camp under the ball and prepared to make a catch. However, a 12-year-old boy seated in the first row of the bleachers named Jeffrey Maier reached over the wall and caught the ball just above Tarrasco, costing the Orioles an out. Although it appeared to be fan interference, the umpire ruled the ball to be a home run. While Maier became a hero to Yankees fans, he immediately became a "symbol of the Orioles futility." To this day, Orioles fans wonder what the 1996 team could have accomplished had no one interfered with the ball.
|AAA||Rochester Red Wings||International League||Marv Foley|
|AA||Bowie Baysox||Eastern League||Bob Miscik and Tim Blackwell|
|A||High Desert Mavericks||California League||Joe Ferguson|
|A||Frederick Keys||Carolina League||Tim Blackwell and Julio Garcia|
|Rookie||Bluefield Orioles||Appalachian League||Bobby Dickerson|
|Rookie||GCL Orioles||Gulf Coast League||Tommy Shields|
- 1996 Baltimore Orioles team page at Baseball Reference
- 1996 Baltimore Orioles season at baseball-almanac.com
New York Yankees
|AL Wild Card
| Succeeded by|
New York Yankees