“Baseball was, is, and always will be to me the best game in the world.” —Babe Ruth
Have a look on the street, anywhere in the world, and unless it’s totally deserted there will be someone wearing a New York Yankees hat. Most of them probably don’t even watch baseball. With 27 World Series championships and 40 American League pennants, the Yankees are the winningest team of all time. But that’s not why so many ball fans hate them. Baseball has always been about business, and no team has taken this to heart more so than the Yankees. They got the most cash and they use it to snaffle up most of the talent. For soccer fans out there, they are the baseball equivalent of Manchester United.
Originally formed in Maryland in 1901 as the Baltimore Orioles, the team moved to the Bronx, New York in 1903 changing its name to the Highlanders, before becoming the Yankees in 1913. At that time the main ball team in New York was the Giants, founded in 1883 as the Gothams. The original Mets were shut down in 1887 after being sold to the Brooklyn Dodgers, also founded in 1883 but not acquiring their name until 1932.
The original Orioles were an American Association team that played up until 1899. Contracted out of existence, the best players and the manager joined the Dodgers. The third Orioles team, after the one that became the Yankees, was a minor league team that played from 1903 to 1953. This was the team that George Herman ‘Babe’ Ruth started out with before being sold to the Boston Red Sox in 1914. He was later sold to the Yankees in 1919 which some blamed for the Red Sox’s 86 year trophy drought.
At the end of the 1957 season the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants moved west to Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively. This left the Yankees as the only major team in New York and eventually led to the creation of the modern Mets in 1962, who took their colors from a combination of the old Dodgers and Giants colors.
The modern Orioles trace their history to the third team to call itself the Milwaukee Brewers. They were part of the minor Western League when it became the American League in 1900. In 1902 they moved to St. Louis to become the Browns, which had been the original name of the St. Louis Cardinals. After a colorful history, the team moved to Baltimore for the 1954 season and promptly made a 17-player trade with the New York Yankees.
So here’s the pitch; the Orioles are about the closest thing you can get to the anti-Yankees. So if you don’t watch baseball, but you like the hats, ditch the cliched NY in favour of a stylish O.