The team most people thought would repeat as world champions in 1971…Met up with Pirates’ strong pitching and excellent fundamentals and Roberto Clemente…The 1971 did something that no team has done…Four 20 game winners…Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, Pat Dobson, Mike Cuellar…at this point they were highly formidable…hitting was steady with essentially the same lineup since 1966…Baltimore was known as being without a peer in fielding and defense...1972 brought change Frank Robinson was traded…Age appeared to have crept up on some, others were a disappointment all which hampered the incumbent offense… they score on average one run less per game plus a 32 point drop in batting average …The 72 birds break .500 however by virtue from a pitching staff that was even better than the year before....but the birds drop by 21 games and wind up third in the AL east.
History: Baltimore is an original AL franchise started in 1901. If you are a purist they started as the Milwaukee Brewers for one year before moving to St Louis to become the Browns…For 51 years they were handmaidens to the NL Cardinals on the field and at the gate (despite Bill Veeck's creative tenure as owner)…the franchise is famous for its futility eight times they lost 100 games in the 154 game season… In that time one world series appearance in 1944 (largely attributed to the man power shortage caused by WW2)…the franchise moves to Baltimore were they were the only game in town and their fortunes changed with the dawn of the 1960's…they hit their stride in late sixties, seventies, and the first half of the eighties….AKA a golden age....Near consistent winning records....in a six year span 2 World Series championships and two more appearances…in another 11 years one more championship (1983) plus another bout with Pirates in 1979, a reprise of 1971 series.
The offensive records that have been broken are: Home runs Brady Anderson first eclipsed Frank Robinson’s record with 51, then followed by Chris Davis last year (2013)with 53.... BJ Surhoff had 673 AB, …Brian Robert in 2009 surpasses the mark for doubles in a season.
Pitching: In the age of closer, many people have surpassed the games appeared mark. As it stands now, Miller's 71 games has since been eclipsed or tied 14 times by 11 players ....The 1972 card recognize Dave McNally’s ERA as the record but baseball reference cite several hurlers most of whom pitched prior to 1919. The only exception was reliever Stu Miller with an ERA of 1.89 gathered in 119 innings in 1965. Bob Reynolds using 111 innings also tied McNally's mark in 1973. It should be noted that McNally's 273 innings pales Reynolds and Miller.
The win percentage a similar criteria issue occurs....McNally's 1971 and Arthur Crowder's 1928 marks represented both 21 wins and 5 loses. The Baseball Reference leaders are Dick Hall (1964) and Arthur Rhodes (1996) with identical 9-1 records....It's a matter of where you draw the line.