Since last week's 1979 Orioles photo gallery was such a big hit, I thought I'd dig back into the family archives. The photos below aren't quite as old as the shot of Brooksie that was used for the card above, which was likely taken between 1958 and 1962. But they're still great pictures of Brooks and Jim Palmer, the two cornerstones of Baltimore's glory years. They were clearly taken on a photo day, and I love the "B. ROBINSON" placard on the ground at Number Five's feet. "Oh, so THAT's Brooks Robinson! Ya know, I thought he would be taller." Also, how many pictures have you seen of Jim Palmer holding a bat? It figures that he would forgo the hat, the better for the ladies to see that handsome helmet of hair.
So when were these snapshots taken? We can take our cues from the uniforms. Brooks is wearing the black cartoon bird cap, the "Orioles" script has no tail, the sleeves have a black-white-orange striping pattern top-to-bottom, and the pants have a matching striped waistband in lieu of a belt. That narrows it down to the era of 1971-1974, some very good years for the Birds.
Looking at these photos transports me back in time. I feel like I'm there in Memorial Stadium on a summer afternoon, with Rex Barney on the P.A. and Chuck Thompson on the radio, not to mention Wild Bill Hagy leading the Roar from 34. Maybe the Yankees are in town, and they're clearly no match for Brooks, Boog, and Blair. Palmer or Cuellar will keep the game rolling at a crisp pace. The crowds might not exactly fill the multipurpose stadium on 33rd Street, but if you're one of the faithful that come out to the game, you're in for a treat.