Early Birds

The last time the Baltimore Orioles won a big-league pennant was in 1896. For all anyone knew at season's start, it might be 1996 before they won another. There was a flutter of hope around the fringes of Chesapeake Bay last month when the Orioles rattled off nine straight victories and jumped into the American League lead. But then they lost five in a row, and, sure enough, there came the New York Yankees to trample Baltimore's last brief song of spring. Only it didn't work out that way. When the stands finally emptied and the smoke cleared over Memorial...

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