The Baltimore Ravens
After the Baltimore Colts left town in the middle of the night, the town went without a professional football team for 10 years. Then the city got a Canadian Football League expansion team which was un-officially called the Baltimore "Colts". Legal issues with the Indianapolis Colts kept them from making the name official and caused them for their first season to be know as 'The Team with No Name'. A contest was held to name them and in their second year they played as the Baltimore Stallions and became the first U.S. team to win a CFL championship.
The Stallions only played two seasons when the city gave them up in favour of the relocated Cleveland Browns. Owner Art Model wanted to keep the name Browns but most residents of Baltimore remembered how we had tried in vain to keep the Colts name when that team left Baltimore. We didn’t want to do that to Cleveland. Another naming contest was held and the new team was named after the most famous poem of the cities most famous poet, Edgar Allan Poe’s, “The Raven”.
Mostly by coincidence, this meant that both the Major League Football team and the Major League baseball team, the Orioles, were named for birds, giving the city a new nickname, “Birdtown”.
Also by coincidence, this was the second team formerly named Browns to be moved to Baltimore and re-named, the first being the St. Louis Browns who became the Baltimore Orioles.
The Ravens have experienced great success so far, making the playoffs eight times since 2000, winning the AFC North three times (2003, 2006, and 2011) and beating the New York Giants for the Championship in Super Bowl XXXV . The team’s history has also featured the careers of likely future Hall of Famers Jonathan Ogden, Ray Lewis, and Ed Reed.
Pro Baseball started in Baltimore in1872 with the 2 year run of the Baltimore Canaries. The first team called the Baltimore Orioles (after the state bird) was founded in 1892 and played in the American Association League (then a Major league). After their first year, they moved into the first Oriole Park (the current Oriole Park at Camden yard is the 6th park with that name!). The American Association folded and in 1892 the Orioles joined the National League. They won three consecutive pennants from 1894 to 1896. The team was eliminated from the league after the 1899 season. In 1901 and 1902 there was an American League Baltimore Orioles. That team was then moved to New York and eventually became the New York Yankees.
From 1903-1914 and from 1916-1953 the city had minor league teams carrying the Oiroles name. In 1914 Baltimore born Babe Ruth played his first professional season in Baltimore before being sold to the Boston Red Sox.
The modern era of Major League Baseball in Baltimore started in 1954 when the St. Louis Browns were reloacted to the city and given the traditional team name, the Orioles, though they also go by "The O's" and "The Birds". They played in Memorial Park through 1991 before moving to Oriole Park (#6, see above) at Camden Yards. Their early record was less than stellar until outfielder Frank Robinson joined the Orioles in 1966 and they won their first World Series. The current Baltimore Orioles have won the World Series Championship in 1966, 1970 and 1983. The American League Pennant in 1944, 1966,1969, 1970, 1971, 1979 and 1983. and the Eastern Division Title in 1969, 1970, 1971,1973, 1974, 1979, 1983 and 1997. Baseball Hall of famer's from the Orioles include "Iron Man" Cal Ripkin Jr., Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Robin Roberts, Hoyt Wilhelm, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson and Earl Weaver. Other famous Orioles include: Boog Powell, who currently runs a Barbacue restaurant near Oriole Park, Dave MacNally, the only pitcher in Major League history to hit a grand slam in a World Series game and Rick Dempsey, considered the greatest defensive catcher of his era and one of only 6 catchers to be named World Series MVP (1983).
The Baltimore Blast
Soccer in Baltimore started when the Houston Summit moved to Baltimore prior to the 1980-81 MISL season. Now on their 4th major league (the first two folded and the third morphed into the fourth), the team, once called the Baltimore Spirit, has gone through Up Seasons and down. For the up seasons, they won the leagues championship in 1984, 2003, 2004, 2006, 20008 and 2009. Although soccer is very popular with suburban Baltimore youth groups, it has along way to go to rival Baseball or Football, but under the current leadership the Blast are consistently attracting good crowds to First Mariner Arena and have a very loyal fan base.
Baltimore Grand Prix
The 2nd annual Grand Prix of Baltimore will be held on Labor Day weekend, August 31 - September 2, 2012. This major motorsports event will utilize a scenic partially tree-lined course that passes by various Baltimore landmarks including The Baltimore Convention Center, the Inner Harbor, and Camden Yards. It contains 12 turns, including a hairpin turn at the intersection of Light Street and Lee Street, 13 grandstands and 5 bridges. Speeds are expected to hit 180 MPH and one section that drivers complained slowed them too much last year has been changed to make this years race even more exciting.
The Baltimore Nighthawks, Female Football
The OTHER all-female football team, The Baltimore Nighthawks are part of the Independent Women's Football League (IWFL), They are a professional women's tackle football team founded in 2007 and made up of 35 women from 19 years old to their 40s. These girls are athletes who play serious football with very few concessions to their gender. They kick off from the 40-yard line instead of the 30-yard line and the ball is slightly smaller than the NFL regulation, but the scoring is the same and the tackles just as real as the men’s game.
The Charm City Roller Girls
Baltimore's only all-female flat track roller derby league CCRG is a member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). The league is made up of four 'local' teams, Junkyard Dolls, Mobtown Mods, Night Terrors and Speed Regime.
Baltimore's 2012 Olympic Contenders
Angel McCoughtry / 25 / Forward / Women’s Basketball
Carmelo Anthony / 28 / Forward / Men’s Basketball
Michael Phelps / 27 / Men’s Swimming / 200m IM; 400m IM; 100m fly; 200m fly;
Baltimore's Major Stadiums & Arenas
* First Mariner Arena
201 W Baltimore St, Baltimore, MD 21201
* M&T Bank Stadium
1101 Russell St, Baltimore, MD 21230
* Oriole Park at Camden Yards
333 W Camden St, Baltimore, MD 21201
The Following Baltimore Sports Teams are now defunct:
The Baltimore Colts were a professional American football team, now the Indianapolis Colts.
The Baltimore Stallions of the Canadian Football League
The Baltimore Blackbirds were an indoor football team
The Baltimore Black Sox were a professional Negro league baseball team
The Baltimore Monumentals, a baseball team in the Union Association
The Baltimore Bullets a National Basketball Association franchise now known as the Washington Wizards
The Baltimore Bayrunners, part of the International Basketball League
The Baltimore Blaze, a basketball team in the National Rookie League
The Baltimore Skipjacks of the American Hockey League
The Baltimore Clippers of the American Hockey League
The Baltimore Bandits of the American Hockey League
The Baltimore Thunder of the National Lacrosse League
The Baltimore Rockets of the North American Soccer League
The Baltimore Pompeii of the North American Soccer League
The Baltimore Comets of the North American Soccer League
The Baltimore Canton of the American Soccer League.
Baltimore Charm, Lingerie Football League
The Baltimore Charm was a franchise of the Lingerie Football League. They began their 2010-2011 season on September 17, 2010. There webpage has not been updated and there are no events scheduled for this year.