Beltway Series: Wikis

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Baltimore Orioles–Washington Nationals
Orioles Logo  Nationals Logo
History
First Meeting May 19, 2006
Last Meeting June 28, 2009
Next Meeting 2010
Number of Meetings 24
All-Time Series 12-12
Regular Season Series 12-12
Longest BAL Win Streak 2 (5 times)
Longest WSN Win Streak 4 (5/20/2007-6/14/2007)
Post Season History
Post Season Meetings None

The Beltway Series (promoted by the Nationals as The Battle of the Beltways) is the name of the interleague series played between the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles. The series name is taken from the two beltway highways, the Baltimore Beltway and the Capital Beltway, that service Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The Beltway Series is expected to become a regular rivalry series in Major League Baseball.

In the National Football League, the Beltway Series refers to games played between the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Redskins.

Contents

The Series: 2005–Present

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2005

The teams did not meet in the Nationals' inaugural 2005 season, although they did play each other three times during spring training. The March 5th, 2005 spring training game marked the first Baltimore/Washington baseball contest since Sept. 10th, 1971 when the Senators played the Orioles [1].

2006

During spring training in 2006, the Nationals and Orioles played each other in Washington on March 31 and in Baltimore on April 1. The first match up of the rivalry took place on May 19th, 2006 during the 2006 regular season, the Orioles won at RFK Stadium. This marked first time in 35 years that the Orioles played a regular-season game in Washington, as they played the Washington Senators, another team in the American League annually from 1954 to 1960. The Orioles continued that rivalry with the new Washington Senators from 1961 to 1971.

The first Beltway Series game ever played at Oriole Park at Camden Yards was held on June 23rd, 2006 and was watched by 48,331 fans, one of the largest crowds at OPACY that season [2].

The two teams split the season series 3-3 with each team winning two games at home and one on the road.

2007

The Orioles and Nationals played six times again in 2007, with the Nationals taking the season series 4 games to 2.

2008

The Orioles and Nationals played their final exhibition game of 2008 at the new Nationals Park, the first MLB action to take place in the park. The Nationals won 3–0.

During the 2008 regular season the teams met in Baltimore on the weekend of May 16–18. Baltimore won the first two games of the series and Washington won the final game. They met again in D.C. the weekend of June 27–29. In this series, the Nationals took two out of three games, including an exciting final game in which second baseman Ronnie Belliard hit a walkoff home run to win the game. The series attracted 115,133 fans, one of the largest series turnouts of the year at Nationals Park.

2009

The 2009 season featured the Orioles first ever Beltway series win.

During the regular season of this year, the Orioles met the Nationals in D.C. on May 22-24. The Orioles were able to take the first two games from the Nationals, while the Nationals won the final game for the Orioles, causing them to divert the sweep at home. The weekend of June 26-28 had the Nationals traveling to Baltimore to face the Orioles. The Orioles were able to take the first two games of the series, while the Nationals took the final game of the series. The Oriole led the series 42 this season.

Beltway series results

Year Series Winner Orioles W Nationals W Notes
2006 Tie 3 3
2007 Nationals 2 4 First Nats' season series win
2008 Tie 3 3 Nationals Park opens
2009 Orioles 4 2 First Orioles' Beltway Series win
Overall Tied (1-1-2) 12 12

Controversy fueling the rivalry

Opposition to relocation

Although this rivalry is new, many Nationals fans already feel strongly about it. Peter Angelos, the owner of the Orioles, opposed the move of the Montreal Expos to Washington, D.C. on the grounds that it would harm the Orioles financially, contending that the Orioles alone had a legal right to the Baltimore-Washington market. In the four full seasons since the Expos moved to D.C. the Nationals have drawn 9,127,252 fans to the ballpark and the Orioles have drawn 8,892,951 fans to the ballpark.

The Nationals were a larger draw in 2005, the Orioles were a larger draw in 2006 (drawing exactly 100 more fans that year) and in 2007 the Orioles were a larger draw by nearly 200,000 fans [3]. In 2008 the momentum swung back the Nationals way, with the Nationals outdrawing the Orioles by over 370,000 fans [4]

Interestingly, the original Washington Senators were well-established in the Baltimore/Washington market for over fifty years before the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore to become the present-day Orioles.

Television rights

The dispute with Angelos over the move was resolved when the Orioles were granted the right to broadcast Nationals games on their new television network, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. However, the deal was struck only days before the beginning of the 2005 season and many DC-area fans did not receive the new network for some time and were unable to watch most games. Furthermore, it has been reported that Angelos and the Orioles hold majority ownership in the network, which has led some Nationals fans to contend that the channel exhibits a bias in covering the Orioles compared to the Nationals (such as displaying the scores of Beltway Series games as "Orioles vs. Washington" as opposed to "Orioles vs. Nationals"). Furthermore, the Orioles had hand sleeve of their jersey's changed from "Baltimore" to "Orioles" in 1972 after D.C. last lost their baseball team. In the 2009 season, the Orioles will change their hand sleeve back to "Baltimore" on their away jerseys.

O!

The tradition of yelling "O!" during the line "Oh say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave" in the Star Spangled Banner is a Baltimore Orioles tradition. Over the years it became a staple of Washington, DC area sporting events. The chant has had controversy in the past and the usage of the "O!" chant at Nationals games has reignited such controversy [5][6] [7].

External links


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