Jim Hartzell Oriole bird 1966, Sept. 23, 1966
Jim Hartzell Oriole bird 1966, Sept. 23, 1966 (Jim Hartzell / Baltimore Sun)

It's gut-check time for left-hander Dave McNally: There are two outs and two men on base in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the World Series, as the Orioles nurse a 1-0 lead. McNally delivers a curveball and the Los Angeles Dodgers' Lou Johnson lofts a lazy fly to center field, where Paul Blair squeezes the ball for the final out. As one, the announced Memorial Stadium crowd of 54,458 stands and roars. On Oct. 9, at 3:47 p.m., the Orioles are world champions.

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"They didn't make any mistakes, not one," Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale says. "Their whole team played like hell."

Partied like it, too. In the clubhouse, someone drops a cake on slugger Boog Powell's head, and outfielder Curt Blefary smothers Joe Garagiola in shaving cream as the NBC broadcaster begins his postgame report.

Outside, Baltimoreans take to the streets. Confetti flies, horns blare and firecrackers explode as fans run amok shouting, "Birds! Birds! Birds!" A Dodgers pennant is burned in the street, ignored by police who patrol in cars bedecked with orange Orioles flags and stickers

City Hall rings its bell 66 times. Through it all, The Sun reports, "Blacks and whites demonstrated together, shook hands and smiled."

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