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Remembering 1983: A look at the Orioles' world championship for the week of Sept. 30-Oct. 6

Thank God, he’s a country boy. Where would the Orioles be without Mike Boddicker, their star rookie right-hander?

He closes out the regular season with a 2-0 victory over the New York Yankees, Boddicker’s 16th victory, as the Orioles finish 98-64. Then, in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, the soft-throwing Iowan blanks the Chicago White Sox, 4-0, before an announced crowd of 52,347 at Memorial Stadium to even the best-of-five series at one game apiece.

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“Not too bad for a country boy from Norway, Iowa,” manager Joe Altobelli says of Boddicker, whose 14 strikeouts tie an ALCS record. He goes the distance for his sixth shutout, striking out the final batter with the bases loaded. Gary Roenicke hits a two-run homer and scores three times as Baltimore bounces back from a 2-1 loss in Game 1.

This cartoon ran in The Sun after the Orioles beat the White Sox, 4-0, in Game 2 of the ALCS.
This cartoon ran in The Sun after the Orioles beat the White Sox, 4-0, in Game 2 of the ALCS. (Ann Feild / Baltimore Sun)

In that defeat, sullied by a 42-minute rain delay, Chicago’s LaMarr Hoyt (that year’s Cy Young Award winner) pitches a five-hitter and Orioles owner Edward Bennett Williams gets trapped in a stalled elevator for a half-hour.

“The ’27 [New York] Yankees couldn’t have beaten Hoyt the way he was throwing — but if anybody can come back, we can,” catcher Joe Nolan says.

Altobelli, too, plays the optimist.

“Clubs do win three in a row,” he says. “History has proven it can be done.”

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