Sports in Baltimore Article

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Baltimore, Maryland has a long and storied sporting history encompassing many teams from many different eras. Area fans, such as the late Wild Bill Hagy, are known for their passion and reverence for historical sports figures who played in the city or were born there.

Among other sports, Baltimore is also known for horse racing. The Preakness Stakes is a 1-3/16 mile (1.91 km) American Grade I stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses, held on the third Saturday in May each year at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. The Preakness Stakes has been termed "The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans" because a blanket of Black-eyed Susans ( Rudbeckia hirta, the state flower of Maryland) is traditionally placed around the winner's neck. The Preakness is the second leg in American thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown series and almost always attracts the Kentucky Derby winner, and some of the other horses that ran in the Derby.

Major league professional teams

Other professional teams

Baltimore Bohemians, a USL PDL soccer franchise founded in 2011, finished second in the Mid-Atlantic division in 2013, clinching a playoff berth in their second season. The Bohemians also secured a U.S. Open Cup berth and led the entire 62-team PDL in scoring with 42 league goals. [1] They went on hiatus as of the 2017 season. [2]

In 2018, FC Baltimore began play in the National Premier Soccer League out of the Community College of Baltimore County's Essex Stadium. [3] The team won the Mid-Atlantic Conference in its inaugural season, including the largest home victory of the year with a 13–0 win over Legacy 76, and reached the 2018 NPSL National Playoffs as a wildcard team. [4] [5]

Baltimore Blast, a franchise of the Major Arena Soccer League, has been playing at the 1st Mariner Arena since 1992. Originally known as Baltimore Spirit, the team changed its name in 1998. The current name was previously used by another indoor soccer team that played in Baltimore from 1980 to 1992, winning a MISL title in 1984. Since joining the MISL in 2001, the Baltimore Blast have won eight league championships: 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2017. [6] The Blast joined the MASL in 2014 upon closure of the MISL.

Baltimore has two women's American football teams: the Baltimore Burn (founded 2001) and the Baltimore Nighthawks (founded 2007). Both teams play at Art Modell Field.

Defunct or relocated teams



The Baltimore Stallions was an expansion professional football team that joined the Canadian Football League in 1994. It remained in Baltimore for two seasons before relocating to Montreal after the 1995 season to become the Montreal Alouettes. While playing for Baltimore, the team posted the best two season starts of any CFL expansion team ever, advancing to the Grey Cup in both seasons. In its final season in Baltimore, the Stallions became the only U.S. based CFL team to win the Grey Cup, upsetting the heavily favored Calgary Stampeders.

The Baltimore Mariners, a franchise of the American Indoor Football Association, played at the 1st Mariner Arena from 2008 to 2010. After winning the AIFA championship to cap an undefeated season in 2010, the team folded over charges that owner Dwayne Wells purchased the franchise with embezzled funds. [7]



Ice hockey


College teams

Division I

In Baltimore City:

In Baltimore County:

Division III

In Baltimore City:

In Baltimore County:


Lore and Traditions

It is customary before a Baltimore Ravens game to tap the shoe of the statue of Johnny Unitas, Baltimore's star quarterback of the mid twentieth century while the Colts were still playing in the city. This is seen as a good luck charm for the game to come. [8]

When the national anthem is played at an Orioles or Ravens game, the word "oh" is emphasized in the line "oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave" by the crowd to show allegiance to the Orioles, using their nickname, the O's. Some national onlookers regard this custom as disrespectful to the nation's anthem. [9]

Nicknames are widely used in Baltimore to refer to certain sports figures or moments. Several Orioles players of the modern era have earned themselves nicknames which have quickly become traditional, such as Chris Davis receiving the nickname "Crush Davis" following his record-setting 2013 season and Nelson Cruz, whose last named is chanted in an elongated fashion whenever he makes a big play at home. The 2012 postseason game between the Ravens and the Broncos has picked up several nicknames, such as the "Mile High Miracle", the "F-bomb", and the "Rocky Mountain Rainbow", each referring particularly to Joe Flacco's pass to Jacoby Jones for a Baltimore touchdown which led to a victory, eventually leading the Ravens to win Super Bowl XLVII. [10] [11]

When the Orioles are thrown into situations where they succeed spectacularly, especially when overcoming an adversarial situation, it is known by the Baltimore community as "Orioles Magic". This term was popularized by the local station WFBR when announcers reacted to Doug DeCinces' walk-off home run over the Detroit Tigers in 1979 by shouting "it might get out of here", followed by an eruption of fan cheering at Memorial Stadium. [12]

Eating Esskay hot dogs and drinking National Bohemian beer at Baltimore sporting events, particularly at Orioles games, has become a long-lasting tradition. National Bohemian is commonly referred to as "Natty Boh" by venues and Baltimoreans, however no longer served at Oriole Park itself after a marketing dispute involving usage of the Orioles color likeness on cans initiated by owner Peter Angelos. [13] [14]

The term "Birdland" is commonly used to refer to the Baltimore area's fanbase for both the Ravens and the Orioles. MASN, the Orioles' broadcasting network, is commonly accredited with popularizing this term thanks to their promos. [15]

The song Seven Nation Army was popularized in Baltimore as the Ravens' official pump-up song. Seven Nation Army was first played at the Ravens opening game of 2011 against the Steelers, and has been played at every home game since. It can often be heard at Orioles games as well. [16]

See also


  1. ^ "Bohs Advance To PDL Playoffs". United Soccer Leagues. July 21, 2013. Archived from the original on July 23, 2013. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  2. ^ "Club statement regarding the future". Baltimore Bohemians. January 12, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  3. ^ Graham, Glenn. "Baltimore has new semipro soccer team with FC Baltimore joining NPSL". Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  4. ^ "FC Baltimore Claims Mid-Atlantic Conference Regular Season Title – National Premier Soccer League". Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  5. ^ "FC Baltimore Defeats Legacy 76 13-0 – National Premier Soccer League". Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  6. ^ "Blast win MASL Championship". Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  7. ^ Sarah Beth Hensley (January 3, 2011). "Potomac Man Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison for Embezzling $1.7 million". Potomac Patch. Archived from the original on August 25, 2011. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
  8. ^ DiLutis, Peter. "Downtown Baltimore Sports Landmarks". Maryland Sports Landmarks. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
  9. ^ Brown, David (May 21, 2012). "Baltimore's tradition of fans shouting 'O!' during national anthem sparks interleague feud". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
  10. ^ "Chris Davis Becomes Crush Davis". Baltimore Magazine. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
  11. ^ "Orioles' Nelson Cruz earns T-shirt night with monster April". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
  12. ^ "Thirty-four years ago tonight, Orioles Magic was born". MASN. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
  13. ^ "How to Be a Baltimore Orioles Fan". WikiHow. Archived from the original on July 28, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
  14. ^ "NATTY BOH RANKS AMONG WORST CHEAP AMERICAN BEERS". Baltimore City Paper. Archived from the original on July 28, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
  15. ^ "Baltimore Orioles: This Is Birdland, Damn It". Bleacher Report. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
  16. ^ "How "Seven Nation Army" Became The Pump-Up Song At M&T Bank…And The 4 Songs They Almost Played Instead". Mix 106.5. Retrieved July 21, 2014.