“I feel strange—but its a grand occasion,” said MdHS President George L. Radcliffe, dressed in a bushy brown wig, yellow-plumed black hat, tunic, and breeches of Cecilius Calvert, as he stood with 350,000 other Baltimoreans, celebrating the return of the Orioles to the Major Leagues on April 15, 1954. Described as the “parade of the century,” civic organizations, manufacturers, merchants, and breweries of Baltimore designed elaborate floats and marched from Johns Hopkins, south down Charles Street, west on Madison, down Howard, east on Baltimore Street, and from Holliday east to the Fallsway.*
Clowns, army men, beauty queens, a marching band, and Vice-President Richard Nixon (who threw out the first pitch of their inaugural home game), can all be seen in this clip from “Play Ball with the Orioles,” narrated by legendary announcer Ernie Harwell (1918-2010). Noticably absent from the festivities was Baltimore mayor Tommy D’Alesandro Jr., who was in the hospital and ordered to bedrest by his doctors. D’Alesandro was instrumental in bringing a major league team back to Baltimore after more than 50 years,** after he promised his constituents a big leage stadium and a team to fill it. His dream was realized when the St. Louis Browns franchise moved east to become the Baltimore Orioles of the American League.
“Play Ball with the Orioles” will be screened in its entirety at MdhS on Saturday Oct. 13th as part of “Maryland on Film.” Admission is free! (Eben Dennis)
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Maryland on Film
The MdHS library has compiled approximately two hours of footage from eight films from our collections to be screened as part of Free Fall Baltimore on Saturday, October 13.
Screenings will begin at the top of each hour from 10-4pm. The silent films in this presentation will be accompanied by pre-recorded music from Wye Oak, Matmos, Dan Deacon, Lower Dens, Celebration, and Among Wolves.
The films were preserved through funding from the National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF) over the years. They represent historic events (the first international flight out of Baltimore), candid footage (a family movie filmed at the Druid Hill Park Zoo), the Baltimore Orioles, Baltimore business (Hutzler’s), general culture, etc. from Maryland, between the years of 1927 and 1957. An important component of the NFPF grant for the most recently films funded, the Siebert Family Home Movies, involves a free public screening.
Segments of the following films will be shown:
“Behind the Scenes at Hutzler’s” (1938)
“Pan American Balt-Bermuda” (1937)
“Bayshore Round-Up” (1928)
“The Picturesque Susquehanna” (1928)
“Druid Hill Park Zoo” (1927)
“Raising the Big Flag, VE Day” (1945)
“Baltimore: A Modern City of Charm and Distinction” (1939)
“Play Ball with the Orioles” (1957)