Players, traditions and elements fell into place, quickly, and the Baltimore Orioles took flight in supplanting the Yankees as baseballís best team for more than a quarter century. This program was issued at Memorial Stadium on April 15, 1954 for the Birdsí first-ever home game. The 32-page guide features scorecard pages with pre-printed lineups and unmarked scoring grids. Local ads hawk products such as National Bohemian Beer, Esskay Hot Dogs and Goetzeís Caramel Creams (which remain Baltimore staples to this day).
Covers and crisp pages remain completely intact. While there is a vertical compacting fold (common to stadium-issued programs of this era), it is not a definitive crease. The program presents very nicely and has (2) ďAPR 15 1954Ē stampings on the front cover. The guide and its contents smack of tradition, with Jim Hartzellís cartoon Bird on the front cover and a full-page Hutzlerís ad (with home-grown product Bobby Young modeling sportswear) on the inside back cover.
The program dates to the home opener, as Vic Wertz is listed in the Oriolesí cleanup spot on the pre-printed lineup card. Wertz played in only 29 games for the Orioles that season before being traded to the Cleveland Indians on June 1.