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Orioles Yankees Rivalry Renewed As AL East Race Winds Down

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Players from the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees engage in a bench clearing brawl after Orioles relief pitcher Armando Benitez beaned Yankees batter Tino Martinez after Bernie Williams hit a three-run home run to give the Yankees a 7-5 lead in the eighth inning Tuesday, May 19, 1998 at Yankee Stadium in New York.
Players from the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees engage in a bench clearing brawl after Orioles relief pitcher Armando Benitez beaned Yankees batter Tino Martinez after Bernie Williams hit a three-run home run to give the Yankees a 7-5 lead in the eighth inning Tuesday, May 19, 1998 at Yankee Stadium in New York.

The New York Yankees have taken much from the Baltimore Orioles over the years, from that illicit game-tying run in the 1996 ALCS to the actual franchise. The original Orioles franchise in Baltimore, a National League club in the 19th Century and a charter member of the American League in 1901, was plucked from Charm City in 1903. Initially renamed the New York Highlanders thanks to its home in Hilltop Park in upper Manhattan, the franchise would eventually be dubbed the Yankees and later move across the Harlem River to the Bronx.

After New York grabbed hold of the club that brought John McGraw (and his "Baltimore Chop") to fame, Major League Baseball would not return to the hometown of Babe Ruth (another item of note that the Yankees, by way of Boston, took from Baltimore) until 1954 when the St. Louis Browns were lured East. In the years since, the Big Apple has proven a regular impediment to prolong success in Baltimore. Even the Mets have gotten in on the act, famously upsetting a powerhouse O's squad in the 1969 World Series.

As the 2012 season comes down to the wire, the Orioles are shedding the also-ran status that they've had for more than a decade, rekindling the dormant rivalry with the Yankees in the process. Although the Pinstripes have historically been the likelier to luck out in the matchups betweens these A.L. East foes, perhaps the tide is finally turning. In a moment that could prove quite significant as the final regular-season standings are determined, Baltimore benefitted from just the sort of controversial play that Jeffrey Maier made for New York. With the Yankees holding a slim edge in the standings entering a recent game at Camden Yards, first base umpire Jerry Meals blew a call at first base that snuffed a rally for the road team and dropped them level with the Orioles in the standings. The Yankees held a 10-game lead on July 18 but have given up ground as the summer wore on and have been mired in a nip-and-tuck battle ever since that call.

Could the Orioles finally take something from the Yankees?

Here are some of the most memorable and heated moments in the Yankees-Orioles rivalry:

Orioles-Yankees Rivalry
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