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Beltway Series

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Baltimore Orioles – Washington Nationals
First meeting June 16, 1997
Location Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD
Last meeting August 4, 2014
Location Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
Number of meetings 65
Regular season series 35–30, Orioles
Largest victory 17-5, Nationals (May 20, 2011)
Current streak 2, Orioles
Longest Orioles win streak 3
Longest Nationals win streak 4

The Beltway Series (promoted by the Nationals and the Orioles as The Battle of the Beltways) is the name of the interleague series played between the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals. The series name is taken from the two beltway highways, the Baltimore Beltway and the Capital Beltway, that service Baltimore and Washington, D.C. It marked the first time the Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan Area had two Major League Baseball franchises since the folding of the first Washington Senators franchise and the departure of the subsequent two franchises of the same name to Minnesota to become the Twins and the second to Texas to become the Rangers. The Beltway Series is expected to become a regular rivalry series in Major League Baseball.[citation needed]

Controversy fueling the rivalry

Opposition to relocation by the Orioles

Although this rivalry is new, it has a strong basis because of the circumstances surrounding the Nationals' founding. Peter Angelos, the owner of the Orioles, opposed the move of the Montreal Expos to Washington, D.C. on the grounds that it would harm the Orioles financially, contending that the Orioles alone had a legal right to the Baltimore-Washington market. Ultimately, the owners of the other MLB teams approved the move to Washington in a 28–1 vote on December 3, 2004; Angelos cast the sole dissenting vote.

In the four full seasons since baseball returned to Washington, the Nationals drew 9,127,252 fans to their games, compared to 8,892,951 fans attending Orioles games. The Nationals were a larger draw in 2005, while both teams were about the same in 2006 (the Orioles drew exactly 100 more fans that year), and in 2007 the Orioles were a larger draw by nearly 200,000 fans.[2] In 2008 the momentum swung back the Nationals' way, with the Nationals outdrawing the Orioles by over 370,000 fans, mostly due in part to their then-new ballpark.[2]

Both cities have a long history of professional baseball teams, beginning with the 1882 American Association Baltimore Orioles and followed by the 1886 Washington Nationals of the National League. The original Washington Senators (now the Twins) and Baltimore Orioles (now the Yankees) were both charter members of the American League in 1901.

Television rights

The dispute with Angelos over the move was resolved when the Orioles were granted the right to broadcast Nationals games on their new television network, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. However, the deal was struck only days before the beginning of the 2005 season and many D.C.-area fans did not receive the new network for some time and were unable to watch most games. Furthermore, it has been reported that Angelos and the Orioles hold majority ownership in the network, which has led some Nationals fans to contend that the channel exhibits a bias in covering the Orioles compared to the Nationals (such as displaying the scores of Beltway Series games as "Orioles vs. Washington" as opposed to "Orioles vs. Nationals"). Furthermore, the Orioles changed the name on their away jerseys from "Baltimore" to "Orioles" in 1972 after D.C. lost the last Senators team, in an attempt to convince D.C. fans to adapt them as their team. In 2009, the Orioles changed back to "Baltimore" on their away jerseys.


The tradition of yelling "O!" during the line "Oh say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave" in the "Star Spangled Banner" is a Baltimore Orioles tradition. Over the years it became a staple of Washington, DC area sporting events. The chant has had controversy in the past and the usage of the "O!" chant at Nationals games has reignited such controversy.[3][4][dead link]

Club success

Team World Series Titles League Pennants Division Titles Wild Card Berths Playoff Appearances World Series Appearances All-time Regular Season Record Win Percentage
Baltimore Orioles 3 7 8 2 10 6 8,399–9,250 .476
Washington Nationals 0 0 2 0 2 0 3,503–3,776 .481
Combined 3 7 10 2 12 6 11902–13206 .474

Note: Numbers include the Montreal Expos and St. Louis Browns.

Summary of results

Orioles wins Nationals wins Orioles runs Nationals runs
Regular season 27 20 128 119

Orioles vs. Expos

Year Series Winner Orioles W Expos W Notes
1997 Expos 1 2 Played at Oriole Park at Camden Yards
1998 Expos 0 3 Played at Olympic Stadium
1999 Orioles 3 0 Played at Oriole Park at Camden Yards
2000 Expos 0 3 Played at Olympic Stadium
2001 Orioles 2 1 Played at Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Overall Expos (3-2) 6 9

Beltway series results

Year Series Winner Orioles W Nationals W Notes
2006 Tie 3 3
2007 Nationals 2 4 First Nats' Beltway Series win, Nats' last year at RFK Stadium
2008 Tie 3 3 Nationals Park opens
2009 Orioles 4 2 First O's Beltway Series win
2010 Orioles 4 2
2011 Tie 3 3
2012 Orioles 4 2 Both teams make the playoffs. First playoff appearance for the Nats.
2013 Orioles| 3 1 League realignment, two fewer games in series.
2014 Orioles| 3 1 Both teams win their respective divisions.
Overall Orioles (5-1-3) 29 21

See also


  1. ^ "Nationals Broadcast Schedule". Major League Baseball Adavnced Media. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "MLB Attendance Report—2008". Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  3. ^ Zillgitt, Jeff (May 2, 2005). "Nationals, fans breathe life into baseball-starved D.C". USA Today. 
  4. ^ Steinberg, Dan (December 15, 2006). "Should the National Anthem "Oh!" be Retired?". 

External links