As we look ahead to Opening Day for the Baltimore Orioles, we are also looking back at a piece of school history — when Gilman hosted the O’s for spring training in 1944.
According to the April 14, 1944, edition of The Gilman News, the Orioles landed at Gilman for spring training in 1944 because “the teams were not permitted to travel south” and Gilman had a cage “ideal for indoor practice.” Also a plus? The players reportedly lived together in a Roland Park boarding house just a few minutes away from the Gilman field. It’s worth mentioning that the Orioles that trained at Gilman in 1944 were not the Major League Orioles franchise — they didn’t move from St. Louis until 1954. These 1944 birds were from the minor league Orioles team.
The paper reports that Gilman students frequently watched Orioles players limbering up, running around the track, and playing “pepper” games when the weather was nice, but the team moved inside when the weather turned snowy.
“It’s always fun to share these unknown pieces of Gilman’s past, especially when they involve our iconic Orioles,” said Archivist Jillian Matos. “Stories like this show how our 117-year-old institution is very much a valuable part of Baltimore City history and I hope the Gilman community realizes that.”