On September 28, 1896 the legendary Baltimore Orioles came to town to play the Scranton Coal Heavers. The Orioles were managed by Ned Hanlon. They were the Champions of the National League. They won the Temple Cup Series ( Predecessor of the World Series) over the Cleveland Spiders. This series was played between the first and second place teams in the National League. The Orioles batted .328 as a team, led by “Wee” Willie Keeler’s .432 and Hughie ” EE ya” Jennings’ .401 batting average.
The Orioles won the game 4-2. On the roster of the Orioles that day were future Hall of Famers, Hughie Jennings SS from Scranton, John McGraw 3B, Wee Willies Keeler OF , Joe Kelley OF and Wilbert Robinson catcher. Joe Corbett did the pitching for Baltimore. Joe Corbett had pitched with the Scranton club during the 1896. Joe was the brother of Jim Corbett, the famous boxer. Joe finished with 3 wins and zero loses for the Orioles during the year. He would follow that up the following year with 24 wins. (Scranton Republican September 29, 1896) Willie Clarke of the Scranton club, would also play 5 years in the Big Leagues, hitting .286 .
Scranton had Piggy Ward on its roster, he had played with Pittsburgh and Washington before Scranton. Thomas Johnson did the pitching for Scranton.
The Scranton connection of Hughie Jennings seemed to be the reason for Orioles game bing played in Scranton. In 1895, Hughie Jennings and John McGraw were part of an exhibition game. They played as part of the Moosic squad which played against the Y.M.C.A. champions. The Moosic team won the game with the help of McGraw and Jennings, 3-1.This game was played on October 27, 1895. (Scranton Republican October 28, 1895 p 7)