Sports teams have been a mainstay in Maryland for decades. From the Orioles and Ravens to the Capitals and Nationals, Marylanders have been excitedly watching their favorite teams compete against rival clubs from around the country. Whether you’re looking for professional or collegiate sports excitement, there’s sure to be something in Maryland that will pique your interest.
Maryland sports betting has been growing steadily in recent years, as more and more people are looking for ways to add excitement and increase their chances of winning during some of their preferred sporting events. With the legalization of sports betting approved in 2020, more Marylanders than ever before have access to this popular form of entertainment. Whether it’s placing a bet on a college football game or an NFL contest, sports betting is becoming increasingly popular in the state.
The Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens have a long and storied history, originating in 1996 when Art Modell moved his beloved Cleveland Browns to Baltimore. In the reliable hands of Modell, the team soon blossomed and was given its now iconic moniker—the Ravens—paying homage to Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem. It would be the team’s first draft pick that truly kickstarted their legacy: Baltimore chose linebacker Ray Lewis, who went on to become one of the most dominant players in NFL history. His talent played an instrumental role in crafting -and sustaining- the Ravens’ formidable defensive reputation that continues to this day.
After years of disappointment, the 2000 Ravens were poised to break through and make history. Led by MVP Ray Lewis and a league-leading defense, the ravens had a remarkable 12-4 regular season followed by a perfect 3-0 postseason run–shutting out their opponents in both the conference championship and Super Bowl! The final tally? 139 points for, 60 points against. Joining Lewis as part of this legendary lineup were Jonathan Ogden, Shannon Sharpe, and Rod Woodson, who all earned Pro Bowl selections that season before taking down the New York Giants to capture their first Super Bowl title in franchise history.
The Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles have a long and illustrious history, having been founded in 1901 as the Milwaukee Brewers (not those ones). In 1954, they became the St. Louis Browns before ultimately relocating to Baltimore and becoming the Orioles in 1966. The team first found success in 1969 with all-time greats like Brooks Robinson leading the way with his legendary defensive plays at third base. That season, the Orioles won 109 games and beat out the New York Mets in a thrilling World Series that went to five games- securing Baltimore’s first championship since joining the American League.
The team continued its winning ways through the 1970s, amassing three more pennants and two more World Series titles under manager Earl Weaver. During this era, the Orioles saw stars like Cal Ripken Jr., Jim Palmer, and Eddie Murray become fixtures of the team for decades.
As of 20222, the team has yet to return to their championship-winning ways, but the Orioles remain a beloved team in Maryland and are still giving fans plenty of reason to cheer.
The Washington Capitals
While the Capitals are ostensibly in DC, they are by far Maryland’s most popular hockey team. Founded in 1974, the team has had to wait for consistent success as they have been through numerous rebuilds over the decades. However, their breakthrough finally came in 2018 when they won their first Stanley Cup Championship. Led by captain Alex Ovechkin and head coach Barry Trotz, the Capitals capped off a remarkable regular season with an impressive postseason run that saw them take down some of the league’s top teams en route to capturing hockey’s ultimate prize.
The Washington Nationals
In 2005, Major League Baseball returned to DC after more than three decades away as the Montreal Expos relocated to become the Washington Nationals. At first, it seemed like history was destined to repeat itself and once again leave DC without a championship team. That all changed in 2019, however, as the Nationals finally broke through to capture their first World Series title and captivate an entire region with their underdog story. Led by Max Scherzer and Anthony Rendon, Washington put together a remarkable season that culminated in a thrilling seven-game series against the Houston Astros. The championship was incredibly special for DC natives who had long awaited this moment, and it remains one of the most memorable moments in Maryland sports history.
As is evidenced by the above examples, Maryland has a proud sports history and its teams have been responsible for some of the most memorable moments in both local and national sports. From the Ravens’ historic Super Bowl run to the Nationals’ incredible World Series title, these teams have sparked joy throughout the region and given their fans a lifetime of memories. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see what other achievements they can add to this list as they continue to give their dedicated fanbases plenty of reasons to celebrate.