BALTIMORE -- Forty years ago, the Orioles were the best team in baseball. They went to the World Series three years in a row from 1969-71, and won the Fall Classic in '70.
It's a far cry from the current state of the club, which entered Saturday at 21-52. But before their matchup against the Nationals, Orioles fans got to relive some of the magic from the glory days when the club hosted a reunion for the 1970 champions.
"It's nice to see those guys come back," interim manager Juan Samuel said of former Orioles greats and Hall of Famers Earl Weaver, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson and others. "Hopefully here, in the near future, some of these [current] guys will be in that position."
The Orioles turned their auxiliary clubhouse into a shrine to the 1970 team, filling the lockers with their old jerseys and displaying the World Series trophy. Weaver and the Robinson tandem joined Davey Johnson, Jim Palmer, Boog Powell and Paul Blair to answer questions about the '70 season and the current state of the Orioles.
"This is one of the best teams that was ever put together in the history of baseball," said Weaver, manager of the 1970 club. He added that he thinks that team is overlooked in the annals of baseball lore, since they were one of only two teams in history to post three straight 100-win seasons but only won the one Fall Classic.
In a pregame ceremony, the Orioles rolled out the orange carpet they use on Opening Day to welcome the former Baltimore stars onto the field at Camden Yards. Palmer, Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson threw out the first pitches to Kevin Millwood, Miguel Tejada and Nick Markakis.
"Some of us haven't seen each other in 40 years and it's probably the last time I'll see them again," Brooks Robinson said. "When you win a World [Series] championship, every time you think about it, every player you think about, it brings a big smile to your face."
Noah Rosenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.