Gallery: A look back at the 1997 Orioles

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Things are looking up in Charm City these days, at least as baseball is concerned: Entering Thursday, the Baltimore Orioles are tied with the New York Yankees atop the American League East, and have been hovering around first place for a couple of weeks now. They're also two wins away from clinching an above-.500 record.

Why is this a big deal? Because much like the better-documented Pittsburgh Pirates, the Orioles haven't seen a winning season since the 1990s -- 1997, to be exact, when Cal Ripken Jr. played third, Roberto Alomar/Rafael Palmeiro handled the infield's right side, Mike Mussina dealt from the mound and Davey Johnson oversaw it all.

Let's take a photographic look back at that special year, when Baltimore went an American League-best 98-64 before being forced to watch the fledgling Florida Marlins hold up that coveted World Series trophy.

The Baltimore Orioles' Last Golden Year (before this one)Photo Gallery