It was a random line that wasn’t random. The movie takes place in 1903 St. Louis. Why the Orioles?
The scene starts with the father coming home from work. He’s a lawyer who’s just lost a case. He’s in a bad mood.
The eternally optimistic daughter suggests that happiness could be found with a switch to a dream career.
He’s not suffering silliness. He wants sympathy (and a bath). “Beginning tomorrow, I intend to play first base for the Baltimore Orioles.”
I’m intrigued but first I have to make sure I’m not imagining a puzzle from a single piece. I go duck ducking for facts.
In 1903, St. Louis had two major league baseball teams: The Cardinals and the Browns.
The Baltimore Orioles (1901–1903): The team moved to New York where they were renamed the Highlanders and later, in 1913, became the New York Yankees.
Who’s the fan? It’s time for a quick background check of the principals.
Producer: Arthur Freed. Born: Charleston, South Carolina.
Director: Vincente Minnelli. Born: Chicago, Illinois.
Writer: Fred F. Finklehoffe. Born: Springfield, Massachusetts.
Writer: Irving Brecher. Born: New York City, New York.
I have found the fan that knows his team trivia, but, even for a Yankees fan, fandom alone is a weak motive.
The movie was released in 1944. With the time it takes to make a movie, the answer is probably in 1943.
The 1943 World Series was a rematch of the 1942 series with the New York Yankees defeating the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals in five games.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a home run.”
Now to wrap up ironically with a few random pieces found during my quest.
The 1944 World Series featured the St. Louis Cardinals beating the St. Louis Browns in six games. After the 1953 season, the Browns moved to Baltimore where they were renamed the Orioles.
The original Baltimore Orioles moved to New York before the start of the 1903 season.