Like Ripken’s streak, all good things must come to an end. Actually, this is an improvement, as we’re streamlining our efforts and providing top notch and unorthodox sports coverage at the Damox Sports Blog now.
Perhaps the easiest decision on the Orioles All Time Team, other than Cal Ripken at shortstop, is picking the all time manager. Earl Weaver was, without a doubt, the greatest manager the Orioles have ever or will ever have. He was feisty, he was belligerent, and he won ball games. I consider him to be among the top managers of all time.
1983 Topps Earl Weaver
We’re only doing the top 3 starting pitchers for the Orioles All Time Team. They are, in order of voting totals, Jim Palmer, Mike Mussina, and Mike Cueller.
1966 Topps Jim Palmer rookie card
Surprisingly, the Orioles as a franchise have never have a great catcher. We’re hoping that changes with Matt Wieters, but until then the best we’ve got is Chris Hoiles. Hoiles played for the O’s for 10 seasons in the 1980’s and 90’s. He never got selected to an All Star team, but he did place 16th in the MVP voting in 1993.
1990 Leaf Chris Hoiles
Yankees fans who get the YES Network will immediately recognize the next name on our Orioles All Time team. Right fielder Ken Singleton played 10 seasons with the O’s in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Singleton was a 3 time All Star during that span and finished his career with over 2,000 hits.
1970 Topps Ken Singleton rookie card (pictured with Mets)
Some of the younger Orioles fans out there might not remember our All Time center fielder, but the older fans will instantly recognize the man who won a grand total of 4 World Series rings with the O’s in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Paul Blair may not have been the greatest hitter in the game, but man could he roam the outfield. He won a total of 8 gold gloves out there in 17 seasons.
1965 Topps Paul Blair rookie (with another O’s All Time teamer, Davey Johnson)
The selection for the all time best Orioles left fielder is Brady Anderson. Brady was traded to the Orioles from the Red Sox early in his career, and he was an All Star three times with the O’s in the 1990’s and played a pivotal role in their playoff runs. He was an alleged PED user.
1988 Donruss Rookies Brady Anderson (pictured as Red Sox)
One of the only positions almost as uncontroversial as Cal Ripken’s pick at shortstop, Brooks Robinson was obviously the best third baseman the Orioles have ever had. He was a decent but not great hitter, but his defense at the hot corner was legendary. Highlight films of Brooks make amazing plays could go on for hours.
1957 Topps Brooks Robinson rookie card
Perhaps one of the only positions on the Orioles all time team that is in no way controversial. The vote was unanimous: Cal Ripken Jr. was the best shortstop we’ve ever had. The only other player in real contention was Mark Belanger, a fine fielder and a notorious tobacco addict.
1982 Topps Traded Cal Ripken rookie
The Orioles have never had a second baseman who was universally considered the best at the position in the game. That made this vote a tough one, because it was a choice of who was the best of the not-so-greats. It was no surprise to me that the winner was Davey Johnson. He played 8 years with the team, winning 3 gold gloves and being selected to 3 all star games during that time.
1965 Topps Davey Johnson rookie card w/ Paul Blair