As difficult as it was limiting the best Orioles pitchers to 10, it was even harder to find the 15 best position players in Orioles history. There were so many to choose from.
GUS TRIANDOS: From 1955-1962, Triandos was a three-time All-Star and caught more than 100 games a year for the Orioles. He hit 142 home runs. In 1957, Triandos threw out an amazing 67 percent of basestealers.
MATT WIETERS: Wieters begins his eighth season with the Orioles, and between 2010-13, caught more than 120 games each season. He’s thrown out nearly a third of those trying to steal.
CLOSE: Rick Dempsey, Chris Hoiles
Dempey caught more games than any catcher in team history. Hoiles was an underrated hitter.
EDDIE MURRAY: Murray had 343 homers with the Orioles, has the third most hits and RBIs in team history. He was also a good first baseman.
BOOG POWELL: Powell hit 303 home runs in 14 years in Baltimore. He also had a great batting eye, and a .362 on-base percentage.
CLOSE: Chris Davis, Rafael Palmeiro
How could a leave out someone who has led the majors in home runs two of the last three years? Murray’s excellence and Powell’s longevity force the issue. Palmeiro’s positive test for PEDs will forever overshadow him. He had 223 home runs in seven seasons with the Orioles.
ROBERTO ALOMAR: He was only with the Orioles for three seasons, but they were spectacular. In 1996, Alomar won the Gold Glove, hit .328 with 22 home runs and had a .411 on-base percentage.
CLOSE: Rich Dauer, Bobby Grich, Davey Johnson, Brian Roberts
Dauer was an effective and at times unappreciated second baseman. He played his entire 10-year career with the Orioles. Grich had seven fine years with the Orioles, but his best years came with the Angels. Johnson was an excellent second baseman in eight strong years, which included two World Series wins. Roberts was the best player on some of the poorer Orioles teams early in this century.
CAL RIPKEN: The consecutive games streak will likely never be broken, but will anyone ever again play 21 seasons for the Orioles?
MARK BELANGER: Even though we don’t really need a defensive replacement on this team, how can someone who won eight Gold Gloves at shortstop be overlooked?
CLOSE: Luis Aparicio, Mike Bordick, Miguel Tejada
Aparicio was the shortstop on the 1966 World Series team and stole 57 bases in 1964, but his fame came from playing with the White Sox. Bordick seamlessly succeeded Ripken at short, and Tejada drove in a team record 150 RBIs in 2004.
BROOKS ROBINSON: It’s hard to believe that someone could win 16 straight Gold Gloves at third base.
MANNY MACHADO: Yes, he’s only been with the Orioles for four years, but the combination of offense and defense forces him here.
CLOSE: Melvin Mora batted .340 in 2004, and like Roberts, was a fine player on a lot of bad teams.
FRANK ROBINSON: The Triple Crown winner and Most Valuable Player, Robinson gave the Orioles the ability and drive they needed to win their first World Series in 1966.
PAUL BLAIR: Blair’s eight Gold Gloves in center made him the cognoscenti’s choice as favorite Oriole. He also had power and speed.
AL BUMBRY: Bumbry’s excellence is often forgotten. Blair and Bumbry are ninth and 10th on the team’s all-time hit list. In 1980, on that excellent team, which won 100 games, but didn’t make the postseason, Bumbry had 205 hits.
BRADY ANDERSON: Only five Orioles, all on this list, played more games than Anderson, and just three had more hits. He’s also the team’s career leader in stolen bases.
ADAM JONES: With another fine year, Jones will crack the team’s all-time top 10. He has three years left on his contract, and by the end of 2018, should trail only Ripken, Robinson and Murray
Close: Nick Markakis, Ken Singleton.
The outfield was the hardest choice and leaving off Markakis and Singleton hurt. Markakis ended his Orioles career with the sixth most hits in team history and Singleton is also on many of the team’s all-time lists.
But, the five outfielders I’ve chosen stand out, and I’m comfortable with my choice.
I’m also fairly comfortable with the 10 pitchers I selected yesterday. The hardest choice there was the exclusion of Steve Barber, who was the team’s first 20-game winner in 1963. His 95 wins place him ninth behind Dennis Martinez, another exclusion.
Martinez’s best years came after he left the Orioles, and that’s why I didn’t include him.
MORE ORIOLES: Who are the greatest pitchers in Orioles history?