In their 62 years in Baltimore, the Orioles have won three World Series and produced Hall of Famers. There have been countless excellent players, and over the next two days, I’m going to try and create an all-time Orioles roster.
We’ll have 10 pitchers and 15 position players on our 25-man roster. Because this pitchers were so good—and they are so many worthy position players, I’ve limited it to 10.
JIM PALMER: This one is obvious. Palmer is a Hall of Famer, and his career with the Orioles so long that he played for the team both before it won its World Series in 1966 and after its last in 1983.
Many younger fans who know Palmer only as a broadcaster aren’t aware of how good he really was.
Palmer had eight 20-win seasons, had a career ERA of an astonishing 2.86 and threw 211 complete games with 53 shutouts.
MIKE MUSSINA: One of the most polarizing players in Orioles history. He was so good and so controversial that many don’t appreciate his talent.
Mussina’s won-loss record was strikingly similar to Palmer’s. He actually won two more games than Palmer (270 to 268) and lost one more (153 to 152).
Of course, Mussina’s ERA was much higher—3.68, but in his time with the Orioles he was terrific, winning 147 games in 10 seasons.
He’s deservedly getting closer to the Hall of Fame.
DAVE McNALLY: From 1968-71, McNally won 20 games each season and was a superlative 87-31.
Second only to Palmer in wins, McNally went 181-113 in 13 seasons and have a terrific 3.18 ERA.
MIKE CUELLAR: In 1971, Cuellar was one of four starters who won 20 games for the Orioles.
He was a 20-game winner four times for the Orioles, and had the same ERA as McNally’s, 3.18. He won 143 games for the Orioles.
MILT PAPPAS: He’s not being included because he was part of the most famous trade in Orioles history. Pappas was traded to Cincinnati for Frank Robinson in Dec. 1965.
He gets on this team because he won 110 games and had a 3.24 ERA in nine years with the Orioles.
Pappas won 209 games in his long big league career.
SCOTT McGREGOR: He came to the Orioles in one of the best trades in team history. In 1976, they acquired McGregor, Rick Dempsey and Tippy Martinez from the Yankees.
McGregor pitched only for the Orioles in the majors, winning 138 games, including 20 in 1980.
He clinched the team’s final World Series in 1983 by shutting out the Phillies in the fifth game.
MIKE FLANAGAN: Flanagan won 141 games in 15 seasons with the Orioles.
Overshadowed at times by Palmer and McGregor, Flanagan was the star of the 1979 team that came within a win of a World Series title. He led the American League with 23 wins.
In his second iteration with the Orioles, Flanagan became the final Orioles pitcher to work in Memorial Stadium.
STEVE STONE: There were probably some better pitchers in team history that don’t make this team, but none ever won more games in a single season.
In 1980, Stone won a team record 25 games and was part of a superlative starting staff that included three other pitchers just mentioned here: Palmer, Flanagan and McGregor.
TIPPY MARTINEZ: This team has great starters and maybe some swing men, but it needs some relievers, too.
Martinez pitched in 499 games from 1976-86, the most by an Orioles reliever.
While he was remembered for picking off three Toronto Blue Jays in one inning in 1983, Martinez was a durable, dependable left-handed presence in the bullpen.
GREGG OLSON: From 1988-93, Olson was the best reliever in Orioles history. He saved a team record 160 games and had an outstanding 2.26 ERA.
In 1989, Olson became one of the few relievers to win the Rookie of the Year. That year, he gave up just one home run in 85 innings.
There were some very tough decisions in putting this team together. The toughest out was Mike Boddicker.
Boddicker was the last Orioles pitcher to win 20 games, in 1984. His 16 wins held key the 1983 World Series champs.
Pat Dobson was one of the four starters to win 20 games in 1971, but in his second and final season with the team, led the American League with 18 losses.
Jim Johnson had 101 saves in 2012-13, the only Orioles pitcher with 50 or more in any season.
In his first four years with the Orioles, Darren O’Day has been outstanding, and if he keeps producing at that rate over his next four, he’ll be a contender to join this all-time team.
TOMORROW: I’ll pick the best 15 position players in team history.