Every one has a favorite baseball team… me? Of course I love BALTIMORE (yes I will try and continue to write BALTIMORE in caps for the purpose of reminding people where this team plays) Orioles. Some like individual players. I have followed this team since I was about 6 years old. Interesting fact: That was Reggie Jackson’s first and only season in Baltimore before going to the Yankees. Final 1976 numbers for Reggie; .277- 27 HR- 91 RBI- 27 2B- 134 GP- 108 K 54 BB. Thanks Reg. Thanks for nothing.
Well to say the least Reggie wasn’t one of my favorite players after that 1976 season. See, I was brain-washed by my family about how great Reggie was when he was in Oakland. So I thought that Reggie was going to be my first favorite Oriole ( I was 6 at the time folks… give me a chance ) of all time… that sound you heard… was the brakes on my Reggie bandwagon sketching to a sudden stop. The ride was over. Reggie would not be one of the favorite Orioles.
Before I list my top 10 all time favorite Orioles, I want to share with you some of my favorite players I watched play in the AL when I was 6-11 years old (1976-1981). Or PC ( Pre- Cal ).
Boston: Fred Lynn, Jeremy Remy, Rick Burleson
New York: Bucky Dent, Willie Randolph, Paul Blair
Milwaukee: Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Rollie Fingers
Kansas City: George Brett, Frank White, Willie Wilson
California: Brian Downing, Bobby Grich, Rod Carew,
Toronto: Jesse Barfield
Oakland: Rickey Henderson, Rickey Henderson, Rickey Henderson
Detroit: Alan Trammell, Ron LeFlore
Chicago: Carlton Fisk
Cleveland: Rick Manning, Andre Thornton, Mike Hargrove
Minnesota: Roy Smalley
Seattle: Ritchie Zisk
Texas: Toby Harrah
Now my top ten Orioles:
10. Doug DeCinces. Baltimore Oriole from 1973-1981. Had more broke noses that I can remember and I’m sure he rather not. Remember when hit a 3 run shot in the first inning of a five run first against the Pirates to start the 1979 World Series? I do! He always has some credit… if not the most for… O R I O L E S … MAGIC MAGIC MAGIC!!! Feel it Happen! Try getting that tune out of your head anytime soon.
9. Kiko Garcia. Baltimore Oriole from 1976-1980. Just loved his play in the 1979 World Series. It just seemed to me when he played… he played hard. Loved the fro’ from the cap!
8. Mark Belanger. Baltimore Oriole from 1965-1981. WOW! Did you know that? The fondest memory of the Blade for me was when he hit a home run against Ron Guidry during that classic 5 game series at Memorial Stadium during the 1978 season. By the way Guidry won the CY Young that year.
7. Al Bumbry. Baltimore Oriole from 1972-1984. AL ROY in 1973!! The BEE was just a bug to other teams when he got on base. Bumbry has to be one of the All-Time Most under Appreciated Players in Oriole history.
6. Don Stanhouse. I’m shaking just thinking of a good reason to write about him. Maybe “Wild “Bill would have been a better choice.
5. Lee May. Baltimore Oriole from 1975-1980. Best will be remembered for the one who hit the sharp grounder down the line in Game one of the 1970 World Series that Brooks turned into a MLB highlight treasure. I like Lee because he was the “Big Bopper “. He was my Boog Powell. He actually ties Reggie for the team lead in home runs in 1976.
4. Dave Skaggs. Baltimore Oriole from 1977-1980. I know you are sitting there going… Dave Skaggs? Dave Skaggs? Trivia question… who wore the number 8 last before Cal Ripken… Dave Skaggs? YEAH BOOOYYY!
3. Eddie Murray. Three letters for you… H O F!
2. Gary Roenicke. Baltimore Oriole from 1978-1985. He won someone a $1,000,000 during a “Glam Slam “promotion that the Orioles had every game during the years I speak of. If memory serves me correctly… this was in NY and it was Saturday or Sunday afternoon game. It doesn’t matter… plus the guy took one on the chin only to comeback wearing a half mask helmet to play. Love that!!
1. Ken Singleton. Baltimore Oriole from 1975-1984. Yup, Mr. “I will now enter the batter’s box and find three stones that don’t belong before I bat “ Singleton. What not to like… switch hitter with power… great arm… great “ eye “ at the plate… should of won the 1979 AL MVP… plus he protected Murray before Cal arrived. #29 in YOUR program… #1 in my heart!
Do you not like my list? Give me your own. Any Oriole period of time is welcome. It’s just cool to speak of the past when the future looks bright!