After about a three hour rain delay on Saturday, Eddie Murray was recognized as one of six players to be enshrined at Camden Yards with his own statue in center field. He joined the likes of Earl Weaver, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer and soon to be, Cal Ripken Jr. as the fixtures in the outfield for as long as the beautiful ballpark stands. Each are Hall of Famers and rightfully so, as they include some of the best players (and manager) the sport has ever seen. These men had a major role in not only shaping what was the heyday of the Orioles franchise, but in developing Orioles Park as the stadium you see today.
But since Cal’s retirement, we have all witnessed this team’s demise, which in turn has demolished the spirit of what was once one of the best fan bases in any sport. In the past twenty years, no one has earned the right to even be considered for such a glorious recognition like Eddie Murray witnessed this weekend. There have been individuals who had led to the disappointment in the Inner Harbor, which is a now a major part of this franchises’ history. Obviously, they do not deserve to be next to the likes of the greats in center, but what if we honored those people by making another monument park; maybe next to the dumpster in the parking lot under 95.
Who would make that cut? This is the list of members of Orioles history, who would be worthy of such a distinction; who should be enshrined with trash and bird droppings underneath the bypass for contributions to the team.
5. Rafael Palmeiro- Though he did enjoy a great deal of success in Baltimore (and may have considered to bear an Orioles lid in his Hall of Fame bust), he disgraced himself and the organization with his antics in front of Congress. His statue would signify his punch line finger wave, while holding a needle of “B12″ in the other hand.
4. Roberto Alomar– He actually has been elected to the Hall of Fame, but only spent a couple years in Baltimore, not worthy of actual glory. And with all his greatness, he is remembered as an Oriole for one incident involving some spit and a disgruntled umpire; his statue would reenact that moment.
3. Jeffrey Maier- Maybe no other human being coincides with the O’s demise than Maier and his glove. Without him, maybe the team gains momentum in a series versus the Yankees onto another championship banner. Maier doesn’t even deserve his likeness into a statue, so instead it would be a replica of Tony Tarrasco’s reaction from that night.
2. Albert Belle– No player has actually shaped what the franchise has become more than Albert Belle. His massive contract handcuffed the organizations thought process, and bank account, for the last decade. His likeness would be a cast of himself, fat and on his couch, with a bag of potato chips in one hand and a money bag in the other.
1. Peter Angelos- Since his taking over the franchise, this fan base has suffered enough heartache to cripple the entire city. His awful organizational standards and misguided views on running a team have led to the worst stint of Oriole baseball ever. His statue would not actually be himself, but an actual turd to symbolize how he is viewed by anyone supporting the Black and Orange.