Tag Archive | "Greatest Orioles"

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Greatest Members of the Orioles: 55-51

Posted on 21 May 2014 by Tony Wisniewski

55. Andy Etechebarren, Catcher

An all-star in 1966 and ’67, “Lurch” never turned out to be anything more than a run-of-the-mill Big League catcher–at least by statistical standards.  During parts of 11 seasons with the Birds, Etchebarren only batted above .250 twice, and amassed double-digit home runs once.  But offensive prowess isn’t why the fella that was affectionately ribbed for his ugly-looks is on this list.  He contributed to two World Series and was a major factor in the success of what is regarded as one of the greatest pitching staffs in Major League history–especially the 1971 rotation that featured four 20-game winners.

54. Manny Machado, Third Baseman 

Man-O-Man is Manny one of those special players that comes along once every couple of decades at-best.  Machado, when it’s all said and done, may wind up in the top-five on this type of list.  For now, however, he has a great deal to still prove–especially in regard to his ability to fully recover from a major injury.  Machado, at the ripe age of 21, deserves to be part of this conversation simply for his immediate impact on a the playoff team of 2012 and the club’s reliance on him moving forward.  It could be very possible that the Orioles’ long-term success hinges on Machado’s long-term success.  In many ways, he’s that valuable to the present and the future.

 

53. Adam Jones, Center Fielder

One spot ahead of Manny is Bubble-Blowing-Free-Swinging-Adam Jones.  A natural talent and pure showman, acquiring Jones and others for the price of pitcher Erik Bedard is already regarded as one of the best, albeit most lopsided trades, in Baltimore history.  Jones, who recently inked a long-term deal, will be a mainstay in Baltimore and should certainly continue to make his mark on Oriole history–but for now, it remains to be seen if he can put a franchise on his back and lead it to the glory of October baseball; more importantly, the jury is out on whether he’s the leader he believes himself to be.

 

52. George Bamberger, Pitching Coach

 Before there were gurus like Ray Miller and Leo Mazzone, Bamberger was the driving factor and unsung hero for an perennially dominant pitching staff in Baltimore.  Over the span of nine years, he boasted 18 20-game winners.  A feat that will likely never be matched at anytime in the near or distant future.

 

51.  Chris Hoiles, Catcher 

At first bluff, it might seem a little aggressive to place Chris Hoiles ahead of Etchebarren and Matt Wieters.  A look back, however, will prove that to this point, Hoiles is arguably the best catcher in franchise history.  A mainstay for nearly a decade, Hoiles belted double-digit homers in all eight of his full seasons in Baltimore.  Defensively he was as average as they come, but his bat more than made up for any shortcomings on that side of the ball.

 

Players 60-55

Honorable Mentions

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Matt-Wieters-SI

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60 Greatest Members of the Orioles: 60-56

Posted on 19 May 2014 by Tony Wisniewski

If you missed the beginning of the “60 Greatest Members of the Orioles”, it covered the Honorable Mentions–the fellas who were worthy of being in the conversation, but ultimately failed to make the cut.  At last, here is the beginning of the list:

60.  Dennis Martinez, Pitcher

During his 11-year career in Baltimore, “El Presidente” recorded double-digit wins in six of those seasons.  An upper-echelon starter in the late 70s, Martinez was a large piece to the ’79 AL Championship team.

59.  Nick Markakis, Right Fielder

A pitching prospect out of college, Markakis quickly moved through the Orioles system and served as the lone bright spot several historically bad O’s teams.  While his power has diminished from the projections back in the mid-2000s, Markakis is a lock for the Orioles Hall of Fame for the simple fact of tenure and consistency during a time of turmoil and failure.

58.  Matt Wieters, Catcher

The Georgia Tech alum has never quite become “Mauer with power,” at least not to the degree that many expected when he was taken fifth overall in 2007.  With that being said, Wieters has been a mainstay in Baltimore since 2009 and a proven home-grown commodity–something the Orioles had previously struggled with in the 2000s.  Should Wieters sign a contract extension and remain in Baltimore, he’ll go down as the greatest catcher in club history.  

57.  Frank Cashen, General Manager

As the Director of Baseball Operations, Cashen played a major role in bringing Oriole-great Frank Robinson to town, despite the fact that Harry Dalton–who was GM at the time–routinely receives the notoriety.  Cashen’s best days were in New York, as the GM of the Mets, however, his Baltimore roots and contribution to multiple Orioles’ World Series makes him a lock for this list.

56. Rich Dauer, Second Baseman

Dauer, a projected big-time hitter coming through the O’s system in the mid-70s, never panned out in terms of being much of a threat at the dish; however, he was a fan-fave and his presence through the late 70s and early 80s was a big part of the team’s chemistry and its ability to rebound after losing the 1979 World Series to the Pirates.  He currently manages the AA affiliate of the San Diego Padres.

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