Thursday, July 16, 2009

Orioles' All-Franchise Team

Welcome to my latest project! I am endeavoring to formulate the All-Time team in each franchise's history.

A few parameters need to be established prior to beginning:

First, no player will appear on more than one team. It is my sole decision as to which franchise to place a multi-team player.

For example, even though Frank Robinson won the Triple Crown with the Baltimore Orioles, he spent more time and had higher numbers with the Cincinnati Reds. Plus, I am still pissed at the GM for trading him to Baltimore for Milt Pappas. But, I digress.

Secondly, the player must have been with the franchise for a minimum of five years.

Tenure is not the only criterion I will be using in placing a player within a franchise. His statistics could be higher in the other team's structure, or he may have earned more awards, etc.

Third, this is also not just a "popularity" list, or my "favorite Orioles" list. It is based on statistics, longevity, and performance.

Fourth, The Orioles are actually descendants of the St. Louis Browns, however I will also be doing an installment on the Browns. Therefore, the Oriole's franchise just trails back to 1954.

Here is the Orioles Franchise All Time Team.

C - Gus Triandos (1955-62)

See what I mean about not picking the favorites? I am sure many Orioles fans have never heard of Triandos.

Triandos was a powerful, slow, strong-armed catcher. He became an Oriole in 1954 in a 17 player mega trade, and was the Orioles everyday backstop.

He tied the (then) record for catchers in the American League by hitting 30 HRs in 1958.

As an Oriole, Gus was named to four All Star teams. He is the owner of an obscure MLB record; he went 1,206 consecutive games without getting caught stealing as he stole only one base.

With the Phillies he caught Jim Bunning's perfect game.

C - Eddie Murray (1977-88; 96)

Eddie Murray was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003. He was the American League

Rookie of the Year in 1977 and was an eight-time All Star. He was also in two World Series with the Orioles.

He won three Gold Gloves and three Silver Sluggers.

In a six-year span from 1980-85, Murray averaged .303 with 33

HR and 119 RBI.

2B - Davey Johnson (1965-72)

Davey Johnson was not an incredible baseball player. He was however, the best second base

man the Orioles have to offer. His in

credible power display of 1973 would

surely qualify for a Freak Year Award.

All negativity aside, Johnson was a steady, consistent player.

3B—Brooks Robinson (1955-77)

Brooks Robinson played with the Orioles his entire career.

Arguably one of the best defensive players at any position, he was known more for his leather than his lumber.

He won 16 consecutive Gold Gloves, an MVP Award, was on 18 All

Star teams and was in three World


SS—Cal Ripken, Jr. (1981-2001)

Cal Ripken was nothing if not dependable. His surpassing Lou Gehrig for most consecutive games played is one that will never be beaten. Charlie Horses, hangnails, and sore thumbs sideline players today, while Gehrig or Ripken would have rubbed some dirt on it.

He won a Rookie of the Year Award, two MVPs, two Gold Gloves, eight Silver Sluggers, was on 19 All Star teams and was in one World Series.

LF—Brady Anderson (1988-2001)

Anderson's 50 HR in 1996 makes him legendary. However he did it, he did it and it counts. Over 162-game season averages he hit 19 HR and batted .256.

He was a three-time All Star and led the American League in extra-base hits in 1996.

CF—Paul Blair (1964-76)

Paul Blair was a great outfielder, defensively. He had the best range of just about any outfielder I ever saw.

He won eight Gold Gloves, was on two All Star teams and was in four World Series with the Orioles.

RF—Ken Singleton (1975-84)

Singleton averaged .284

with 20 HR and 86 RBI while with the Orioles.

He won the Roberto Clemente Award in 1982, was a three-time All Star and played in three World Series.

DH—John "Boog" Powell

Powell is third on the Oriole's All Time HR list with 303.

He was the American League MVP in 1970, hit 30+ HR four times, and drove in over 100 runs three times.

Powell was named to four All Star teams and played in four World Series.

Starter—Jim Palmer (1965-84)

Jim Palmer was the best pitcher the Oriole's franchise has known.

He won three Cy Young Awards, came in second twice and third once.

He won 20+ games eight times, and led the league three times. Twice he led the league in ERA and once inERA+.

He pitched over 300 innings four times. He won four Gold Gloves, was an All Star six times, and was in five World Series.

Starter—Mike Cuellar (1969-76)

Mike Cuellar won one Cy Young Award. He won 20+ games four times, and led the league once.

He pitched over 20 complete games three times and led the league once.

He was a four-time All Star and was in three World Series.

Starter - Dave McNally (1962-74)

Dave McNally finished second in Cy Young Award voting in 1970 when he led the American League with 24 wins.

He won 20+ games four consecutive

seasons and pitched over 250 innings five times.

McNally was a three-time All Star and pitched in four World Series where he was 4-2 with a 2.34 ERA.

He along with Palmer, Cuellar and Pat Dobson formed a four-man rotation of 20-game winners in 1971.

Starter—Mike Mussina (1991-2000)

Mike Mussina ranks behind only Palmer and McNally in franchise

career wins with 147.

Although he never won 20 games in a season for the Orioles, he averaged 17 per 162-game season.

He led the league in wins with 19 in 1995. He was runner-up one time in Cy Young Award voting.

Starter—Scott McGregor (1976-88)

McGregor was a 20 game winner in 1980

He is sixth on the All Time Orioles franchise career wins.

He was named to the 1981 All Star team, and was in two World Series where he was 2-2 with a 2.12 ERA.

Setup—Tippy Martinez (1976-86)

Tippy Martinez was 52-40 with 105 saves for the Orioles. He had a 3.46 ERA while at Baltimore.

He was named to the 1983 All Star team and was in the 1979 World Series.

Closer—Gregg Olson (1988-93)

Olson was 16-21 with 160 saves for the Oriole franchise.

He was named to one All Star team and is the Oriole career leader in saves.

© 2009 Clifton Eastham. All Rights Reserved.