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The Top 10 Baltimore Orioles of All Time

Ranking the Top 9 Baltimore Orioles of All Time!
Publish Date: 03/08/2024
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
FILE - In this Sept. 6, 1995, file photo, Baltimore Orioles' Cal Ripken Jr. waves to the crowd as the sign in centerfield reads 2,131, signifying Ripken had broken Lou Gehrig's record of playing in 2,130 consecutive games, at Camden Yards in Baltimore. It has been 25 years since Ripken broke Gehrig's major league record for consecutive games played, a feat the Orioles star punctuated with an unforgettable lap around Camden Yards in the middle of his 2,131st successive start. (AP Photo/Denis Paquin, File)

You know the majority of the Top 10 Baltimore Orioles of All Time will come between 1965 and 1984, so let’s take a look at the Greatest Orioles ever.


Ging on a World Series Championship team helps, as do stats, both offensively and defensively. Awards also help, but the top 10 Orioles may not have all of the greatest stats, but each had intangibles that put them on this list.

10) Bobby Grich

Bobby Grich’s seven seasons with Baltimore can sometimes be overshadowed by his 10 years with California Angels, but during those seven seasons (1972 to 1976) Grich established himself as one of baseball’s premier second basemen – becoming an all-star three times and four Gold Glove winners while finishing ninth in AL MVP voting each time as Oriole.

Overall, he batted.262 while hitting 70 homers, 307 RBIs, and 432 runs scored during that span.

Video: Angels Weekly: Bobby Grich once dumped beer on President Nixon

Angels Weekly: Bobby Grich once dumped beer on President Nixon

9) Mark Belanger

Belanger was an iconic example of this paradigm; throughout 17 seasons in Baltimore from 1965-1981, he batted only 227 and amassed 1,304 hits despite only 20 homers, yet his defense kept him in the lineup. Many consider Belanger one of the best defensive shortstops in Baseball history!

According to Baseball Reference, Belanger earned eight Gold Glove awards during his career, including six consecutive from 1973 to 1978. He holds the second-highest Defensive WAR among active players (39.5), second only to Ozzie Smith. In 1982, he played one season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, as the Baltimore Orioles needed room at shortstop for Cal Ripken Jr.

Video: Why the WORST Hitter of All Time is a Borderline Hall of Famer

Why the WORST Hitter of All Time is a Borderline Hall of Famer

8) Boog Powell

In 1969, Powell hit a career-high .304 with 37 home runs and 121 runs batted in. In 1970, he was the American League Most Valuable Player, hitting 35 home runs with 114 runs batted in and narrowly missing a .300 average during the last week of the season. In the 1970 World Series, Powell homered in the first two games as the Orioles defeated the Cincinnati Reds in five games.

In 1971 Powell helped Baltimore reach a second straight World Series that year, blasting a pair of home runs in game two of the 1971 ALCS against the up-and-coming Oakland Athletics.

Video: WS1970 Gm1: Powell's two-run homer puts O's on board

WS1970 Gm1: Powell’s two-run homer puts O’s on board

7) Paul Blair

Blair was one of the greatest defensive players in baseball history, and he was a big-time winner. He played in six World Series, seven American League Championship Series, won eight Gold Gloves, and played on just one team with a losing record in seventeen big league seasons. Blair’s shining moment came in the 1970 World Series, going 9-for-22 with a .524 OBP against the Reds. All together, Blair played in 35 games for the Birds in the postseason.

Video: Remembering Paul Blair

Remembering Paul Blair

6) Mike Mussina

Mike Mussina was one of baseball’s most reliable starting pitchers during his 10-season tenure in Baltimore from 1991-2000. Over that span, he amassed a 147-81 record with a 3.53 ERA and had only two losing campaigns, both featuring his least desirable Orioles clubs.

Mussina finished in the top 6 in AL Cy Young voting seven times but never managed to capture it (he finished second to Pedro Martinez in 1999 for his best finish). Mussina twice won 18 and 19 games with Baltimore, was a five-time all-star, and received four Gold Glove awards from 1996 through 1999.

Video: Legend Series: Mike Mussina Highlights

Legend Series: Mike Mussina Highlights

5) Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson had one of the greatest first seasons ever seen with any team — when he joined the Baltimore Orioles in 1966. Acquired from Cincinnati Reds during off-season trading for three players, including Milt Pappas, Robinson hit for the Triple Crown with an astounding.316 average, 49 home runs and 122 RBIs before leading his Orioles to a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.

The trade after the 1965 season will go down in history as one of the worst trades in Baseball history!

A 300 average, 179 HRs and 545 RBIs over six seasons (all-star in five out of six seasons & top-10 finishes in MVP voting each time).

Video: Frank Robinson Highlights

Frank Robinson Highlights

4) Eddie Murray

Eddie Murray was widely considered one of the greatest switch-hitters in baseball history and one of the finest all-around players during the early 80s. He burst onto the scene in 1977 by hitting 283 with 27 homers and 88 RBIs to earn AL Rookie of the Year honors. Murray was considered one of the best hitters of the 1980s!

From 1980-1985, Murray batted.304 while averaging 30 doubles, 30 homers and 108 RBIs per season. Throughout that span, he finished in the top 6 in AL MVP voting each year – finishing as runner-up behind Robin Yount in 1982 and Cal Ripken Jr in 1983, respectively. Additionally, he won three consecutive Gold Glove awards from 1982 to 1984.

Murray played 13 seasons with Baltimore (1977 to 1988 and back for an encore performance in 1996) and hit 294 overall with 2,080 hits, 363 doubles, 343 homers, and 1,224 RBIs—striking out less than 100 times each season (104 in his rookie campaign).

Video: Eddie Murray Highlights

Eddie Murray Highlights

5) Frank Robinson
The Orioles stole Frank from the Cincinnati Reds in 1965, and Robinson was already a superstar. Robinson would win the triple-crown in his first year as an Oriole. Plus, he was the star of the Orioles’ first World Series, taking home MVP honors in the Orioles four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting two home runs in the four games. In six seasons with the Orioles, Robinson hit .300/.401/.543 (OPS+ 169) with 179 home runs, 143 doubles, and 460 walks. His wOBA was .415, wRC+ 168. He never once had an OPS+ of less than 151. He helped lead the Orioles to four World Series in six years.

4) Eddie Murray

Murray was named the rookie of the year in 1977 as a 21-year old. He had at least 20 doubles in all of his 12 full seasons as an Oriole and had 20 or more home runs in 11 of the 12 seasons. For 5 consecutive seasons from 1981-85, Murray finished top 5 in voting for AL MVP. In that five-year stretch of top-five MVP finishes, Eddie batted a combined .304/.390/.530. He drove in 100 runs or more in each year that wasn’t cut short by a strike. He hit for power and average and got on base for good measure. That was good for a 155 OPS+. No one else in Orioles history has had a stretch like that.

Video: Eddie Murray Highlights

Eddie Murray Highlights

3) Brooks Robinson

Robinson played in only 88 games in 1959, but he’d play in 144 or more every year after that until the 1976 season, winning a Gold Glove in every one of them. Robinson was the greatest defensive third baseman of all time and almost single-handedly beat the Big Red Machine with his glove in 1970.

Video: 1970 WS Gm 1: Brooks takes a hit away from May

1970 WS Gm 1: Brooks takes a hit away from May

2) Jim Palmer

Palmer made it to the majors a year after being drafted, and in 1966, he made the rotation out of spring training and pitched over 200 innings as the team won its first World Series. He started game two and pitched a complete game shutout against Sandy Koufax. From 1969-1971, the years that saw the Orioles go to the World Series three straight times, Palmer pitched in 102 games with an ERA of just 2.61. Palmer added a no-hitter in 1969 to his resume. 1973 his league-leading 2.40 ERA helped him capture the first of his three careers Cy Young Awards.

He also came in second in the voting for the A.L. MVP. His second Cy Young came in 1975 when he pitched 323 innings with a 2.09 ERA, and his third came in 1976 with 315 IP and a 2.51 ERA. Jim Palmer pitched in 558 games with a 2.86 ERA (ERA+ 125). Four times he led the league in innings pitched, twice in ERA. In 1975 he pitched 10 shutouts, most in baseball, and in his career, he had 53.

Video: Jim Palmer - The Making of a Hall Of Famer

Jim Palmer – The Making of a Hall Of Famer

1) Cal Ripken Jr

Ripken is remembered most for his streak of 2,632 consecutive games in his Hall of Fame career. His career was outstanding, and he won AL Rookie of the Year in 1982, AL MVP in 1983, and a World Series title.

Cal was one of Baseball’s first power-hitting shortstops, and in his first ten years in baseball, he hit 259 home runs and 340 doubles, and in 1991 he put up one of the best seasons in Orioles history, and easily the best year of his career. In 1991 Ripken was on fire and put up big-time numbers; he had 210 hits on the year, including 34 home runs and 46 doubles. So good was the all-around play that he was voted the league MVP despite his team winning just 67 games.

Video: Cal Ripken Montage

Cal Ripken Montage

Honorable mentions

Brady Anderson

Brady Anderson joined Curt Schilling on the Orioles at trade deadline time in 1988 in exchange for Mike Boddicker from the Boston Red Sox, but initially struggled as part-time player before becoming full-time starter in 1992 – leading the majors with 749 plate appearances, batting.271, driving in 80 runs while also stealing 53 bases, walking 98 times and scoring 100 runs!

Ken Singelton

Over a ten-year Orioles career that spanned more than 6,000 plate appearances, Singleton batted .284/.388/.445 and finished in the top three of the league MVP voting twice.

Adam Jones

Adam Jones was part of the five-player package the Orioles acquired from Seattle Mariners for pitcher Erik Bedard before 2008. For most of his 11 seasons with Baltimore, Jones served as its focal point on the field – winning an All-Star and Gold Glove award during 2009 before finally coming into his own by 2010.

Manny Machado

The Orioles selected Manny Machado with the third overall draft pick in 2010. Drafted as a shortstop due to J.J. Hardy winning two Gold Gloves as a shortstop. Machado thrived at third base, where he went on to earn two of his own while making four All-Star teams and finishing in the Top 10 MVP voting three times with Baltimore.

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