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Top 10 Baltimore Orioles Pitchers of All-Time: Who was the Greatest?

Publish Date: 05/02/2024
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

The Orioles have a history of great pitchers, especially in the 1960s and 70s when they had some of the greatest pitching staffs in baseball history. The 1970 staff is regarded as one of baseball’s greatest starting pitching rotations. Today, we will look at the greatest pitchers in Orioles history.


Wins/Losses are always a big factor, but doing it to help the Orioles in the post-season means even more. Plus impact on the game is huge, impact is why Jim Palmer is high on this list and even if the win/loss record was not great ERA is a massive factor also. The Orioles have a great history of pitchers, and today, we will try to quantify that greatness.

10) Steve Stone

Steve Stone may only have spent three seasons with Baltimore, but he deserves recognition for having one of his finest seasons in 1980. Starting 37 games and posting an impressive 25-7 record with a 3.23 ERA led him to win the American League Cy Young award – it marked the only time during his entire career that he made either an All-Star team or received any Cy Young votes!

1980 Stone was a great pitcher, and that one year, due to its historical significance, puts him on this list.

Video: Steve Stone's journey from the mound to the booth

Steve Stone’s journey from the mound to the booth

9) Milt Pappas

Pappas pitched 264 games for the Orioles from 1957-1965 as a right-handed pitcher and amassed 110 wins and 74 losses over 1632 innings pitched for an earned run average of 3.24 with 944 strikeouts, 82 complete games, 26 shutouts, an earned run average of 3.24 and WHIP of 1.21. An All-Star in 1962 (12-10 record, 130 strikeouts ERA 4.03), as well as 13-9 (127 strikeouts 2.60), he achieved 16 wins both years en route to an All-Star selection; his strikeout to walk ratio that year was 3.27 to 1.

Video: Inside PressBox Sept. 23, 2012: Former Oriole Milt Pappas

Inside PressBox Sept. 23, 2012: Former Oriole Milt Pappas

8) Steve Barber

Barber is largely forgotten, but he was an excellent pitcher during the 1960s. It’s a shame he was injured and could not pitch in the 1966 World Series.

Barber pitched 253 games for the Orioles from 1960-1967. Over 1414 2/3 innings pitched, he posted 95 wins and 75 losses with 918 strikeouts, 53 complete games, 19 shutouts, an earned run average of 3.12, a WHIP 1.33 WHIP as an All-Star (20-13 record with 180 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.75); an All-Star again in 1966 (10-5 record with 91 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.30). Unfortunately, tendinitis prevented Barber from competing in that year’s World Series competitions.

7) Mike Boddicker

Boddicker pitched for the Orioles from 1980 to 1988. Over 1273 2/3 innings pitched, his record stood at 79 wins and 73 losses with 836 strikeouts, an earned run average of 3.73, and a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) rating of 1.29. Boddicker held 53 complete games and 13 shutouts throughout his MLB career. In 1983 – when the Baltimore Orioles won their World Series 1983. The 1983 Baltimore Orioles were a great team.

Boddicker led Major League Baseball with five shutouts; during game two of this World Series, he pitched a complete game three-hitter, giving up only an unearned run! Boddicker also excelled in game two of the 1983 American League Championship Series when Baltimore beat the Chicago White Sox 4-0 pitching a complete game shutout with 14 strikeouts for Baltimore. Later that same season – 1984 – Boddicker led Major League Baseball with 20 victories, the American League with a 2.79 earned run average, and was selected as an All-Star.

Boddicker was a great pitcher for a short period of time, which is why many others are ahead of him, but he played a huge part in the Orioles 1983 World Series Championship.

Video: Mike Boddicker picks up his 20th win in 1984

Mike Boddicker picks up his 20th win in 1984

6) Scott McGregor

Scott McGregor pitched 356 games for the Orioles from 1976 to 1988. Over 2140 2/3 innings pitched, McGregor amassed 904 strikeouts while finishing with an earned run average of 3.99 and WHIP of 1.29 – leading the Majors with 1.08 in 1979 before winning 20 games himself that year and becoming an All-Star (13-5, 82 strikeouts, 3.26 ERA). To cap it all off, in 1983, McGregor delivered an epic five-hit shutout against Philadelphia that allowed Baltimore to win 4 games to 1.

Mcgregor played a huge part in the Orioles 1979 and 1983 World Series team, winning it all in 1983.

Video: 1983 WS Gm5: McGregor tosses shutout to win Game 5

1983 WS Gm5: McGregor tosses shutout to win Game 5


5) Mike Cuellar

The Cuban Cuellar made an impactful contribution as the lefty starter for the Baltimore Orioles from 1969 to 1976, pitching in 290 games with an impressive record of 143 wins and 88 losses over 2028 1/3 innings for an earned run average of 3.18 with an outstanding 1.19 WHIP. In 1969, Cuellar became the first Latin-born pitcher to win the Cy Young Award with 23 wins and 11 losses, 182 strikeouts, an ERA of 2.38.

As a three-time All-Star pitcher for Baltimore in 1970, 1971 and 1974, Cuellar led Major League Baseball with 24 wins and 21 complete games in 1970 – setting an MLB record. He reached 20 wins the following year before finally reaching 22 wins in 1974 – helping win their World Series victory with only three runs allowed during game five of that series against Cincinnati Reds! When Baltimore won that World Series championship game five of 1970 he pitched an amazing complete game game win which only gave up three runs against them for victory!

Video: Mike Cuellar Pitches the Orioles to a World Series Championship

Mike Cuellar Pitches the Orioles to a World Series Championship

4) Mike Flanagan

Flanagan was an Orioles pitcher from 1975 to 1987 and 1991 to 1992 who amassed 526 innings pitched, recording 141 wins and 116 losses with 1297 strikeouts, 98 complete games, 17 shutouts, an earned run average of 3.89 and WHIP of 1.32 during 2317 2/3 innings pitched. In 1978 he earned All-Star honors (19-15 with 167 strikeouts, an ERA of 4.03). 1979 brought Cy Young Award honors (23-9 wins with 190 strikeouts against an ERA of 3.08).

That year, Flanagan led Major League play with 23 wins and five shutouts before leading them all the way into winning their World Series victory – giving up only three earned runs against all nine postseason innings of work during an otherwise impressive run out In the 1983 World Series victory!

Video: Mike Flanagan - Baltimore's Tragic Hero 🛡

Mike Flanagan – Baltimore’s Tragic Hero 🛡

3) Mike Mussina

Hall-of-Famer Mike Mussina pitched 288 games for the Orioles starting in 1991. He amassed an incredible record: 147 wins and 81 losses with 45 complete games, 15 shutouts, 1535 strikeouts, an earned run average of 3.53, WHIP 1.18; five All-Star selections (1992-1999); including leading Major League Baseball with 19 victories and four shutouts that year – making history!

Mussina is considered one of the top 10 starting pitchers of the 1990s.

Video: Mike Mussina strikes out 10 in shutout of Rangers

Mike Mussina strikes out 10 in shutout of Rangers

2) Dave McNally

McNally, A southpaw from Billings, Montana, pitched 412 games for the Orioles between 1962 and 1974. In 2652, 2/3 innings pitched by him was 181 wins against 113 losses with 12 complete games, 33 shutouts, and 1476 strikeouts for an earned run average of 3.18 with a WHIP of 1.20. McNally earned All-Star honors three times: in 1969 (20-7 record with 166 strikeouts and earned run average of 3.22), 1970 (Major League high 24 wins, 185 strikeouts, earned run average of 3.22) and 1972 (13-17 record, 120 strikeouts and earned run average of 2.95).

McNally pitched in two World Series victories – in 1966 and 1970, giving Baltimore Orioles wins against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who scored only one run in four games. During game four, he pitched an amazing complete-game four-hit shutout victory to give Baltimore thevictory. Baltimore won the 1970 World Series; he pitched two complete games, giving up three earned runs per contest; 11-3 against Minnesota Twins in American League Championship Series game two; 9-3 victory over Cincinnati Reds in game three of World Series.

Video: Dave McNally’s Montana legacy as World Series hometown hero continues

Dave McNally’s Montana legacy as World Series hometown hero continues

1) Jim Palmer

Palmer was inducted into the Hall of Fame after pitching 521 games for the Baltimore Orioles from 1965-1984, winning 268 out of those 521 contests with an earned run average of 2.86 and WHIP of 1.18 – in 3948 innings! In those five decades, he recorded 268 victories and 152 losses with 2212 strikeouts, 53 shutouts being part of that total number!

Palmer became an All-Star six times from 1970-1972, 1975-77, and 1978; won three Cy Young Awards (1973, 1975 & 76); appeared in three World Series (1966, 1970, and 1983). Palmer led the American League in wins three consecutive years (1975 – 1977, 23 wins, 22 in 1975 & 1976 and 20 wins in 1977), earned run average twice (2.40 in 1973 & 2.09 in 1975), complete games (22 in 1976), and complete game wins (22 in 1977).

Palmer made history during the 1966 World Series when he pitched game two for the Baltimore Orioles against the Los Angeles Dodgers with his four-hit shutout, becoming the youngest pitcher ever to throw one at 20 years and 356 days. On August 13, 1969, he also pitched a no-hitter en route to an 8-0 Orioles victory against Oakland Athletics (8-0 Orioles victory).

Video: Jim Palmer Highlights

Jim Palmer Highlights

Honorable Mentions

Chris Tillman

Chris Tillman was an integral member of Baltimore Orioles starting rotation from 2009 until 2018. A reliable workhorse on the mound, Tillman was honoured with All-Star honours in 2013 and won 16 games or more three times during his Oriole career – earning 74 wins with a 4.43 ERA as an Oriole. He played an integral part in their success throughout that time.

Tippy Martinez

Tippy provided his services primarily as a setup man for the O’s, though he was occasionally required to close. Martinez saved 105 games during his eleven-year career with the Birds and earned an excellent ERA of 3.46. Martinez earned his only AL All-Star honor during 1983’s world championship season when he recorded 21 saves and posted a 2.35 ERA over 103.1 innings pitched.

Hoyt Wilhelm

Wilhelm was honored with three American League All-Star selections during his five-year run with Baltimore Orioles, posting an ERA and WHIP of 2.42 and 1.107 respectively. The short five-year run is what puts Wilhelm on the honorable mention list.

Stu Miller

From 1963-1967, Miller posted a SO/9 (strikeouts per nine innings pitched) rate with the Orioles of 7.7, ranking among the league’s top 10. He earned AL MVP votes in three of those five seasons.

Gregg Olson

Olson totalled 160 saves and amassed an excellent 8.9 strikeout per nine (SO/9) ratio. If he had qualified, his SO/9 of 9.5 in 1989 would have placed second only behind Nolan Ryan Olson earned AL Rookie of the Year honors that season and coming in sixth for AL Cy Young Award voting.


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