The Baltimore Orioles became a major league organization in 1901 when they were known as the Milwaukee Brewers. The next season, the went under the St. Louis Browns until 1954 when they became the Baltimore Orioles. The club has three World Series titles, the most recent one coming in 1983.
Here is a potential all-time starting lineup (with a DH) for the Baltimore Orioles, including a starting pitcher and a closer.
1. Brian Roberts, Second Base (2001-2014)
Brian Roberts is a two-time All-Star who played on the Baltimore Orioles for parts of 13 seasons. In his 1,327 regular season games with the Orioles, Roberts slashed .278/.349/.412. He had a career high OPS in 2005 when it was .903. That year, Roberts had 70 extra-base hits and 73 RBIs. Four years later in 2009, Roberts led the MLB in doubles with 56 as part of the 367 he hit in his career.
2. Cal Ripken Jr., Shortstop (1981-2001)
Uniform Number 8 Retired by the Orioles in 2001
Hall of Fame Inductee in 2007
Cal Ripken Jr. played in 3,001 regular season games with the Orioles across 21 years. Of course one of his most well-known stats is that he played in 2,632 consecutive games. In those 3,001 games, Ripken Jr. hit 431 home runs, 603 doubles and had 3,184 total hits. As of 2020, Ripken Jr. is in 16 place for both doubles and hits. The Hall of Fame inductee won two MVPs. His first one came in 1983 when he led the league in WAR (8.2,) hits (211) and doubles (47). The other year he won MVP was 1991.
3. Frank Robinson, Right Field (1966-1971)
Uniform Number 20 Retired by the Orioles in 1972
Hall of Fame Inductee in 1982
Frank Robinson was a member of two out of three World Series teams in Baltimore. He won the Fall Classic in both 1966 and 1970. Robinson was the MVP of the 1966 World Series when he slashed .286/.375/.857 with two homers and four runs scored in a four game sweep over the Dodgers. That same year in 1966, Robinson was the American League MVP in the regular season. That year, he hit 49 homers and had a 1.047 OPS. In his six seasons with Baltimore, Robinson had a 32.4 WAR and a slash line of .300/.401/.543.
4. Eddie Murray, First Base (1977-1988, 1996)
Uniform Number 33 Retired by the Orioles in 1998
Hall of Fame Inductee in 2003
Eddie Murray spent 13 seasons with the Orioles. He is a member of the 500 home run club as he hit 504 in his regular season career with 343 of them as an Oriole. In his 8,053 plate appearances with the O’s, Murray slashed .294/.370/.498. The 2003 Hall of Fame inductee didn’t win an MVP, but he was the runner-up two years in-a-row in 1982 and 1983. Murray was a World Series champ in 1983, Baltimore’s most recent World Series winning team.
5. Rafael Palmeiro, Designated Hitter (1994-1998, 2004-2005)
In Rafael Palmeiro‘s first stint with the Orioles, he finished in the top 20 of the AL MVP voting each season. His highest finish during that stretch was sixth in 1996 when he hit 40 two-baggers, 39 long balls and brought in 142 RBIs. Surprisingly, he only made one All-Star game from 1994-1998. He made it in 1998 when he finished 18 in the AL MVP voting, his lowest in the voting during those years. Palmeiro rejoined Baltimore in 2004 and played two more seasons there. He hit 223 homers and 204 doubles in seven seasons with the Orioles.
6. Boog Powell, Left Field (1961-1974)
Boog Powell made his MLB debut with the O’s in 1961 and stayed with the club through the 1974 season. Powell is a four-time All-Star and the 1970 AL MVP winner. That year, he played in 154 games, slashing .297/.412/.549. He had 114 RBIs, 35 dingers and 28 doubles in that MVP season. All of Powell’s Postseason appearances came with Baltimore. He was a member of two of their World Series teams. In 33 playoff games, he slashed .262/.324/.437.
7. Chris Hoiles, Catcher (1989-1998)
Catcher Chris Hoiles had a 10 year career in the MLB, and he spent all of it on the Orioles. He had an above average slugging percentage as it was .467 for his career. In his first two years, he only played in a combined 29 games. For the eight seasons he played after that, he collected at least 127 total bases each season as well as had both double digits in home runs and doubles. Hoiles’ likely had his best season in 1993 when he had a 1.001 OPS, 28 doubles and 29 home runs.
8. Adam Jones, Center Field (2008-2018)
In Adam Jones‘ 11 seasons in Baltimore, he made five All-Star games, won four Gold Glove awards and a Silver Slugger. He played in over 150 regular season games in five of those seasons as well. Jones hit 305 doubles, 27 triples and 263 homers with a slash line of .279/.319/.459 during his time with the O’s. One of his best seasons in Baltimore came in 2012. He played in all 162 regular season games that year. He had a career high 39 doubles that season. Jones also had 32 long balls and 186 hits on the season.
9. Brooks Robinson, Third Base (1955-1977)
Uniform Number 5 Retired by Orioles in 1977
Hall of Fame Inductee in 1983
Brooks Robinson won 16 Gold Glove awards in his career, and they all came in consecutive seasons from 1960-1975. He is also an 18 time All-Star that won the 1964 AL MVP. That year, Robinson played in 163 regular season games, slashing .317/.368/.521. Robinson hit 28 home runs and 118 RBIs that season, both career highs. He also won MVP of the 1970 World Series. That series, Robinson slashed .429/.429/.810 in five games. He had six RBIs and scored nine times in that series.
Starting Pitcher- Jim Palmer (1965-1984)
Uniform Number 22 Retired by Orioles in 1985
Hall of Fame Inductee in 1990
Jim Palmer is a three time Cy Young award winner who spent his whole career with the Orioles. Palmer was a member of all three World Series teams, ranging from 1966 to 1983. He appeared in six World Series, and had a 1.96 ERA in 59 2/3 innings pitched in them. Palmer also had solid regular season stats. He pitched in 558 games with an ERA of 2.86 in 3,948 innings pitched. Palmer had 2,212 career strikeouts in his regular season career.
Closing Pitcher- Zack Britton (2011-2018)
Zack Britton spent his first three seasons in Baltimore as a starter before moving to the bullpen. In his eight seasons with the Orioles, he pitched in 306 games totaling 145 saves in 162 opportunities. The southpaw also had 425 punchouts and allowed 194 base on balls. In 2016, Britton led the American League with 47 saves. He also finished in fourth for AL Cy Young that season, as well as 11 for AL MVP.
Feature Image Courtesy of Eutaw Street Report