Diner Question: What would you ask an Orioles legend? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Diner Question: What would you ask an Orioles legend?

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

The Orioles are holding their annual FanFest next Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Baltimore Convention Center. One of the most popular parts of the daylong event is the autograph stations that are set up, and this year, three Hall of Famers, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer and Brooks Robinson join the active players in signing for fans.

It’s a rare opportunity to meet an Orioles legend, and exchange greetings with them.

Many fans just want to say hello and thank them for the thrills they’ve provided over the years, and others want to ask questions or make an observation.

Cal Ripken Jr. has said fans often come up to him and try to make comparisons between his consecutive games played streak and their perfect attendance records at their jobs.

Brooks Robinson has always been particularly gracious when he’s out in public and eagerly engages with fans.

Many fans think they know Palmer because of his comments on Orioles telecasts. They may feel they know Murray less so.

Please don’t be starstruck around here. If you ran into an Orioles legend at Dubroff’s Diner, and they invited you to eat some Smith Island Cake with them, what would you ask them?

This Week’s Diner Question: If you could ask a question to an Orioles Hall of Famer, what would it be?

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. DevoTion

    January 18, 2019 at 8:50 am

    My first question is what makes one become an Oriole legend? There is the obvious choices that are in Cooperstown, but what about the ones that are in the Orioles Hall of Fame, some of these guys I wouldn’t know who they are if I met them in person.

    I think if I ever met one of the legends that you mentioned, I would ask him if he never played baseball what type of career would they have pursued?

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 18, 2019 at 8:57 am

      Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken, Jr., Jim Palmer and Earl Weaver have statues, Devo. They are the Orioles legends.

      • PigtownRomeo

        January 18, 2019 at 9:12 am

        Where do you think they will put the Mike Mussina statue?

        • Djowen

          January 18, 2019 at 9:47 am

          Since he won’t go in as an Oriole it doesn’t matter. He either goes in with no team or the Yankees. It won’t and shouldn’t be as an Oriole. He will go in but doesn’t deserve it. He is highly overrated as a pitcher.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 18, 2019 at 10:40 am

      Pigtown, statues have been built only for Hall of Famers and winners of a World Series.

      Owen, the Mussina issue is for next week.

      • PigtownRomeo

        January 19, 2019 at 7:55 am

        He could have won 20 and a WS in 1994.

  2. Steve Cockey

    January 18, 2019 at 9:05 am

    I’ve always wanted to ask Brooks about his evolution as a hitter. What did he do to make himself a better hitter over time? He obviously ended up having some really nice seasons at the plate after struggling early on.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 18, 2019 at 10:40 am

      I hope you get to ask that, Steve.

  3. PigtownRomeo

    January 18, 2019 at 9:11 am

    Almost every time that I had the opportunity to meet my childhood hero, Orioles Legend, Cal Ripken I couldn’t get a question out. I was too busy being star struck. Most times I would mumble a thank you for an autograph or something. One day I just told him how I felt like a kid again when I saw him. He told me, without missing a beat, that’s how he feels when he sees Brooks Robinson.

    I was lucky enough to buy a Brooks autograph voucher yesterday. I’d want to ask him how many times Boog saved him from a throwing error.

    I missed out on an Eddie autograph voucher but if I’d want to ask him about his favorite wine. I heard he had some wine made but I could never find a bottle.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 18, 2019 at 10:41 am

      Pigtown, I know Brooks will be fun to meet.

  4. bmorebirds

    January 18, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Don’t want to meet any Orioles legends, Rich, nor do I have questions for them. Met one who was a huge childhood idol. HUGE, HUGE, HUGE. Our chance encounter took place in a Baltimore-are diner, where my hero was all but foaming at the mouth over an unimpressive, pimply-faced, frizzy-haired young lady easily 30 years younger. Yuck! (just threw up a little in my mouth recalling that tragic, incredibly sad meeting).
    My inner fanboy died forever that day. My question for him would be: “Why were you acting like a desperate, lecherous old fool who’d never gotten laid in his entire life? Why’d you burst my bubble so brutally?” Left with no autograph. Didn’t want it.

    No, the Oriole I’d love to question is Chris Davis: “What are you doing to ensure that you never embarrass yourself, the Orioles or Baltimore again like you did in 2018??”

  5. Jack Gibbons

    January 18, 2019 at 9:35 am

    I would like to ask Palmer to describe the feelings he had when he faced Sandy Koufax as a 20-year-old in Game 2 of the 1966 World Series, and the feelings he has now about it, knowing it was the final game that Koufax pitched.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 18, 2019 at 10:42 am

      Jack, I think that’s a great question.

  6. Grand Strand Bird Fan

    January 18, 2019 at 9:37 am

    I would ask Palmer to give an assessment of Cashner, Cobb, and Bundy’s pitching mechanics and how they can improve them.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 18, 2019 at 10:42 am

      I think that’s also an excellent question, Grand Strand.

  7. Boog Robinson Robinson

    January 18, 2019 at 9:44 am

    What’s the atomic weight of cobalt?

    No seriously I’d ask each of them who they thought was the most underrated or unappreciated of their Oriole teammates?

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 18, 2019 at 10:44 am

      Boog, I bet Boog Powell and Paul Blair would be common answers. I think Dave McNally and Ken Singleton would be good choices, too.

  8. Major Award

    January 18, 2019 at 10:48 am

    My question would be “Who was the toughest pitcher/hitter you faced?”

    Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but if you’re not familiar with the autograph voucher system you may be disappointed in how little time you have to interact with each player. The Orioles sell 250 vouchers per station, and they allow one hour total per time slot. The volunteers who manage these stations are generally very polite, but if you attempt anything more than a “thank you” they can turn into Santa’s lady helpers from A CHRISTMAS STORY (“Get movin’, kid!”).

    Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a great feature of FanFest, one I’ve taken advantage of the past four years. I’m grateful for the opportunity to get stuff signed by my favorite players. But I learned fast not to lollygag. Your best opportunity for asking a question of one of the Legends (or non-Legend) is the Q&A portion of the on-stage interviews.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 18, 2019 at 11:09 am

      Thank you, Major. I wasn’t trying to imply fans can engage in detailed q and a with players, but FanFest procedure is pretty standard at most autograph shows.

      • Major Award

        January 18, 2019 at 11:15 am

        Appreciate the clarification, Rich. I don’t go to any of those autograph shows – I’m not willing to shell out hundreds of bucks for autographs – so I wouldn’t know. FanFest vouchers are a real bargain (assuming you get them for $20 and not pay a premium on eBay), and it’s great knowing the proceeds go to a charity.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 18, 2019 at 11:19 am

      I don’t go to autograph shows, either, but I think the Orioles way is more upbeat.

      • Major Award

        January 18, 2019 at 12:30 pm

        Agreed. The only thing that can spoil the offer is when people buy up the vouchers as soon as they’re available to re-sell on eBay. I wonder what happened to the fans last year who paid a premium for the Machado and Schoop vouchers on eBay.

  9. boss61

    January 18, 2019 at 10:53 am

    Tell me a story about a game, season or other circumstance you or teammates are well known for. What did the media or the O’s get wrong or misunderstand about it, and what was the real circumstance of the story?

    Jim Palmer’s relationship with Earl Weaver comes to mind, but doubtlessly there were others. Eddie Murray for one can share real insights about how he felt about the team’s struggles after the ’83 World Championship and how it seemed ownership zeroed in on his performance. Etc.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 18, 2019 at 11:10 am

      Good questions all, Mark.

  10. ClyOs

    January 18, 2019 at 10:57 am

    I have actually met three Orioles who are in the baseball Hall of Fame. Brooks Robinson multiple times, Jim Palmer twice, and Frank Robinson once. My 1st meeting with Brooks Robinson will always be something special. I won the local hit, pitch, and run competition as a youth. At the regional competition Brooks Robinson’s sporting goods company was a sponsor at the event. He personally autographed a ball for of the competitors, which I still own to this day. “To ??? Good Luck, Brook Robinson”. Class act all the way. Jim Palmer was very nice as well, but Frank Robinson was very impersonal to the point of being almost rude. If I could ask them a question it would be “with such a great career, what is the one thing you wanted to achieve as a player but didn’t”?

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 18, 2019 at 11:17 am

      ClyOs, that’s another good question.

  11. Bancells Moustache

    January 18, 2019 at 11:38 am

    I’d probably ask them how they feel about the death of the stolen base and if they think 2019 Major League Baseball is as boring as I do.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 18, 2019 at 11:49 am

      Bancells, who won the 2019 World Series?

      • Bancells Moustache

        January 18, 2019 at 12:23 pm

        I’m aware of the Red Sox numbers Rich, which stick out in comparison to todays teams, but it doesn’t match up with the 70s and 80s style of play, with it’s vast outfield spaces, artificial turf and track stars flying all over the paths.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 18, 2019 at 1:10 pm

      Bancells, I too miss the stolen base and enjoyed the Royals aggressive style of play of just a few years ago.

    • Raymo

      January 19, 2019 at 10:22 am

      Hey BanMo, there’s a funny parody quote in tomorrow’s Washington Post (page E15): Trump alleges that the influx of Latino baseball players has led to an epidemic of stolen bases.

  12. willmiranda

    January 18, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    I would ask Brooks how all his success didn’t spoil him rotten. It couldn’t have been an accident, and even we who are much less successful could learn something.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 18, 2019 at 2:21 pm

      Right you are, Will!

  13. 5brooks5

    January 18, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    As my idol growing up as a huge fan. I would love to ask Brooks about his 1958 Topps baseball card picture, it’s a beaut . What a pix, what a humble man!

    • @briski715

      January 18, 2019 at 7:43 pm

      I’d ask Eddie Murray about the influence on Cal Sr on his career.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 18, 2019 at 9:22 pm

      5brooks, I’m not a card collector, so I’ll go look it up.

      Briski, that’s a fine question.

  14. BirdsCaps

    January 18, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    I have had a few positive interactions with O’s legends. A few that pop out are with Palmer and Murray. When I was very small (toddler) there was a commercial with Palmer on it (financial services maybe the Money Store?) and I would run to the tv and stare. When I met him (I was about 12) he recited the entire commercial after he signed my baseball. Also, at the same event I met Murray, who is notoriously quiet and to himself. I was very tired, and I was very quiet and looked down at the mouth. Murray noticed this and asked if I “needed a friend.” This was shocking due to Murray’s infamous quiet to surly demeanor. On what I would ask an orioles legend, it would either be Brooks or Boog. I would ask either of them about the evolution of the game and comparing their era to the current era. I would especially like to know what Boog would say about the increasing emphasis put on home runs and home run hitters and if the era is similar to when he was playing.Frank Howard and Boog are both very similar to the pre-slump Crush Davis.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 18, 2019 at 9:24 pm

      Excellent post, BirdsCaps. One of the best I’ve seen in the six months I’ve been here.

      • BirdsCaps

        January 18, 2019 at 11:17 pm

        Thanks Rich! Gwynn (though not an Oriole) was also at the event. He was also exceedingly friendly and commented (jokingly made fun of) me celebrating after getting his auto. It’s a shame he went so young.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 20, 2019 at 7:31 pm

      Tony Gwynn was a very nice man.

  15. Camden Brooks

    January 18, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    I would ask Cal what his mom said about Billy’s baseball card prank.

    • BirdsCaps

      January 18, 2019 at 8:54 pm

      That’s a good one. What an iconic card.

    • Camden Brooks

      January 19, 2019 at 2:40 pm

      Or if she even knew about it…

  16. Jacobs1928

    January 19, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    I worked for the C&P tell company where I was a General Sales Manager,,,
    I was holding a Sales Management meeting in Baltimore and had Managers fromMd,Va,W.Va andcD.C. present. As a season ticket holder I loved the winning O’s. With all the stars Ripken, Palmer, Robinson But the guy I admired most was
    Weaver the Manager…So, I called and asked him to appear as a guest speaker
    To my Sales Management meeting…he did accept and gave a great talk on how to
    Manage to have winners. He got a standing ovation from the group. That is my
    Memory of the winning O’s

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 20, 2019 at 7:32 pm

      Bernie, I’m sure Earl was an excellent speaker.

  17. Frankly Robinson

    January 20, 2019 at 8:23 am

    I never met Brooks. When I was about 12, I wrote him a letter telling him I saw him on game of the week talking about fielding. I asked him for an autograph and he sent me a team issue picture and autograph.

    I’ll miss meeting him this year because I’m on call. I’ll never forget seeing him play. His love for the game inspired me. I coached with his advice and the advice of Mr. Palmer. Brooks will always be my favorite

  18. Frankly Robinson

    January 20, 2019 at 8:26 am

    So my question would be, who was most influential in your baseball life?

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 20, 2019 at 7:33 pm

      I think that’s a good question, Frankly.

  19. W43

    January 20, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    Cal, how successful would you have been if you went all out with basketball?

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