Dubroff’s Diner is closing for the holidays. But before we do, there’s an important task I need help with.
The Orioles have completed 65 years of baseball in Baltimore, and to mark that, BaltimoreBaseball.com is picking its all-time Orioles team.
This isn’t a vote, but a request for suggestions.
Next month will be 40 years since I moved to Baltimore, so I’ve seen the Orioles up close from 1980 until now, first as a fan, and then as a writer.
But I wasn’t here from 1954-1979. I actually wasn’t even alive for the first few years, and although I’ve read plenty about the early Orioles teams and watched the championship teams of the ’60s and ’70s on television, you can be a great help.
Since 2020 will be the beginning of 26-man teams, we’ll pick an extra player, too. It also will make some of the hard choices a bit easier.
For argument sake, we’ll choose 10 pitchers and 16 position players, two at each position. One of the extra position players will be the designated hitter.
There are some certainties: Brooks Robinson will be the third baseman, Cal Ripken Jr. at short, Eddie Murray at first, Frank Robinson in right and Jim Palmer will be our first starting pitcher.
Many of the other choices will be nearly as obvious to you, but there are some ares I’m just not sure about.
How many starters and relievers should we have on the 10-man staff? The staff is smaller than contemporary pitching staffs but that’s because the overall team is so good that 12 or 13 pitchers aren’t needed.
There are some easy picks on the pitching staff, and tough ones, too.
It’s also hard picking out two catchers. The four best in team history are Rick Dempsey, Chris Hoiles, Gus Triandos and Matt Wieters.
Murray needs a backup at first base. Should it be Boog Powell? How about Chris Davis, Jim Gentile, and, yes, Rafael Palmeiro?
Ripken needs to take a rest sometimes. There’s a host of excellent alternatives to back him up: Luis Aparicio, Mark Belanger, Mike Bordick, J.J. Hardy and Miguel Tejada.
Who is the best second baseman? Is it Brian Roberts? How about Rich Dauer, Bobby Grich, Davey Johnson or Jonathan Schoop? What about Roberto Alomar, who played just three seasons here?
There are a number of notable outfielders, too. Paul Blair would seem to be a lock in center, but should Adam Jones beat him out? Who plays left field?
When we return after the holidays, we’ll be revealing the all-time Orioles team in two parts, so please comment early and often.
Thank you for reading and commenting this year, and best holiday wishes to you and your family.
This week’s question: Who is on your all-time Orioles team?