Kyle Gibson fondly remembered in Baltimore; Orioles, Cardinals suspended in 1-1 tie -
Rich Dubroff

Kyle Gibson fondly remembered in Baltimore; Orioles, Cardinals suspended in 1-1 tie

Photo Credit: Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports


On Wednesday, the Orioles will face one of their favorite former teammates. Kyle Gibson is scheduled to start against John Means.

It’s rare that in just one season, Gibson endeared himself to everyone associated with the Orioles.

In recent years, there are two players who have had an immeasurable impact on an Orioles team in just one season, Gibson last year and slugger Nelson Cruz in 2014.

Gibson’s professionalism and his mentoring of a young starting staff helped the Orioles to a 101-win season. Before the season began, there was some question whether Gibson would be able to replace Jordan Lyles, who had a similar impact on the 2022 team that registered a 31-game improvement from 2021.



Gibson’s performance on the field was just fine. He led the Orioles in wins (15) and innings (192) ,though his 4.73 earned-run average was the highest among Oriole starters.

But it was his encouragement and sage advice that meant the world to a young team.

After the season, there was some sentiment that Gibson would re-sign with the Orioles, but he quickly found a new baseball home for 2024, St. Louis, the area where he grew up.

Gibson was able to turn his $10 million 2023 salary into a $12 million deal for this year at age 36.

Ten years ago, the Orioles signed Cruz to a one-year, $8 million deal. He led the major leagues with 40 home runs and  helped the Orioles reach the American League Championship Series for the first time since 1997.

Cruz provided essential mentoring to a young Manny Machado and while Machado and Matt Wieters were injured and Chris Davis suspended for use of an unauthorized drug without a prescription late in the year, his value was immense.

The cases of Gibson and Cruz were different. The Orioles replaced him by trading for one of baseball’s best starters, Corbin Burnes. Cruz, Nick Markakis and reliever Andrew Miller were all allowed to sign elsewhere.

All three continued their excellence elsewhere,and had they been retained by the Orioles, their 2012-2016 run of success could have been enhanced and perhaps lengthened.

It’s hard for outsiders to see how valuable certain players are. In 2022, despite his .179 average, backup catcher Robinson Chirinos was lauded for his work with rookie Adley Rutschman, a role that James McCann has assumed for the last two seasons.

In those days before interpreters were provided for players who needed help with English, Cruz would volunteer to interpret for young Orioles and would routinely ask writers if they needed him before he’d leave the clubhouse.

Cruz left the Orioles for a four-year contract with the Seattle Mariners because the Orioles didn’t think he’d be able to produce at high levels for that long. In fact, Cruz was a star for several years beyond those four seasons.

I get lots of interesting questions from readers each week. One that I haven’t gotten, but I’m answering here anyway is: Which Orioles made the most impact in their only season with the club? That’s easy. Nelson Cruz and Kyle Gibson.

Orioles, Cardinals suspended

Tuesday night’s Orioles-Cardinals game in St. Louis was suspended by rain after 5 ½ innings in a 1-1 tie. The game will be resumed at 12:15 p.m. Eastern time with the regularly scheduled game to follow.

Oriole starter Kyle Bradish allowed one run on four hits in five innings, walking one and striking out six.

The Cardinals scored their run in the second inning when Nolan Gorham’s double off the glove of Cedric Mullins in deep center scored Alec Burleson.

Cardinals starter Lance Lynn gave up a run on two hits in six innings, striking out six.

The Orioles scored their run in the fifth when Jorge Mateo’s double scored Kyle Stowers, who had reached on an error by Gorman at second base. Stowers had the other Orioles’ hit, a third-inning double.

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