A couple of seasons ago we presented a few versions of a local area sports Mount. Rushmore. One version was for the Ravens and another for Baltimore area sports in general.
It’s interesting to see how sentiments sway over time. For example two seasons ago the Ravens Mount Rushmore consisted of Ray Lewis, Jonathan Ogden, Ed Reed and Matt Stover. Today many argue that Joe Flacco or Ray Rice should replace Stover. Whatever your opinion is, the topic is one that inspires passionate debate.
And now we’ll open that debate up for the Baltimore Orioles.
The criteria are pretty straightforward. There can only be players and there can only be four. The last time I checked Ronald Reagan wasn’t added to the real Mount Rushmore.
So with that in mind my choices (shown above) are Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken, Jr.
Some will argue that Frank doesn’t belong on the Mount because he only played in Baltimore for six seasons. But during those six seasons he averaged .300, 30 HRs, 91 RBIs, made 5 All-Star appearances and won the Triple Crown and MVP Awards. More importantly Frank’s teams had a winning percentage of .603, won 582 games, made 4 World Series appearances winning two of them.
“Cakes” had 268 career wins and won 20 games eight times during his tenure as an Oriole. Since Palmer’s last 20-win season in 1978 there have been only four other seasons during which an Oriole has hit the 20-win mark.
The lanky right-hander was a member of the franchise’s 3 World Series Champions and played in the Fall Classic with the Birds a total of six times. Palmer has 3 Cy Young Award trophies to his credit and threw over 300 innings in a season 4 times. Palmer was quite a workhorse but did fight through his fair share of injuries.
However to put his innings pitched in perspective, last season Justin Verlander led the bigs with 238 1/3 innings of work. During his 19-year career, despite the arm woes, Palmer threw for more innings than Verlander 8 times. During those 8 seasons Palmer averaged 301 1/3 innings.
The original Mr. Oriole, Brooks appeared in 18 consecutive All-Star games and won 16 Gold Gloves. (I wonder what the Goldfather would give for those?) He was a league MVP in 1964 and won the World Series MVP in 1970. Brooks was a champion twice and is generally considered to be the greatest fielding third-baseman of all time.
CAL RIPKEN, JR.
Although I would make the argument that Ripken is perhaps the most overrated so-called superstar in modern history, his workmanlike approach to the game and his unprecedented durability and mental toughness, 19 All-Star appearances, 2 AL MVP Awards, Rookie of the Year Award, 2 Gold Gloves and the untouchable record for most consecutive games played – a staggering 2,632 games (16 ¼ consecutive seasons of play) are all clearly worthy of his place atop the Mount.
So what do you think?
Did we miss any?
Should Eddie Murray be among the four? Boog Powell? Dave McNally?