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Baltimore Orioles All-Time Lineup

Best at each position, in one season, in team history


A look at the all-time starting lineup for the Baltimore Orioles in the team's history since moving from St. Louis to Baltimore in 1954. It's not a career record - it's taken from the best season any player had at that position in team history to create a lineup. And it has seven Hall of Famers, even though two wouldn't actually be starters.

Starting pitcher: Jim Palmer

Jim Palmer photo
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1975: 23-11, 2.09 ERA, 10 shutouts, 1.031 WHIP

Rest of the rotation: Mike Cuellar (1969, 23-11, 2.38 ERA, 5 shutouts, 1.005 WHIP), Dave McNally (1971, 21-5, 2.89 ERA, 1.097 WHIP). Mike Boddicker (1984, 20-11, 2.79 ERA, 261.1 IP, 1.144 WHIP), Steve Stone (1980, 25-7, 3.23 ERA, 250.2 IP, 1.297 WHIP)

Palmer, no doubt the greatest pitcher in Baltimore history, won the second of his three Cy Young Awards in his Hall of Fame career in 1975, when he struck out 193 in 323 innings. He won 268 games in his career, all in 19 seasons with the Orioles. Palmer pitcher for the Orioles for so long, he was teammates with all four of the other pitchers in this rotation. Cuellar and Stone also make the rotation thanks to their Cy Young Award seasons. And McNally achieved his best season in 1971, when all four pitchers in the O's rotation won 20 games, a feat that might never be repeated in the modern "pitch-count" age.

Catcher: Chris Hoiles

Chris Hoiles photo
Otto Greule Jr./Allsport/Getty Images

1993: .310, 29 HR, 82 RBI, 1.001 OPS

Backup: Javy Lopez (2004, .316, 23 HR, 86 RBI, .872 OPS)

Hoiles played just 10 seasons, and was the fill-time starter in eight of them for the Orioles, having an underrated career. His best season was 1993 at age 28, when he had the best offensive season for a catcher in team history. The backup was a player many forget played in Baltimore in Lopez, who had his best seasons with the Braves.

First baseman: Jim Gentile

Jim Gentile photo
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1961: .302, 46 HR, 141 RBI, 1.069 OPS

Backup: Eddie Murray (1982, .316, 32 HR, 110 RBI, .940 OPS)

A minor upset, considering a Hall of Famer with 3,000 hits is the backup. But this is a one-year award, and "Diamond Jim" Gentile had an incredible season in 1961, when he finished third in the AL MVP race behind Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. And Murray was no shoo-in for the backup spot because of another 3,000-hit man in Rafael Palmeiro. But we'll give it to Murray because even though the stats were close, Steady Eddie was an Orioles icon.

Second baseman: Roberto Alomar

Roberto Alomar photo
David Seelig/Allsport/Getty Images

1996: .328, 22 HR, 94 RBI, 17 SB, .938 OPS)

Backup: Brian Roberts (2005, .315, 18 HR, 73 RBI, .903 OPS)

Alomar also won Gold Glove in 1996, and the Hall of Famer was solid all-around (despite a well-publicized spitting incident with ump John Hirschbeck that September) as the Orioles advanced to the ALCS in 1996. The backup is Roberts, who had his best season in 2005.

Third baseman: Brooks Robinson

Brooks Robinson photo
Getty Images

1964: .317, 28 HR, 118 RBI, .889 OPS

Backup: Melvin Mora (2004, .340, 27 HR, 104 RBI, .981 OPS)

Like Ripken in 1991, Robinson won the MVP and Gold Glove in the same season in 1964, as a man regarded as perhaps the greatest defensive third baseman ever had a stellar season at the plate. The backup is another player from the forgettable 2000s-era Orioles in Mora, who had a great 2004.

Shortstop: Cal Ripken

Cal Ripken photo
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

1991: .323, 34 HR, 114 RBI, .940 OPS

Backup: Miguel Tejada (2004, .311, 34 HR, 150 RBI, .894 OPS)

Ripken, yet another Hall of Famer on the list, won his second MVP award as he was in the midst of his consecutive games streak of 2,632 games in 1991 when he had his best season. The backup is another modern-era offensive power in Tejada.

Left fielder: Boog Powell

Boog Powell photo
Getty Images

1964: .290, 39 HR, 99 RBI, 1.005 OPS

Backup: John Lowenstein (1982, .320, 24 HR, 66 RBI, 1.017 OPS)

Powell, who moved later in his career to first base, was still a left fielder when he had a great season in 1964, which fittingly puts him on the team. The backup was an Earl Weaver platoon player who had a great season in 1982.

Center fielder: Brady Anderson

Brady Anderson photo
David Seelig/Allsport/Getty Images

1996: .297, 50 HR, 110 RBI, 21 SB, 1.034 OPS

Backup: Paul Blair (1969, .285, 26 HR, 76 RBI, 20 SB, .804 OPS)

Anderson's 1996 season stands out in a peculiar way, and even writers at the time noticed. He was ninth in the MVP voting in 1996 despite the 50 homers, which was 26 more than he hit in any other season. It did take place in the performance-enhancing era, yet Anderson has never been implicated on any infamous lists. The 50 homers is still a team record, and he did it from the leadoff spot. The backup was a player from a pennant-winning Orioles team in 1969 in Blair, an eight-time Gold Glove winner.

Right fielder: Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson photo
Getty Images

1966: .316, 49 HR, 122 RBI, 1.047 OPS

Backup: Ken Singleton (1977, .328, 24 HR, 99 RBI, .945 OPS)

The beneficiary of one of the most one-sided trades in baseball history, Robinson won the MVP in his first American League season in 1966 as the Orioles won the World Series. The backup is one of the greats of the 1970s and early 1980s in Singleton, who nudged past Albert Belle (1999) and Eric Davis (1998) for the spot.

Designated hitter: Aubrey Huff

Aubrey Huff photo
Nick Laham/Getty Images

2008: .304, 32 HR, 108 RBI, .912 OPS

Backup: Harold Baines (1999, .322, 24 HR, 81 RBI, .977 OPS)

On a real team, Huff wouldn't be the starter -- it would certainly be Murray or Singleton in the DH spot. But Huff had the best season for a DH in team history. The backup was actually traded from the Orioles in the late summer to Cleveland, but had a great first half in 1999.

Closer: Randy Myers

Randy Myers photo
Doug Pensinger/Allsport/Getty Images

1997: 2-3, 1.51 ERA, 45 saves, 1.156 WHIP

Backup: Hoyt Wilhelm (1962, 7-10, 1.94 ERA, 15 saves, 1.054 WHIP)

This was a no-doubt selection, as Myers' 45 saves in 1997 is eight more than any Orioles player has had in any season. He has a Hall of Famer as a backup as well in one of the original relief specialists in Wilhelm.

Batting order

  1. Brady Anderson CF
  2. Roberto Alomar 2B
  3. Cal Ripken SS
  4. Frank Robinson RF
  5. Boog Powell LF
  6. Jim Gentile 1B
  7. Brooks Robinson 3B
  8. Aubrey Huff DH
  9. Chris Hoiles C
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