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Franchise Four – Baltimore Orioles

April 28, 2015

I have to admit, I’m quite fascinated by MLB.com’s Franchise Four campaign, in which people are encouraged to vote on the four players that best represent each franchise. Since I love baseball and I like sharing my opinion, I’ve decided to not only participate in the voting, but to share my thoughts on my blog. The aim here is to make my picks for one team a day for the next month, so stay tuned and we will see who the voters picked at the All-Star game in July.

Cal Ripken Jr.

The Argument: No surprise here. Ripken is still the face of the Orioles franchise long after he has retired. A career Oriole and Hall Of Famer, he was the 1982 Rookie Of The Year, 1983 MVP, and 1991 MVP and helped the O’s win a World Series in ’83. He was also a 19-time All-Star and is the all-time leader in HR as a shortstop. He finished his career with over 3,000 hits and is the career leader for the Orioles in basically every offensive counting stat. Oh, and he also played in more consecutive games than anyone else in baseball history.

Brooks Robinson

The Argument: Another lifelong Oriole and Hall Of Famer, Brooks Robinson is widely considered as the best defensive third baseman of all-time – and his 16 Gold Glove awards would be hard to argue against. He also ranks 2nd to Ripken on the Orioles all-time list for hits, runs, and RBI. Robinson helped lead the O’s to titles in 1966 and 1970 and was named the MVP of the ’70 series. He was a 15-time All-Star and a league MVP in 1964.

Jim Palmer

The Argument: Palmer is another Hall Of Fame Oriole that never played for another team. During his tenure, he helped the Orioles reach the World Series six times and finished his career with three rings, something neither Ripken or Robinson can lay claim to. Palmer won three Cy Young Awards and was an All-Star six times, logging 268 wins and finishing his career with a ridiculous 2.86 ERA.

Frank Robinson

The Argument: It was such a tough call between Frank Robinson and Eddie Murray that I almost considered tossing a coin on it. Ultimately, while Murray played more years for the O’s and has the sexier counting stats, Robinson’s years in Baltimore were unquestionably better. Not only did Robinson post a .944 OPS as an Oriole (Murray had an .868 OPS) and win the Triple Crown in 1966, but his arrival in Baltimore seemed to trigger a run of perennial success that led to two titles and four appearances in the World Series during his six year tenure.

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