Roberto Alomar was named yesterday as the newest player inductee to the Orioles’ Hall of Fame. At first look, this seems like a somewhat peculiar selection. Alomar spent only three seasons in Baltimore. Two of them were exceptional seasons ending with playoff frustrations while his final year saw him below average at the plate and seemingly giving only partial effort in the field. Many fans were upset with him. However, we should look at how much Alomar actually did contribute to those Orioles’ teams. Roberto Alomar made the All Star game each year, earned two gold gloves (losing in 2007 to pre-yip Chuck Knoblauch), and winning a Silver Slugger while slashing 312/382/451 .
Albeit short, that is a solid resume. That is pretty evident by his 11.9 bWAR, which is good for the 5th most of any Orioles second baseman. Who is ahead of him career-wise for the Orioles? Fellow Oriole Hall of Famers Bobby Grich (36.0, 7 years), Davey Johnson (20.1, 8 years), and Rich Dauer (14.4, 10 years) along with future Oriole Hall of Famer Brian Roberts (28.4, 13+ seasons). Alomar’s performance is somewhere around Brian Roberts and Davey Johnson and clearly exceeds what Rich Dauer brought to the team, performance-wise. Perhaps, one could say that Dauer was inducted partially for what he brought to the team beyond his play. However, I’d consider Alomar’s induction to be in line with what has happened with other Oriole second basemen.
This made me wonder about whether or not there are other players out there who may well have been overlooked with respect to their contributions. Over a few posts, I will be exploring the team, position by position. Having already covered second base, first base and catcher will be covered in this post.
I think we all know that Rafael Palmeiro has the numbers to belong in the Orioles Hall of Fame. Hurting his bid is the unfortunate positive test result for stanozolol in 2005. If you ignore that, then you cannot find a suitable reason to refuse him the honor. However, the more interesting omission is Randy “Moose” Milligan. Milligan was the excellent and overlooked cog in the early 1990s Orioles teams. He was the quintessential 2002 “Moneyball” player. After four strong seasons with the team, he was given his release, excelled as a pinch hitter for a season, and then disappeared. After his playing days, he wound up scouting for the Orioles. I think an as good, if not better, argument can be made for the original Moose to make it in the Hall than Roberto Alomar.
In this grouping, based on how the players have been selected at second and first, consideration for the Hall begins with a WAR greater than 10. It should be noted that Elrod Hendricks is also inducted into the Hall even though he has an Orioles WAR of 6.3. That honor though really connects his playing days to his loyal service to the organization as a coach. So, sorry Fruit Loops, you should not wait for admittance.Next time, we will explore shortstop, third base, and designated hitter.