Hi everyone, I’m sorry it’s been a while since I posted, but I’m back! And I have a question for you, will the Orioles retire the numbers of any more former players? I know they spent this last year unveiling the amazing bronze statues at Camden Yards honoring Brooks, Jim, Eddie, Earl, Frank, & Cal and I can’t wait to see them the next time I’m in Baltimore. But it got me thinking, it’s been 12 years since the O’s last had a player “worthy” of having his number retired (Cal). Have we had one since then? Will we have one in the future? I’m no psychic or fortune teller, but it’s still fun to think about, especially as we are officially into 2013, Happy New Year!!
There are three numbers I can think of who, at this moment, might have a shot at being retired, especially if the Orioles continue to build on the winning ways from last season. The numbers are 10, 15 & 21.
10: Adam Jones.
The only one of this trio not originally drafted by the O’s, Adam is a 2-time All-Star & a 2-time Gold Glove winner. He was the star piece is the Erik Bedard trade that brought him over from the Mariners, and judging from the fact that it’s 4 years later & Erik is a free agent, I think it’s safe to say we got the better end of that deal. Though Adam makes errors, he also hits a lot of home runs & makes spectacular catches. He is committed to Baltimore, both the team & the community; he loves tweeting with Orioles fans & says he feeds off our excitement for the team. At just 27 years old, he is really hitting the prime of his career & that spells good things for the middle of the order & for center field at Camden.
15: Matt Wieters. Our mammoth (for a catcher) 6′ 5″ backstop blocker was the top rated catcher of the 2008 draft, where we snagged him at the #5 pick. Like Adam, Matt is a 2-time All-Star & 2-time Gold Glove winner. Baltimore has a storied list of catchers, with names like Rick Dempsy, Mickey Tettleton, Andy Etchebarren, Johnny Oates, & current Oakland manager Bob Melvin (I didn’t know that!) along with beloved bullpen coach, the late Elrod Hendricks.
At only 26 years old, Matt has developed a keen awareness of how to handle the young & often patchwork Baltimore rotation, and has consistently hit for power in the middle of the order.
21: Nick Markakis. Oh Nick, I’m not sure there was a sadder sight for O’s fans this season than watching Nick in the dugout during September & into the playoffs. Nick, Brian Roberts, & Jim Johnsonare the “elder statesmen” of the career O’s, Brian made his O’s debut in ’01 with Nick & Jim following in ’06 so they have been through the lows of the O’s. Like Adam & Matt, Nick is committed to the Baltimore community, he & his family live year round in MD. He could have left after the ’08 season, but chose to sign a 6-year extension instead. While 2012 might not have been his favorite years (hitting the DL twice in the same season), there came the realization of how strong a presence he is at the top of the order.
Like I said, we have no idea how the remainder of the careers of these 3 fantastic players will unfold. They’re all really in their prime, all under 30, and all coming into 2013 healthy & hopefully ready to build on the incredibly 2012 success. I don’t know about you all, but I’m itching with excitement to see where Matt, Adam, Nick & the rest of the O’s head from here.