Baltimore Orioles: The best designated hitters in the team’s history

BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 18: Mark Trumbo
BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 18: Mark Trumbo /
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It is rare to find any Orioles who were full-time designated hitters with the exception of Harold Baines. After 1993, Baines rarely played defense and was highly respected for ability at the plate. In fact, he never played defense when he was a member of the Orioles.

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Baines played for the Orioles between 1993 and 1995, then again in 1997 through part of 1999. He also played part of the 2000 season. Overall, he played 1643 games as a DH between his time with the Orioles, White Sox, A’s, Indians, and Rangers. As a hitter, he is compared to hitters like Al Kaline, Torii Hunter, and Carlos Beltran. But, he was not selected to be a part of the Hall of Fame.

The left-handed batter made six appearances at All-Star Games, one of those times with the Orioles. He also has one Silver Slugger Award. Prior to Edgar Martinez and David Ortiz, Baines was the dictionary definition of the ideal DH. While he isn’t a member of the Baseball Writers Hall of Fame, he is a member of the Orioles Hall of Fame.

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Unfortunately for Baines, he played through the heyday of the PED era of baseball so he did not receive the attention that Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds did. When he was with the Orioles he consistently batted near .300. He hit 107 home runs and 378 RBIs. His career slash after 22 seasons was .289/.356/.465.