No 4. Doug DeCinces (1973-1981) – 22.8 bWAR
Doug DeCinces took over after Brooks Robinson retired and served admirably as the Orioles’ primary third-baseman for six years, from 1976-1981.
During his time in Baltimore, DeCinces hit .253/.323/.428 with 107 homers and a 112 OPS+. He was a solid all-around player with good defense and enough power to get the job done.
On June 22nd, 1979 DeCinces hit one of the most memorable home-runs in Baltimore Orioles history. In a game that would later be tabbed as the beginning of Orioles Magic, DeCinces hit a walk off home-run against Tigers’ pitcher Dave Tobik, giving the Orioles a 6-5 victory that day, and the boost they’d need to make a deep playoff run that year.
The Baltimore Orioles made it to the World Series in 1979, but they lost to the Pirates in crushing fashion after leading the series three games to one.
DeCinces’ time with the Orioles was relatively short, but he made those years count. In 1978, he posted an .872 OPS with 28 home-runs, and his 6.8 bWAR that year was good for fourth best in MLB.
DeCinces never made an All-Star team during his time with the Orioles, nor did he receive any award recognition; those things came after he went to the Angels. But he was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 2006, in part due to the impact he had on the city of Baltimore. Orioles fans aren’t soon to forget Doug DeCinces.
Unfortunately, DeCinces’ criminal conviction for insider trading has tarnished his off-field reputation and I considered leaving him off the list because of it. But he played such an important role for the Orioles in the late-1970’s that it’s tough to not include him.