Fans of the Baltimore Orioles are enjoying the election of Mike Mussina into the Hall of Fame, but who will be the next member of Birdland to get the call?
It crossed my mind, ever since the news of former Baltimore Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina receiving his call to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday night, that we probably won’t see another Oriole elected for a very long time. The only players that might be in the conversation down the line are likely Nick Markakis and Adam Jones, both of whom are extreme long-shots.
Fans of the Orioles were blessed to see the likes of Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Cal Ripken Jr. Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray, and Earl Weaver elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but for modern fans, it has been a different story. Ever since Cal Ripken retired, the Orioles roster hasn’t featured the best talent destined to make it to Cooperstown.
It’s unfortunate to say, but it’s probably going to be a very long time before we see another Baltimore Orioles player in Cooperstown. Former Oriole Adam Jones might have a chance, but he’d need to play for a few more years, currently sitting at 266 career home runs and 1,813 hits. His personality, contributions to the game off the field, and tremendous support for the city of Baltimore all add to his complete profile, but we’re likely looking at the Hall of Very Good for Jones.
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Nick Markakis could be in the same category as Adam Jones. He has been as consistent as anyone could hope for, logging 2,237 career hits and posting a career .288 average and .358 on-base percentage, with plenty of game still left in him. Though, you never know. Former Oriole Harold Baines was a surprise to a lot of baseball fans after his election to the Hall of Fame this year via the Today’s Game Era ballot.
Next year’s ballot isn’t officially out yet but the list of first-timers includes Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu, and a familiar name to Orioles fans, Brian Roberts. A 2018 inductee into the Orioles’ Hall of Fame, Roberts hit .276 in his career, amassing 1,527 hits and 367 doubles. The odds of him receiving the minimum 5% to remain on the ballot seem pretty slim.
The new Baltimore Orioles roster is full of a lot of young players, so you can’t really pinpoint any player with Hall of Fame potential, as of now. Let’s give it a few years with Mike Elias making personnel decisions to figure out who the next Baltimore Orioles Hall of Famer will be.
I hope it isn’t 20-30 years before the Baltimore Orioles see another Hall of Famer in Cooperstown because that would be a shame for the once proud history of this franchise.