Baltimore Orioles: The All-Time Opening Day Starting Lineup

2 Apr 2000: Cal Ripken #8 of the Baltimore Orioles practices with the team on the eve of opening day at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. Ripken has 2991 career hits and is in pursuit of his 3000th. <> Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger/ALLSPORT
2 Apr 2000: Cal Ripken #8 of the Baltimore Orioles practices with the team on the eve of opening day at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. Ripken has 2991 career hits and is in pursuit of his 3000th. <> Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger/ALLSPORT /

Opening Day is less than one week away. Which Baltimore Orioles players have made the most Opening Day starts at each position?

The final countdown to Opening Day 2019 has started. We are just six days away from the Baltimore Orioles taking on the New York Yankees and the roster is starting to take shape, but we don’t know for certain who will be taking the field for the O’s on March 28th.

Assuming Trey Mancini starts in left field and Chris Davis mans first base, every other position will feature a different starter than in 2018. The most notable omission will be, of course, center fielder Adam Jones. Now with Arizona, Jones spent the last 11 Opening Days in center for the O’s. While not a franchise record, he is one of only a small handful of players to have double-digit Opening Day starts for the Baltimore Orioles.

So, who does have the most Opening Day starts at each position in franchise history (since 1954)? It’s quite the list with a fair amount of Hall of Famers sprinkled in. We have also included the projected 2019 Opening Day starter for each position.

A two-time World Series champion and MVP of the 1983 World Series, Dempsey made 10-consecutive Opening Day starts behind the plate for the O’s. A durable, defensive force at catcher, Dempsey is a member of the Orioles’ Hall of Fame and now a beloved member of the local media. In 12 seasons with the Orioles, Dempsey recorded 854 hits and either lead or was ranked in the top three among all catchers in baseball in caught stealing percentage. (Projected starter: Chance Sisco– 1st)

MLB Hall of Famer, World Series champion, eight-time All-Star, and 1977 Rookie of the Year with the Orioles, Murray made 10-consecutive Opening Day starts at first base in Baltimore. He recorded at least one hit in seven of those games, including a grand slam in the 1982 season opener against the Kansas City Royals. He would go on to finish second in MVP voting that year, the highest finish in his 21-year career. (Projected starter: Chris Davis- 7th)

A fan favorite in the Charm City, even to this day, Roberts and his nine Opening Day starts at second base are a franchise-high. Across 13 seasons with the Orioles, Roberts swiped 278 bases, recorded 351 doubles (leading the league twice), and posted an OBP of .349 during his tenure. He was held hitless on Opening Day just twice, collecting 11 hits in his nine games. (Projected starter: Jonathan Villar– 1st)

What else can be said about Cal Ripken Jr. The Ironman made 20 Opening Day starts in all, a franchise-leading 14 at shortstop, plus six more at third base. Mark Belanger made 13 starts before Ripken started his run, followed by six each from Mike Bordick and JJ Hardy. The shortstop position has been a position of stability for the Baltimore Orioles who will fill that role with a Rule 5 pick in 2019. (Projected starter: Richie Martin-1st)

No other player in franchise history has made as many Opening Day starts at one position as Brooks Robinson. The MLB Hall of Famer, 18-time All-Star, and 16-time Gold Glove Award winner played all 2,896 of his career games for the Orioles and is easily considered to be not just one of the greatest players in team history, but MLB history. Baltimore went 15-5 in Opening Day starts with Robinson in the hot corner. The Hall of Famer hit .317 those games. (Projected starter: Rio Ruiz– 1st)

Since 1990, 17 different players have started Opening Day in left field for the Orioles. Over the last decade, only Nolan Reimold has made more than one start. Originally a first-round pick of the Montreal Expos, Roenicke made six starts for the Orioles, slugging 106 home runs in parts of eight seasons in Birdland. (Projected starter: Trey Mancini- 2nd)

A magician in centerfield, Blair roamed the outfield in an Orioles uniform for 13 seasons, collecting eight Gold Gloves in the process. His 12 Opening Day starts are just one more than Adam Jones on the leaderboard with Al Bumbry sitting third with six. Any historical discussions about the Orioles’ outfield should revolve these three unforgettable players. Excuse me while I scroll through old highlights. (Projected starter: Cedric Mullins– 1st)

In nine seasons with the Orioles, Markakis played in fewer than 147 games just once and played in at least 160 games five times. Since Markakis made eight consecutive Opening Day starts, the Orioles have used four different players in four seasons and will use a fifth different starter in 2019, unless Craig Gentry is suddenly waived and picked up by Mike Elias or Seth Smith returns.

(Projected starter: Joey Rickard– 1st in RF. Started in LF in 2016)

  • Designated Hitter- Harold Baines (1993-1995, 2000)

The now Hall of Famer played seven of his 22 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, making four Opening Day starts for the Orioles. Going down the list of designated hitters on this list is a fun trip down memory lane- Marty Cordova, David Segui, Ty Wiggington, Luke Scott, just to name a few.

(Projected starter: Mark Trumbo– 2nd)

More from Birds Watcher

Two of the greatest to ever climb the hill for the Orioles. Both starting pitchers made six Opening Day starts. Palmer went 5-1 in his six starts which included a shutout against the Detroit Tigers in 1975. Even in his lone loss, Palmer gave up just two earned runs on nine hits across 10 innings in an extra-inning loss to the Texas Rangers on April 7, 1977. Mussina’s six starts included four starts against the Kansas City Royals and an 11-strikeout performance to begin the 1998 season. Palmer and Mussina rank first and third, respectively, in career wins and sit first and second in strikeouts. (Starter: Alex Cobb– 1st)

dark. Next. Eight Wishes For 2019

For more discussion about the Baltimore Orioles, including news, analysis, and minor league updates, be sure to follow us on Twitter @BirdsWatcherFS and like us on Facebook!