O's in top 100 of all time

O's in top 100 of all time
December 12, 2012, 11:30 pm
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Sure, why not make a list? ESPN.com has been rolling out its “Hall of 100,” ranking the 100 greatest baseball players of all time. The top 25 will be revealed on Thursday.

This list supposedly doesn’t differentiate for factors away from the playing field, as explained this way: “We decided to change the conversation, and get away from character clauses, who might have taken PEDs and what impact those PEDs might have had. Simply put, we asked our panel of experts to rank the top 100 players in history based entirely on performance on the field.”

The voters were a panel of 30-plus ESPN experts — Tim Kurkjian, Buster Olney and even some guys who didn’t used to cover the Orioles.

So how have the Orioles fared?

Cal Ripken is the highest-ranked so far, at No. 31. Brooks Robinson is No. 43, Eddie Murray No. 65, Roberto Alomar No. 73 and Jim Palmer No. 89. Current (sort of) Oriole Jim Thome rates No. 94.

Presumably, Frank Robinson will be in the top 25.

These kinds of lists can be confounding and kind of nonsensical, but that’s just how baseball is. For instance, Ripken is wedged between George Brett above and Bob Gibson below. You can make a perfectly legitimate case to change the order in any way you wish — or to keep it the same.

Despite the statistical record, in the end it’s all subjective. This is sort of like a list of favorite Christmas songs. A good friend always puts Burl Ives’ “Holly Jolly Christmas” at No. 1. For years, I’ve been telling him it’s got to be Chuck Berry’s “Run, Run, Rudolph.”

We won’t convince each other. And that’s how it is with a list such as ESPN’s.