Who will be next Orioles Hall of Famer?

Who will be next Orioles Hall of Famer?
January 9, 2014, 9:45 am
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Hall of Fame voter Mark Zuckerman on the 2014 class

Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer, Earl Weaver, Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken are all Hall of Famers. Four of them, Brooks Robinson, Palmer, Weaver and Ripken were honored solely on their Orioles accomplishments. Frank Robinson and Murray’s accomplishments were primarily, but not exclusively with the Orioles.

Ripken was the most recent to be enshrined, in 2007. How long will it be before the next Orioles player is inducted?

Mike Mussina got 20.3 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility. If Mussina is inducted, which now probably won’t be for several years, it might not be as an Oriole.

In 2012, Mussina was asked about his preference, and he declined to answer. It’s the Hall of Fame that decides, but it’s likely that he’d enter as an Oriole.

Mussina pitched 10 seasons with the Orioles and eight with the Yankees. He had slightly better statistics with the Orioles.

Though I heartily endorse his candidacy, and I expect him to make it someday, Mussina is no sure thing.

There were several candidates who’d played for the Orioles on the ballot. Some were there briefly—Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Lee Smith and Sammy Sosa. Others, Armando Benitez and Mike Timlin did nothing to enhance their candidacy while with the Orioles.

Another, Rafael Palmeiro, would have been a Hall of Famer had he not tested positive for steroids. Even if he had been a Hall of Famer, Palmeiro might not have represented the Orioles. Palmeiro played 10 years with Texas and seven in Baltimore. He didn’t receive enough votes to stay on the ballot.

Next year, it’s possible that B.J. Ryan will be on the ballot, but he’s not a serious candidate.

If Mussina doesn’t get in, it may be many years before there’s another player who represents the Orioles in the Hall of Fame.