The 40 Greatest Orioles of All-Time - No. 39 - Miguel Tejada

39. Miguel Tejada, SS (2004-2005)

All-Star: 2004, 2005
Silver Slugger: 2004, 2005

Maybe it's a little early to put Tejada on this list, but I might as well. He's going to be there before he's done.

The following list is just simple park-adjusted OPS+:

GREATEST OFFENSIVE SEASONS BY A
SHORTSTOP IN ORIOLES HISTORY
(MIN. 415 AB)
1. Cal Ripken Jr., 1991 (162)
2. Cal Ripken Jr., 1984 (145)
3. Cal Ripken Jr., 1983 (144)
4. Miguel Tejada, 2005 (133)
5. Cal Ripken Jr., 1988 (128)
6. Miguel Tejada, 2004 (126)
7. Cal Ripken Jr., 1985 (124)
8. Cal Ripken Jr., 1986 (122)
9. Cal Ripken Jr., 1982 (115)
10. Cal Ripken Jr., 1990 (114)

Before Tejada got here, this was all Ripken with a couple of houseguests: Mike Bordick's freaky 2000 (113 OPS+), and Ron Hansen's 1960 season (111 OPS+, Hansen's only good season as an Oriole). Now it's Ripken and Tejada, and it'll probably stay that way for quite a while. (Frankly, I waffled a bit as to whether or not to include Ripken's '82 season, since he played half his time at third base.)

Good shortstops are not easy to come by. The Orioles have had two outstanding offensive shortstops in Ripken and Tejada, and they've also had glovemen like Belanger, Aparicio, Bordick, etc., who could work the leather but generally weren't much at the plate.

Frankly, the Orioles have been blessed in the shortstop department. Aparicio came along in '63, Belanger took over in '68, Ripken in '82, Bordick in '97, and now Tejada since 2004. That's a pretty fine run, only interrupted by Deivi Cruz (2003) and Kiko Garcia (1979, spelling Belanger).

Now statistically, Tejada probably wouldn't make this list, but this is exactly why I didn't base this entirely on statistics. I'd rather this be a discussion than a chart, because ten players in it would get pretty boring to go, "This guy had a few good years, you might remember something cool he did."

Tejada is a superb player, will be for many more years. If all goes well and he stays in Baltimore, Tejada will be way up on this list down the road.

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