Say what you will about the huge '54 trade, Paul Richards was a Man with a Plan and we sure could use somebody like that now. I actually remember the trade -- sort of, I was a little kid. But I do remember seeing like the whole front page of the News-Post filled with players pictures. Anyway, I think pretty much all of the players I remember from the 50's Orioles came in that trade -- Woodling, Triandos, Miranda, Boyd, etc. And that was a time when the Orioles improved every year until the big breakthrough in '60.
By the way, Bill Veeck said that Richards was the only manager in the game he had ever seen who could really make a difference in the outcome of a game. Pretty sure he was writing before Earl Weaver, though.