It's Friday, and you know what that means. Time for FanPosts! Last week I asked about a time that you had met an Oriole. We got 11 responses which you can check out in our FanPosts section. The top three as decided by me were:
- My time with Keyote by thirstyturtle12. This one wasn't exactly about meeting an Oriole, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. We're not to strict on following the rules here at FanPost Friday.
O's that I met at Radio Shack by PhilR8. Baseball players. They're just like us! They buy cell phones and batteries and used to go to Radio Shack.
Cal Ripken and my summer job by allyngibson. In which allyngibson could have become a creepy stalker, but didn't.
This week I have an important question to ask you. Which Oriole from the past isn't remembered enough? There are plenty of old timers we hear a lot about, sometimes because they were great players, sometimes because they are great people. But some great Orioles just don't seem to get their due. Who do you think fits that bill? Write it up in a FanPost!
For me that player is Jim Gentile. It's easy to see why he isn't referenced much. He only spent four years as an Oriole out of a career that spanned most of nine seasons. And he left the team after the 1963 season before the glory years began.
It wasn't a long tenure, but the four years he spent with the Orioles is one of the best offensive stretches for a player in Orioles history. He hit 124 home runs for the Orioles, including 46 in 1961. He had a slugging percentage of .512 as an Oriole, which is fourth-best of all qualified Orioles. In 1961, which was the best year of Gentile's career, he had an OPS+ of 187. His homer hitting prowess would have fit right in with the current Orioles, although he was also really good at getting on base. Also, he was something of a looker.
Gentile's career was way before my time but there is a great recent story about him. O's GM Lee MacPhail told him after his 1961 season that if he had been the league leader in RBI they would have raised his salary another $5,000. It appeared that he had missed that milestone by just one as Roger Maris was credited with 142 RBI to Gentile's 141. In 2010 it was determined that one of Maris's RBI actually scored on an error. When that happened the Orioles were being run by Lee's grandson, Andy MacPhail. Andy honored his grandfather's word and paid Jim Gentile his $5,000.
So what about you? What player in Orioles history do you think isn't remembered enough? Head on over to the FanPosts section and tell me all about it. Also, if you have good ideas for future FanPost Fridays, please drop a comment in today's Bird Droppings or send me an email.