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Friday Bird Droppings: Where we’re building an all-time, all-Maryland roster

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A lot of great MLB players were born in Maryland. Not many of them played for the Orioles.

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Ruth In Action
Pictured: Babe Ruth. You may have heard of him.
Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Another day has passed with the Orioles — and most of MLB, frankly — making no offseason news. But that doesn’t mean we can’t find ourselves crawling down a baseball rabbit hole to pass the time.

MLB.com’s Orioles beat writer, Joe Trezza, compiled a list of every Maryland native to play for the Orioles. There have been enough of them that you could build a full O’s roster of Maryland-born players...although, frankly, it wouldn’t be a good team. There are a couple of Hall of Famers in Cal Ripken Jr. and Harold Baines, along with very good players like Brady Anderson and Steve Barber, but most of the names on the list had forgettable and/or unsuccessful O’s careers.

But that got me thinking: if we included all MLB players and not just Orioles, what would an all-Maryland-born roster look like? Well, folks, it would look good. Check out some of the names on the all-time list of Maryland natives (sort by WAR for the real good stuff). You know you’re off to a great start when your roster includes the greatest player in baseball history. And the Great Bambino would be joined by seven other Hall of Famers, headlining a stacked lineup that also features Ripken, Baines, Al Kaline, Jimmie Foxx, and Home Run Baker. The club would boast a durable rotation, led by Lefty Grove and turn-of-the-century right-hander Vic Willis.

And there’d be plenty of multi-time All-Stars on the squad, too, with Anderson, Charlie Keller, and Bill Nicholson joining a crowded outfield, former Brooklyn Dodger Babe Phelps behind the plate, and first baseman Mark Teixei—um, actually, there’s no room for you, Mark. Roster’s full. Bye bye.

I haven’t taken the time to study the all-time rosters of every other state (though some are a little sad, like Team Wyoming), but I think the all-Maryland squad would stack up pretty well against most of them. Our plucky state has produced a lot of baseball talent over the years.

Links

Cobb on pending free agency and a new offseason plan - School of Roch
Alex Cobb discusses a variety of issues, and he has some very complimentary things to say about the Orioles’ improving farm system. Now that's the classy way to talk about rebuilding, Chris Davis.

Sceroler will try to make jump from Florida State League to AL - Steve Melewski
I’d still be surprised if the Orioles’ Rule 5 pick even makes the Opening Day roster, much less lasts the whole season with the team, but I’ll be pulling for him. He’s certainly got the bloodlines to be a successful big leaguer.

Orioles’ top prospect Adley Rutschman to start 2021 in Double-A | RSN
ICYMI, Mike Elias told reporters that Adley Rutschman will start the year at Bowie. So get your Baysox tickets now! ...That is, if the minor leagues start on time...and if fans are allowed at the games...and if...ah, never mind, just wait until he’s in Baltimore.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your two Orioles birthday buddies are 2011 right-hander Jeremy Accardo (39) and the late Gino Cimoli (b. 1929, d. 2011), an outfielder for the 1964 Birds.

On this day in 1995, Sports Illustrated named Cal Ripken Jr. as its Sportsman of the Year, three months after he broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games streak to become MLB’s all-time Iron Man, arguably helping to save baseball after the ‘94 strike.

And on this day in 2013, the Orioles acquired outfielder David Lough, who — despite his tremendous abs — had a forgettable two-year career with the Birds, batting .227/.280/.354 in 196 games and going just 10-for-19 in stolen base attempts despite his speed. Still, he can always hang his hat on being a member of the last great O’s team. Plus, those abs!