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70 greatest Orioles vote: Who were the best Orioles from 1964 to 1973?

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Baltimore Orioles franchise, the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum is creating an exhibit on the 70 greatest players, managers or coaches in Orioles history. Baltimore Sun readers can help the museum choose who to feature through a series of online votes. Scroll down to vote for your favorite Orioles from 1964 to 1973 through Jan 23. There’s also still time to vote for 1954 to 1963 standouts. The poll for 1974 to 1983 opens Jan. 24.

Meet the 1964-1973 nominees

Nominees were chosen by the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in consultation with Sun staff. Each nominee was limited to appearing in one poll. The museum sought to place a nominee in the poll for the decade of his greatest impact on the Orioles.

Luis Aparicio

Luis Aparicio was an outstanding fielding shortstop and base stealer for the Orioles from 1963 to 1967. He won two Gold Gloves with the Orioles and contributed to their 1966 World Series title. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984 and Orioles Hall of Fame in 1982.

Hank Bauer

A no-nonsense manager who believed in his players, Hank Bauer compiled a 407-318 record leading the Orioles from 1964 to 1968. Bauer was the Associated Press Manager of the Year in 1964 and both the AP and Sporting News Manager of the Year in 1966, when the Orioles won the World Series. He was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 1990.

Don Baylor

Don Baylor played for the Orioles from 1970 to 1975 as a left fielder. Known for stealing bases, Baylor also hit 57 home runs for Baltimore while batting .274, helping the club win three AL East titles. A quip about competing for playing time during one of his first spring trainings, “If I get into one of my grooves, there’s no stopping me,” earned him the nickname “Groove.”

Mark Belanger

A great defensive shortstop who made it look easy, Mark Belanger played for the Orioles from 1965 to 1981. His “Blade” nickname, for his thin build, doubled as a reference to how the six-time Gold Glove winner cut down base runners. Belanger was on the Orioles’ 1970 world championship team and the 1976 AL All-Star team. He was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 1983.

Paul Blair

Center fielder Paul Blair won eight Gold Glove awards during his 1964-1976 Orioles career, part of a dynasty that won two World Series and four American League pennants. An All-Star in 1969 and 1973, Blair was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 1984.

Curt Blefary

An outfielder, first baseman and sometimes catcher, Curt Blefary won the 1965 AL Rookie of the Year with the Orioles and was a solid contributor on the world championship team the following season. In his last year with the Orioles, he caught Tom Phoebus’ April 27, 1968, no-hitter.

Don Buford

Don Buford was a switch-hitting leadoff man for the Orioles from 1968 to 1972 who batted .270 while with the club. Known for drawing walks, the outfielder was the first player to lead off a World Series with a home run, which he did in 1969. The Orioles Hall of Famer played on the 1970 world championship team and was an All-Star the next season.

Wally Bunker

As a 19-year rookie in 1964, 6-foot-2 right-hander Wally Bunker went 19-5 and was the AL Rookie of the Year runner-up. The pomp surrounding Bunker included a mayoral visit to the Memorial Stadium mound, which Theodore McKeldin proclaimed “Baltimore’s Bunker Hill” and dedicated with dirt from the Boston historic site. While Bunker had more highlights over his final four years with the Orioles, including a shutout in Game 3 of the Orioles’ 1966 World Series sweep, a shoulder injury kept him from ever matching his early form.

Mike Cuellar

A left-handed pitcher best known for his screwball, Mike Cuellar went 143-88 and made three All-Star appearances over his 1969-1976 tenure with the Orioles. The four-time 20-game winner won the 1969 AL Cy Young Award and won the clinching game of the 1970 World Series. Often referred to as a magician, he had a lucky cap that for a time he said he could not pitch without. Cuellar was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 1982.

Pat Dobson

Right-handed pitcher Pat Dobson was with the Orioles for 1971 and 1972 in the middle of an 11-year career. In 1971, when the Orioles lost the World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Dobson went 20-8, one of four pitchers on the club to win at least 20 games that year. The future Orioles pitching coach was an All-Star selection the following season.

Moe Drabowsky

Pitcher Moe Drabowsky’s four-year Orioles career was bookended by their 1966 and 1970 championships (the expansion Kansas City Royals drafted Drabowsky for their inaugural season in 1969 and traded him back the next year). Mostly a reliever, he pitched six straight scoreless innings to win Game 1 of the 1966 World Series after walking in one of three inherited runners. Drabowsky was known for pranks like frightening teammates with snakes and calling the opposing bullpen.

Andy Etchebarren

An Oriole briefly in 1962 and from 1965 to 1975, catcher Andy Etchebarren worked well with Baltimore’s talented pitchers and was a key player on teams that won two World Series and four American League pennants. He was a two-time All-Star and longtime coach and minor league manager.

Billy Hunter

Billy Hunter is the last living member of 1954’s inaugural Oriole team. He returned to the organization as a scout and minor league manager and before the 1964 season was summoned to coach third base by new Orioles manager and former Yankees teammate Hank Bauer. Hunter held the role for 13 1/2 years, a span that included four World Series trips and two titles. Hunter was credited with starting the Orioles’ kangaroo court.

Davey Johnson

Davey Johnson joined the Orioles as a second baseman in 1965. The following season he batted .286 in the World Series, helping lead a sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The future Orioles manager made three All-Star teams and won three Gold Gloves before being traded to the Atlanta Braves after the 1972 season.

Charley Lau

Catcher Charley Lau played for the Orioles from 1961 to 1967 (he spent parts of the 1963 and 1964 seasons with the Kansas City Athletics, who purchased his contract from the Orioles then traded him back). He was an ace left-handed pinch-hitter until his elbow started bothering him, and recovery from surgery kept him out most of the 1966 championship season. On July 13, 1962, Lau hit four doubles in a nine-inning game, tying the major league record.

Dave McNally

Dave McNally was on the mound when the Orioles swept the Los Angeles Dodgers for their first world championship in 1966 and hit a grand slam in the 1970 World Series, also won by Baltimore. An Orioles Hall of Famer, the left-handed starting pitcher was a four-time 20-game winner and played in three All-Star games in 12-plus seasons with Baltimore, from 1962 to 1975.

Stu Miller

Stu Miller was a veteran reliever with a deceptive curveball and fastball who led the American League in saves in 1963, his first season with the Orioles, whom he pitched for through his last full season in 1967. Called the “Butterfly Man,” the right-hander was on the 1966 World Series championship team and was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 1989.

Tom Phoebus

Tom Phoebus, who was from Baltimore, pitched in 134 games for the Orioles from 1966 to 1970. Nicknamed “Fireplug,” the 5-foot-8 right-hander had an arsenal of pitches at his disposal: a fastball, a slider and a “ridiculous curveball” according to The Sporting News. Phoebus pitched a no-hitter at Memorial Stadium in April 1968 against the defending American League champion Boston Red Sox and won Game 2 of the 1970 World Series.

Boog Powell

Boog Powell was an American League Most Valuable Player and four-time All-Star with the Orioles. In Baltimore from 1961 to 1974, he was a key member of teams that won two World Series and four league championships. Born John Wesley Powell, the 6-foot-4 power hitter spent the first three years as a left fielder before becoming known for his play at first base.

Merv Rettenmund

Merv Rettenmund was mostly a bench player in a talented corps of Orioles outfielders from 1968 to 1973. His one season as an everyday player, 1971, he shined, posting the American League’s third-best on-base percentage and earning a handful of votes for MVP. Rettenmund homered in the clinching fifth game of the 1970 World Series. He didn’t consider himself a home run hitter but once said, “When they come, they come in bunches.”

Brooks Robinson

Brooks Robinson joined the Orioles in 1955 and played his entire 23-season career in Baltimore. Nicknamed “The Human Vacuum Cleaner” in addition to “Mr. Oriole,” Robinson is considered the greatest defensive third baseman in major league history with 16 Gold Glove awards. Appearing in 18 All-Star games, the Hall of Famer helped lead the Orioles to championships in 1966 and 1970, when he was World Series MVP. He was AL MVP in 1964.

Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson won the AL MVP and Triple Crown in his first year with the Orioles, helping deliver the Orioles their first world championship in 1966. The power-hitting outfielder — the only player to hit a home run out of Memorial Stadium — played with a ferocity that rubbed off on his teammates and shaped his managerial career, which included AL Manager of the Year honors with the Orioles in 1989. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.

Russ Snyder

Russ Snyder, an Orioles outfielder from 1961 to 1967, helped the team get to the 1966 World Series with a 14-game hitting streak from June 19 to July 9. He also made some key catches in the outfield that championship season. Snyder was known for his hustle, at times scoring from second on a sacrifice fly or infield single.

Eddie Watt

Right-hander Eddie Watt pitched mainly in relief for the Orioles from 1966 to 1973, winning 37 games and saving 74. He played a key role on the 1966 and 1970 championship teams. Watt was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 2000.

Earl Weaver

Earl Weaver managed the Orioles during some of their most successful years, from 1968 to 1982, and returned in 1985 and 1986. His key philosophy on winning was “pitching, defense, and the three-run homer.” Under his fiery and strategic leadership, the Orioles reached 100 wins five times and went to four World Series, winning once, in 1970. After posting a .583 winning percentage over 2,541 games, Weaver was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.

Cast your votes

Don’t see the survey? Access it here.