It’s the most difficult position to play on a baseball field. Hall of Famers Ivan Rodriguez, Mike Piazza, Yogi Bera, and Jimmie Fox made their imprint in the history books by mastering this craft. I’m talking, of course, about none other than the catcher position.
In this opinon piece, I’m going to be ranking the top five catchers in Baltimore Orioles history. So without further ado, let’s get started!
5. Andy Etchebarren
Andy Etchebarren played 12 of his 16 seasons with the Orioles, helping lead the team to two World Series appearances in 1966 and 1971.
In his tenure with the Birds, Etchebarren hit .232/.302/.350 in over 700 games played in orange and black.
Etchebarren was a 2x All-Star as an Oriole, and caught all four games of the 1966 Orioles World Series sweep of the then-Brooklyn Dodgers.
4. Matt Wieters
Drafted fifth overall in the 2007 MLB Draft out of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Matt Wieters spent the first eight seasons of his career in an Orioles uniform.
He made his big league debut May 29, 2009, against the Detroit Tigers, going 0-for-4. But the Baltimore rookie exceeded rookie expectations, batting .288/.340/.412 in 96 games played for the Birds.
The 4x All-Star slashed .256/.318/.421 in his tenure with the Orioles, while also winning two Gold Glove Awards in 2011 and 2012.
Although Wieters never really lived up to the hype placed on him early on in his career, he was a fan-favorite and a solid leader behind the plate.
3. Gus Triandos
Gus Triandos spent eight seasons with the Orioles, making his debut August 3, 1953, going 1-for-5 with an RBI single.
The 3x All-Star batted .249/.326/.424 with the Birds in just over 950 games played.
“Tremendous Triandos” hit 142 home runs and tallied an impressive 517 RBI in an O’s uniform.
2. Chris Hoiles
The man most notably known for his walk-off grand slan against the Seattle Mariners, Chris Hoiles, has caught the second most games in Orioles history.
Hoiles spent his entire 10-year career in Baltimore, slashing .262/.366/.467 in 894 games with the Birds.
One of Hoiles’ sons, Dalton, plays in the Orioles farm system. Unlike his father, Dalton is an outfielder, but hopefully he can have a great career in the Orioles organization like his dad.
1. Rick Dempsey
The Orioles all-time leader in games caught, Rick Dempsey is what Orioles baseball is all about.
From playing the game, coaching it, and now broadcasting it, Dempsey has been a part of the Orioles organization for over 30 years.
Known as one of the best defensive catchers of all-time, Dempsey helped solidify Orioles pitching for 12 seasons, winning World Series MVP in 1983 and earning a spot in the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame.
The 2x World Series Champion (O’s 1983, LAD 1988) batted .238/.319/.355 in his tenure with the Birds.
The Orioles legend even has his own restaurant in the warehouse at OPACY! He truely exemplifies what it is to be a Baltimore Oriole.
What do you think of our list? Comment down below, and let us know your top five catchers in Orioles history! Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!