Earlier this week, the Orioles announced its three newest members of the team’s Hall of Fame. These inductees are former outfielder Mike Devereaux, former shortstop JJ Hardy, and former radio commentator Joe Angel.
Fans of the Orioles in the 90s will tell you this one is long overdue. Mike Devereaux patrolled the outfield first at Memorial Stadium and then Camden Yards from 1988-1994, and then for one more year in 1996.
Devereaux played in over 100 games for the O’s every season except for 1994. In those seven years in Baltimore, Devereaux mustered up 949 hits, including 138 doubles and 403 runs batted in.
As an outfielder, Devereaux was the gold standard. Being able to play all three outfield positions, Devereaux excelled in center field, while never dipping under a .971 fielding percentage in Baltimore for a full season.
A Hall of Fame inductee in 2014, Mike Devereaux can now say he is a part of the Orioles Hall of Fame, a.k.a. the city that made him a superstar.
Show me anyone who doesn’t love JJ Hardy. It’s okay, I’ll wait. But guess what, you will not find anyone. Of all the Orioles I have watched, or any player for that matter, Hardy is atop the list of most likable players.
Hardy made his way to Baltimore in a trade that sent him from the Twins to the Orioles in December of 2010. From that moment on, you would see no one else at shortstop for the Orioles, outside of the few rest days he would be given and a couple injuries.
A perfect marker for when the Orioles turned around and began a streak of winning was when Hardy was brought to Baltimore.
At the plate, Hardy never wowed anyone but was consistent. A great line drive hitter, Hardy averaged 24 doubles per year in his time with the Orioles. From 2012-2014, Hardy hit a collective 77 long balls and 84 doubles, which is pretty good for someone who was never known for power.
With the glove, Hardy made a name for himself as one of the best shortstops in the league for years. He was easily the most fundamentally sound infielder I’ve ever seen in Baltimore. He won three consecutive Gold Gloves from 2012-2014 and was the double play machine that made up the leagues best infield at the time. Hardy ended his 13-year career with a .9832 fielding percentage, good for sixth all-time. Yes, all-time.
Joe Angel, best known as the radio voice for the Orioles, is one of the main reasons I fell in love with Orioles baseball.
Angel started his broadcasting career with the Giants in 1977, before making his way to Baltimore in 1988. He worked in Baltimore until 1990 and then returned for one season in 1992. After a stint as the Florida Marlin’s first radio broadcaster, Joe Angel returned to Baltimore in 2004 and stayed until he retired following the 2018 season.
As a native of Columbia, Angel was well known for his correct pronunciation of names of Latino players. As an Orioles fan, I will never forget the many times you would hear “Hasta la vista PELOOOTA, MANUEL MACHADO,” as Manny would smash a home run.
For me, it was always so impressive how Angel could handle the booth by himself. He really didn’t need anyone else there with him. Also, some of the coolest baseball calls I can think of are credited to Angel.
First with Florida and then the Orioles, Angel would always say, “And the Orioles are in the WIN column!” This is something O’s fans still say. Another classic would be hearing him talk about the box score, or the “lovely totals” as he called it, after an Orioles win.
For me, this will always be the best Joe Angel call.
Joe Angel in the booth was always an experience, and he even helped keep Orioles radio relevant in a time when radio broadcasting began to see its way to obsoletion.
Angel is inducted to the Orioles Hall of Fame as this years Herb Armstrong Award winner.
Mossila “Mo” Gaba
If you’re a fan of either the Orioles or Ravens, you are surely familiar with super fan, Mo Gaba.
Beginning back in 2015, then-nine-year-old Mo started calling into 105.7 The Fan while his mom was at work. Spilling knowledge like he was an esteemed ESPN analysis, Mo surprised everybody once the radio station realized he was a nine-year-old cancer patient, who was also blind.
Despite all of this, Mo was the epitome of a super fan. As he would constantly call into the radio station, he would give his advice on what the Orioles should do to win. Amazingly enough, the kid was always spot on with his analysis.
In 2017, Mo threw out the first pitch at Camden Yards before a game against the Yankees. I couldn’t tell you one single thing that happened in that game, but I will never forget the reaction of the crowd and the joy on the face of Mo after that first pitch.
Mo also participated in a coin toss for a Ravens game in 2017 and announced the draft pick of offensive lineman Ben Powers, which was the first time a draft pick had ever been announced via brail.
Very unfortunately, Mo Gaba lost his fight to cancer after his fourth diagnosis that came in 2020. At the young age of 14, Mo passed away with the love for Baltimore sports still in his heart. And as Orioles broadcaster Scott Garceau said, Mo finally got to see his first O’s game.
Mo will be inducted and celebrated as the team’s 2020 Hall of Fame selection. He was also honored with the Wild Bill Hagy Award shortly before he passed away in July.
We want to congratulate these four Oriole legends and welcome them to Birdland immortality!
What are your thoughts on the newest members of the Orioles Hall of Fame? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on the web and on Facebook and Twitter!