With the recent National Baseball Hall of Fame announcement on January 24, having Scott Rolen as the only player elected by the BBWAA, it’s a good time to look back at a former Oriole who was on the 2023 ballot.
The Orioles actually had two of their former players on the 2023 ballot: Francisco Rodríguez, who only played in 23 games with the O’s, and, of course, J.J. Hardy.
Hardy is easily one of the most likable players in Orioles’ history. A veteran presence when he was with the Birds, Hardy always seemed to put his teammates first, as he was a selfless player and made an everlasting impact on the success of the team in the early to mid 2010s.
Let’s take a look back at some of Hardy’s accolades as a member of the Orioles:
Orioles Hall of Fame
Even though Hardy did not receive any votes on this year’s National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, he is still an honorary member of the Orioles Hall of Fame. He was inducted in August of 2021, alongside Mike Devereaux, Joe Angel and the greatest 10th man of all-time, Mo Gaba.
In December of 2010, the Orioles traded two minor league pitchers, Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobson, to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Hardy and infielder Brendan Harris.
This trade would end up being a steal for the O’s, as Hoey never pitched again after the 2011 season, and Jacobson never reached the majors before calling his career in 2013.
O’s Career Stats
Hardy played in 889 games with the Orioles, bringing his elite defense at shortstop and clutch bat in the middle of the order.
Hardy slashed .252/.293/.398 with Baltimore, generating an OPS of .690. He had 854 total hits, smacked 107 home runs and tallied 385 RBIs in orange in black.
With the glove, Hardy had a fielding percentage of .986 with the Orioles and was the AL Wilson Defensive Player of the Year at short in 2012. He earned three Gold Glove Awards (2012, 2013, 2014) and finished top 10 in defensive wins above replacement three times in Baltimore.
Injuries really messed with Hardy, as he endured nagging back issues and a few broken bones, which caused him to miss a few months throughout a couple of seasons.
Regardless of the setbacks later in his career, Hardy was an All-Star in 2013, winning a Silver Slugger the same year.
Hardy made the postseason with the Orioles in three different years: 2012, 2014 and 2016.
In 2012, the O’s made it to the AL Divisional Series after Hardy helped the team defeat the Texas Rangers in the Wild Card game, collecting two hits and an RBI. He also drove in the go-ahead run in Game 4 of the ALDS against the New York Yankees in the 13th inning, forcing a Game 5 in the Bronx.
The 2016 AL Wild Card game against the Toronto Blue Jays was one of those gut-wrenching losses, as most fans know. Hardy went 0-for-4 in that game.
But 2014 was the highlight year for Hardy’s career in the postseason. In the ALDS against the Detroit Tigers, Hardy went 3-for-10 with a home run.
He was also involved in one of the most exciting plays in Orioles’ postseason history, when Delmon Young hit a bases-clearing double with Hardy sliding in safely at the backend of the play.
Even though the Orioles went on to lose the ALCS against Kansas City (Hardy went 3-for-15 with a double and an RBI), the 2014 playoffs were definitely memorable for Hardy and Birdland fans.
Hardy took a quiet leadership role throughout his career as an Oriole. It was obvious how well he knew the game and was a guy that younger players looked up to and credited their success (Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, etc.)
Fans loved Hardy so much that they had a special chant whenever he was announced coming up to bat. We will never forget screaming “J…..J….HARDY” at the top of our lungs.
Hardy, now age 40, was even a special guest instructor for the Orioles in spring training a few years ago.
Even though he didn’t receive a single vote on any writer’s ballot, J.J. Hardy is the epitome of what it means to be an Orioles Hall of Famer.
What do you think of Hardy’s career with the Orioles? Let us know in the comments below! And make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!
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2 thoughts on “J.J. Hardy: Not in Cooperstown, but forever O’s Hall of Famer”
Nice article Ko!
Great guy, great teammate