You've seen the pitchers, now meet the hitters of the Baltimore Oriole All-Geezer Team!
The Starting 9
RF - Frank Robinson - '71 - Age 35
Frank's final season in Baltimore and he was still up to the task. He hit .281 with 28 homers and only struck out 63 times that year. He led the first place Orioles in slugging and helped power them to the World Series.
CF - Brady Anderson - '99 - Age 35
By this time, Anderson had developed into a really good leadoff hitter. He got on base at a .404 clip and stole 36 bases at an 83% success rate. Very impressive for an old guy. He hit 24 homers just to top it all off.
LF - Eric Davis - '98 - Age 36
Out of nowhere, Davis put up one of the finest offensive seasons in Oriole history and of his career. He batted .327 with 28 homers, slugged nearly .600 and OPS'ed .970. Although he played RF and a little CF, on this team he's in left.
DH - Harold Baines - '95 - Age 35
Harold hit .299 with 24 homers. Yawn. He only did it every year. One of the best clutch hitters ever, Baines can be valuable off the bench on his days off.
1B - Jeff Conine - '01 - Age 35
Conine was the lone offensive bright spot in 2001 hitting .311 with 14 homers. Conine is the starting firstbaseman but can play the corner outfield positions as well.
2B - Rick Burleson - '87 - Age 36
Oriole secondbasemen who qualify for Geezer status are a rare breed indeed. You can tell that by our starter. Rick Burleson came over from the Angels to play his final season for a bad Orioles club. Burleson hit .209 but still had a little pop with 2 homers and 14 doubles. He gets the nod here, however, because he was still a great fielder, even at 36. Burleson will split time with bench players on this team.
SS - Cal Ripken - '96 - Age 35
It was Cal's last year at shortstop but he was still playing better defensively than Derek Jeter ever has! (How is it possible that Jeter has three Gold Gloves while Cal only has two? It's an atrocity. It's a great example of why you have to critically examine some of these awards when they are handed out...) Anyway, stellar defense, a .278 average 40 doubles and 26 homers from Cal.
3B - Brooks Robinson - '74 - Age 37
Duh. Brooks hit .288 with 7 homers and would have his last truly great year with the glove.
C - Rick Dempsey - '85 - Age 35
Oh yeah. Admittedly, Geezer catchers were hard to come by but Dempsey's .254 average with 12 homers is not bad from the catcher spot.
The Batting Order
1. Brady Anderson
2. Brooks Robinson
3. Cal Ripken, Jr.
4. Frank Robinson
5. Eric Davis
6. Harold Baines
7. Jeff Conine
8. Rick Dempsey
9. Rick Burleson
With this many old codgers, you're going to need a good bench to help spell them.
OF - John Lowenstein - '82 - Age 35
A bench player in name only, Lowenstein is going to be first on the field when there's no lefty on the mound. .320 with 24 homers is only 322 AB? Are you kidding me? That's sick.
2B - Chris Gomez - '07 - Age 36
Gomez is obviously capable of playing nearly any position in the infield but will primarily split time with Burleson at second. Burleson offsets Gomez' questionable glove and Gomez offsets Burleson's questionable bat.
C - Javy Lopez - '06 - Age 35
He would be a big stretch as a starter but as a backup, he'll do fine. That and the fact that there are very few other options get Javy on the team.
1B/DH - Rafael Palmiero - '04 - Age 39
The Geeziest hitter, Palmiero will serve as a backup 1B/DH, as well as giving us another power bat to pinch-hit. .268 with 28 homers in '04.
OF - Al Bumbry - '83 - Age 36
At 36, Bumbry could still run quite well. He's the pinch runner and defensive replacement outfielder on this team. Hit .275, stole 12 bases in limited action and can play all the OF spots.
Utility IF - Mark Belanger - '80 - Age 36
He wasn't really good enough for regular duty in 1980 but he will serve this team well spelling Cal from time to time, spot starting at 2B and as a defensive specialist. Hit .228 and stole 6 bases.
Name AVG OBP SLG HR RBI SB
F. Robinson .281 .384 .510 28 99 3
Anderson .282 .404 .487 24 81 36
Davis .327 .388 .582 28 89 7
Baines .299 .403 .540 24 63 0
Conine .311 .386 .411 14 97 12
Burleson .209 .279 .316 2 14 0
Ripken .278 .341 .466 26 102 1
B. Robinson .288 .353 .374 7 59 2
Dempsey .254 .345 .406 14 52 0
Lowenstein .320 .415 .602 24 66 7
Gomez .302 .339 .391 1 16 1
Lopez .251 .297 .386 8 35 0
Palmiero .258 .359 .436 23 88 2
Bumbry .275 .328 .357 3 31 12
Belanger .228 .261 .276 0 22 6
Did I miss anybody?