Who are the three best defensive outfielders in Orioles history?
It was an interesting day at the bar on Wednesday.
Lots of good discussion about the Orioles’ current defensive outfield situation.
And a few silly comments thrown in there, too. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, but I am going to have to call a cab for some of you.
For the record, and in case it didn’t get spelled out Wednesday, I am happy for Adam Jones that he won a Gold Glove. I never questioned whether he is deserving; I simply said I was a bit surprised because I think he had a better defensive year in 2008.
And I do believe, at this point in their careers, Nick Markakis is a slightly better defensive outfielder, though Jones has the potential to be better as his career unfolds. Plus Jones plays center field, and that does mean something.
The important thing for beleaguered Orioles fans is that you have both of them for a long time. Enjoy that.
The overall discussion – and some of the rants about the Gold Glove going mostly to center fielders – got me thinking.
If you were to use the current Gold Glove rules – that is, choose three overall outfielders, not necessarily one each from left, right and center – to represent the Orioles’ all-time best defensive outfield, who would be in it?
As much as I don’t like the “three center fielders approach” that the Gold Glove committee uses, it’s true that when I think of the best defensive outfielders in O’s history, I immediately think of center fielders, before I shift to the left and right.
So here’s the task at hand today: If you were to give out Gold Gloves to three Orioles outfielders throughout the years, who would win?
There’s no question Paul Blair is one answer. Even if you never saw him play – and I don’t have clear memories of him in Baltimore – he probably should be on your list. Everything I have ever heard from players and fans is that Blair was the best defensive outfielder to ever wear an Orioles uniform. And he has eight Gold Gloves to prove it.
So he gets my first award. I think I have to give the second to Al Bumbry, who was the guy I watched growing up, and that little guy had serious hops before we ever referred to jumping ability as serious hops. Plus, he had his share of outfield assists.
The third is tricky. Mike Devereaux is probably my ultimate answer, but that leaves Jones (the only other Orioles outfielder with a Gold Glove) off the list. That also would deny Nick Markakis, Brady Anderson, Steve Finley, Frank Robinson and Jackie Brandt, among others, the award.
There is no wrong answer here. Pick three outfielders (yes, it can be all center fielders) to receive the Orioles’ all-time Gold Glove. I’d love to hear the reasoning behind your choices.
Daily Think Special: Who are the three best defensive outfielders in Orioles history?