Former Orioles pitching coach and manager RAY MILLER has been elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame, the team announced today. Former O’s manager and player JOHNNY OATES will also be enshrined posthumously as a selection of the Veteran’s Committee, and longtime Baseball Operations employee LENNY JOHNSTON is this year’s Herb Armstrong Award winner.
A native of Suitland, Maryland, Ray Miller will be enshrined for his work as a pitching coach with the Orioles. He had three stints with the Birds in that role - 1978-95, 1997 and 2004-05. During Miller’s tenure, the Orioles won the 1979 American League Championship and the 1983 World Series. Five Orioles pitchers won at least 20 games under his tutelage - Mike Boddicker (20) in 1984, Scott McGregor (20) and Steve Stone (25) in 1980, Mike Flanagan (23) in 1979 and Jim Palmer (21) in 1978.
Miller also served as manager for the Orioles during the 1998 and 1999 seasons, compiling a 157-167 record. From 1985-86, he managed the Minnesota Twins and from 1987-1996 he served as pitching coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
A right-handed pitcher, Miller was signed to his first professional contract in 1964 by the San Francisco Giants. He advanced as far as Triple-A, spending his final pro season in 1973 as a player/coach with the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate in Rochester, New York. He then served as a pitching instructor in the Baltimore minor league system from 1974-77 prior to joining the major league club.
Johnny Oates will be inducted as a manager by the Veteran’s Committee. A catcher, Oates made his major league debut with the Orioles on September 17, 1970. He also played for the Birds in 1972, appearing in a total of 90 games over the two seasons. It is for his work as a manager, however, that Oates is best remembered by Baltimore fans. He initially rejoined the organization as manager of the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings in 1988, then was promoted to first base coach for the major league club the next season. Oates was named manager of the Orioles midway through the 1991 season. In 1992, he led the club to an 89-73 record and in 1993 the team went 85-77, earning Oates The Sporting News Manager of the Year honors. He served as Baltimore’s manager through the strike-shortened 1994 season, compiling a 291-270 overall record. His .519 winning percentage is 5th-highest all-time among Orioles managers.
Oates went on to manage the Texas Rangers from 1995-2001, leading Texas to their first three postseason appearances in franchise history. He was inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame in 2003. Just over a year later, on December 24, 2004, he succumbed to the effects of an aggressive brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme, at the age of 58.
Miller and Oates will be formally inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame as part of pre-game ceremonies at Camden Yards on Saturday, August 7, prior to the Orioles’ 7:05 game against the Chicago White Sox. Longtime Orioles Baseball Operations employee and current Coordinator of Bluefield Operations LENNY JOHNSTON will receive the Herb Armstrong Award, given to non-uniformed personnel who have made significant contributions to the ballclub and the game of baseball, on that night as well.
Now in his 34th season with the Orioles, Johnston is one of the deans of the organization in terms of service, having worked for the club since 1976 in numerous capacities. Johnston initially joined the Orioles as manager at Miami in 1976 and in addition to managing has served as a coach, scout, scouting supervisor, field coordinator and cross-checker in the Baltimore minor league system. He spent the last 19 seasons as minor league camp coordinator and now oversees the club’s Bluefield operations. In 2006, Johnston was named winner of the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award, presented to the minor league staff member who exemplifies the qualities of the late Oriole who is regarded as the architect of “The Oriole Way.”
A graduate of Western Michigan University, where he played football and baseball and was elected into the school’s Hall of Fame, Johnston signed with the Chicago White Sox and spent his last 12 seasons in Triple-A. He began his managerial career in 1967 in the Washington Senators minor league system and also managed and scouted for the Cleveland Indians for five years before joining the Orioles.
Miller, Oates and Johnston will be honored at a luncheon sponsored by the Oriole Advocates, founders of the Orioles Hall of Fame, on Friday, August 6, in the Warehouse at Camden Yards. Tickets for the luncheon are available by calling 410-466-8242. Tickets for the induction ceremony and the Orioles-White Sox game on Saturday, August 7 are available at www.orioles.com