Remember those rumblings about the Orioles doing something more concrete at Camden Yards to honor their six Hall of Famers? Turns out those plans are finally out in the open - and the finished products will be in bronze.
A club source has confirmed the Orioles will erect bronze statues of their players enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. - Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer, Earl Weaver, Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr. - in an area beyond the bullpen in left-center field as part of the ballpark's 20th anniversary celebration in 2012. The news was first reported by The Sun.
Several weeks ago, before the privately funded statue of Brooks Robinson was unveiled in a city-owned parcel between Russell Street and Washington Boulevard, O's spokeswoman Monica Barlow hinted that a major announcement would be forthcoming. Plans for the six statues have been in motion for more than a year, but the Orioles didn't want to say or do anything that would usurp attention of the statue honoring No. 5.
Now, Brooks will be joined by the other five O's Hall of Famers in a newly configured ballpark picnic area. The official announcement from the club is will be made later, as will details about how and when the statues will debut. My guess - and this is just educated speculation - is that the Orioles will maximize the impact of each statue by having six different ceremonies, each one representing and attended by one of their most heralded players.
This will be the second honor accorded each of the Hall of Fame Orioles in recent years. Two seasons ago, the club placed orange circles bearing each enshrined Oriole's uniform number on the facade of the upper deck in left field. The six are also celebrated with large metal replicas of their uniform numbers in the Eutaw Street Plaza. All are also members of the Orioles Hall of Fame, and their commemorative plaques are found on a wall along the Eutaw Street corridor. The actual Orioles Hall of Fame, with an obelisk noting each member's career achievements in black and orange, is housed in the Sports Legends Museum adjacent to the ballpark.