Like many of us, former Orioles catcher Chris Hoiles believes that Roberto Alomar belongs in the Hall of Fame, noting that his old teammate might be the best second baseman to play the game.
“I played against him when he was in Toronto prior to coming over to Baltimore, and you knew he was a good player,” Hoiles said earlier today. “He was the guy you didn’t want to come up to the plate with the game on the line. But when we got him, you really got a true sense of the type of player he was.
“Robbie could do everything and do it well. Good fielder, could hit for average, could hit for power, used the whole field. Just one of those special-type players. He was the whole package.
“Defensively, he had great range and a great arm, and he was very smart. He was very good at positioning himself in the right place. That came with experience, being in the league and knowing the hitters. And he could turn the double play. All that type of stuff made him an all-around package.”
Hoiles noticed how Alomar had trouble dealing with the backlash from the spitting incident with umpire John Hirschbeck in September 1996.
“Robbie’s not a very outgoing guy,” Hoiles said. “He’s more on the shy side, and I think that’s why the incident left us in total disbelief that he would do something like that. But Robbie played the game hard and wore his emotions on his sleeve, and I think at that point, he just kind of lost it in that situation. It was very unfortunate - for him, for Hirschbeck, for everybody involved.
“I think it bothered him to a certain point because Robbie was a very well-liked guy. I think it would affect anybody when, wherever you go, you’re getting booed, and before that, people were praising you every place you went. And with Robbie, with his makeup and demeanor, it did affect him to a certain point.”
On another topic, now that the Orioles have brought Mike Bordick and Mike Devereaux back into the organization, when will they do the same with Hoiles? He’d certainly be an asset coaching or offering instruction at some level.
I’m just saying...
Changing topics again, the Babe Ruth Museum will present Nick and Christina Markakis with its Community Service Award during its annual “Babe’s Birthday Bash” on Feb. 5 at Sports Legends Museum.
The event will celebrate the 115th anniversary of Ruth’s birth in Baltimore and take place one day prior to his actual birth date.
The Community Service Award honors an active or former athlete or individual with ties to the Maryland sports community who has “demonstrated a strong devotion to Baltimore and the State of Maryland by giving back to the community.”
Previous recipients include Edwin Mulitalo, Brian Roberts and Melvin Mora.
Nick and Christina launched the Right Side Foundation in May 2009, and its “Fun for 21” program a month later that provides 21 Maryland children with day-long educational or recreational experiences at local cultural attractions, sporting events and more.
Tickets to the event are $45 each for members of the Babe Ruth Museum, $55 each for the general public when purchased in advance and $60 each at the door on the night of the event. Ten or more tickets purchased together cost $40 each.
The evening will include admission to Sports Legends Museum, unlimited food and beverages, a silent auction, appearances by local professional athletes and amateur champions, door prizes, and free parking at Camden Yards. (I’ll be parking the cars. OK, not really). Tickets are available by calling 410-727-1539 or visiting www.BabeRuthMuseum.com.