Etchebarren deserves entrance into Orioles HOF

The announcement earlier this week that Roberto Alomar would be the latest inductee into the Orioles’ Hall of Fame this summer sparked a debate over his worthiness and who should be next in line.

The knock on Alomar: He only played three seasons here - the minimum requirement for induction - and only posted two really good ones. The third season was sub-par by his standards. His heart wasn’t in it.

He’s probably the best overall player that I’ve covered. As a former teammate once noted, Alomar could beat a team in so many different ways - defensively, with base hits, with power, with the simple ability to advance a runner. He had all the tools.

Rafael Palmeiro, also on the ballot, is being denied only because of his failed steroid test. He’s the best free-agent signing in club history.

Jeff Conine is Mr. Marlin. I can’t get past it.

Scott Erickson posted a 4.73 ERA in seven seasons with the Orioles. He did win 16, 16 and 15 games in consecutive seasons. Then he won five and five.

He isn’t worthy, and I’m putting my personal feelings aside when I say it. I’d rather cover 25 Albert Belles than one Scott Erickson, but I’d vote him in if I thought he deserved it.

Those were the four candidates on the ballot. Feel free to continue the debate.

I think Andy Etchebarren needs to be inducted, and plenty of others share that belief. He’s probably the only regular from the 1970 World Series team who’s been denied.

Etch handled some of the best pitching staffs in baseball history. He managed at every level of the minors. He served as Davey Johnson’s bench coach. He worked as a roving catching instructor. You name it, he probably did it.

His roots in this organization run deep. I’m not sure why he’s still on the outside, but the doors need to swing open for him.

It won’t be easy. He’s no longer eligible to appear on the ballot or, I’m told, to be voted in by the veterans committee under the current rules. But he’s come close in the past and I have a sense that it will eventually happen.

Anyone who wore the uniform that long, spanning the glory years, should be in their Hall of Fame. The name just takes me back to great times.

Melvin Mora will be voted in at some point, though he doesn’t take me back to great times. He seems like a logical choice.

I don’t think Geronimo Gil is sitting by his phone.

blog comments powered by Disqus