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10 players you forgot were Orioles

MLB.com @JoeTrezz

Do you remember Izzy Molina?

Nobody would blame you if you didn't. A journeyman Minor League catcher for most of his career, Molina was 31 when he squatted behind the plate for the Orioles on May 6, 2002. None of his previous 68 big league games had come with the O's, and by the time the Indians arrived at Camden Yards for this particular Monday night tilt, Molina hadn't appeared in the Majors in four years.

Do you remember Izzy Molina?

Nobody would blame you if you didn't. A journeyman Minor League catcher for most of his career, Molina was 31 when he squatted behind the plate for the Orioles on May 6, 2002. None of his previous 68 big league games had come with the O's, and by the time the Indians arrived at Camden Yards for this particular Monday night tilt, Molina hadn't appeared in the Majors in four years.

He never would again. Molina caught nine defensive innings and went 1-for-3 with a run scored in what ended as a 9-4 O's loss. He was pinch-hit for in the bottom of the ninth by Gary Matthews. Then that was it. Molina hung around the O's farm system for another year, but never again sniffed the bigs. His name survives today as a specific piece of trivia: Across 64 years of Orioles baseball in Baltimore, Molina is one of seven position players to appear in just one game for the club. He is the only one to do so since 1962. That distinction may make him the least memorable player in modern franchise history.

So nothing against Molina, but it would make sense if he had even the most ardent O's fan looking him up. Many of the following names will not. These are players who had outstanding careers elsewhere but snuck in short cameos with the Orioles. They are not journeyman catchers. They are the opposite of anonymous: All-Stars, Hall of Famers, household names all. But like Molina, you may have forgotten they ever played in the Charm City.

Did you know these guys were O's?

Kevin Brown, 1995
The six-time All-Star was at a career crossroads when he signed a one-year deal with the O's in April 1995, a week after the work stoppage that had truncated the 1994 season came to a close. Brown was heavily involved in the Players Association and limped to career-worst numbers as discord with the league intensified. He rebounded somewhat in his lone season in Baltimore, pulling his 4.82 ERA from '94 back to a more-respectable 3.60 mark, and going 10-9 across 26 starts. But he never approached the all-world levels he'd later reach with the Marlins and Dodgers, and bypassed a return to Baltimore to sign a then-record $105 million contract with Los Angeles in 1999.

Vladimir Guerrero, 2011
By then 36 years old and a full-time designated hitter, Guerrero was coming off a 29-homer campaign for the AL champion Rangers when he signed a one-year deal with the Orioles in February 2011. It ended up being the final and least productive season of his Hall of Fame career. Though still skilled enough to hit .290, Guerrero managed a career-low .733 OPS and 13 home runs for an O's team that finished in last place. The season, though, was not without its moments for Guerrero. In his third-to-last big league game, Guerrero singled off Boston righty Josh Beckett to become the Majors' all-time hits leader among Dominican-born players.

Video: BOS@BAL: Vlad is honored for Dominican hit record

Reggie Jackson, 1976
Free agency was on the horizon by early 1976, and Jackson, already a two-time home run champion, made no secret how he planned to cash in. Oakland owner Chuck Finley knew he'd be too expensive for the small-market A's to retain, so he traded Jackson to Baltimore in a six-player deal less than a week before Opening Day. The timing proved less than ideal for the outspoken Jackson, who threatened to sit out the season if the O's did not sign him to a multi-year deal. He eventually debuted with the Orioles in May and hit .277 with 27 homers and an AL-best .502 slugging percentage across 134 games for Baltimore, but the extension never materialized. Jackson signed with the Yankees the next winter, and hit 144 of his 563 career home runs over the next five years in New York.

Video: KC@BAL: Jackson singles for Orioles in 1st

Andrew Miller, 2014
Miller was just blossoming into the star he is today when the Orioles, eyeing their first division title in 17 years, sent Eduardo Rodriguez to Boston to acquire him at the 2014 Trade Deadline. Though Miller was working on his best big league season to date at the time, it wasn't until after the deal that his progression, from failed starter to left-handed specialist to dominant reliever, truly crested. He posted a glistening 1.35 ERA in 23 games for Baltimore down the stretch, then caught the industry's attention with a dominant postseason. Miller didn't allow a run across seven appearances that October, before parlaying that success into a four-year, $36 million contract with the Yankees.

Video: ALCS Gm1: Miller fans three over 1 1/3 scoreless

Tim Raines, 2001
Then in the twilight of his career, the four games Raines appeared in for the Orioles in 2001 were largely ceremonial. Raines agreed to be traded from the Expos that October for the chance to play with his son, Tim Jr., who was then a prospect in the O's system. They became the second father-son duo in Major League history to play for the same big league team in the same game, joining Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr.

Video: BOS@BAL: Raines Jr. shares the outfield with father

Francisco Rodriguez, 2013
Though no longer armed with the big stuff that made him a dominant closer earlier in his career, Rodriguez was enjoying his best season in some time when the Orioles, eyeing a stretch run, swung a deal for the righty prior to the Trade Deadline in 2013. The 31-year-old Rodriguez had posted a 1.09 ERA to that point with the Brewers, but struggled in his return to the American League after a half-decade in the Senior Circuit. His ERA ballooned to 4.50 in 23 appearances with the O's, who faded from contention thanks to a six-game losing streak in late September. Rodriguez re-signed with the Brewers after the season and made two more All-Star appearances for Milwaukee before finishing his career with the Tigers.

Curt Schilling, 1988-1990
Had the Orioles hung on to Schilling, the deal that landed the righty in Baltimore would be known as one of the most fruitful in franchise history. Baltimore also got Brady Anderson in the swap, with the Red Sox in 1988, for useful but aging Mike Boddicker. Anderson played with the Orioles his entire career, and remains employed by the organization to this day.

But Schilling's tenure in orange and white was relatively brief. He made his MLB debut for Baltimore in 1988, and appeared in 44 games over three seasons before he was traded again, this time in one of the more infamous deals in franchise history -- a three-for-one exchange with Houston that netted the O's slugger Glenn Davis. While Davis disappointed in Baltimore, Schilling later emerged as a star for the Phillies and put together a borderline Hall of Fame career. Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch, the other two players sent with Schilling, also blossomed into All-Stars elsewhere.

Lee Smith, 1994
The newly minted Hall of Famer became something of a globetrotter late in his career, playing for six teams over his final five seasons. His best work during this period came with the Orioles, when he saved a Major League-best 33 games in the strike-shortened 1994 season. Smith placed fifth in AL Cy Young voting that year before signing a two-year contract with the Angels during the strike. He eventually finished his career with the Expos in 1997, with a then-record 478 career saves.

Video: Lee Smith takes exclusive tour of Hall of Fame

Jim Thome, 2012
Like Guerrero, the final swing of Thome's Hall of Fame career came with the Orioles, who became the third team in three years to swing a midseason trade for him when they did so in June 2012. Thome was 41 then, and no longer the everyday player he was in his prime with the Indians, Phillies and White Sox. But he could still do the things he always did, namely hit and get on base. Thome was useful for the 28 games he appeared in down the stretch, reaching base at a .348 clip for an Orioles team that ended a 15-year playoff drought. He also clubbed the final three of his 612 career home runs.

Video: TOR@BAL: Thome hit his 612th career home run

Justin Turner, 2009-2010
Many shake their heads at the Mets for cutting Turner loose before he became a star for the Dodgers, but it was the Orioles who gave up on Turner first. Initially acquired from the Reds in a trade for Ramon Hernandez a few years earlier, Turner hit enough at Triple-A for the Orioles to promote him in 2009, at age 24. By the time they left him exposed on waivers the next spring, he'd appeared in just 17 games for Baltimore.

Honorable mention: Michael Bourn, Jeff Conine, Nelson Cruz, Rich Hill, George Kell, Derrek Lee, David Wells, Fernando Valenzuela.

Joe Trezza covers the Orioles for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTrezz.

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