BALTIMORE -- Brian Roberts and longtime radio broadcaster Fred Manfra solidified their spot in Orioles lore on Friday, with the official induction of the duo into the Orioles Hall of Fame.Roberts, a mainstay for years at second base, joined Manfra in a special luncheon put on by the Orioles advocates
BALTIMORE -- Brian Roberts and longtime radio broadcaster Fred Manfra solidified their spot in Orioles lore on Friday, with the official induction of the duo into the Orioles Hall of Fame.
Roberts, a mainstay for years at second base, joined Manfra in a special luncheon put on by the Orioles advocates on Friday afternoon. The pair were publicly inducted in a special on-field ceremony prior to Saturday night's game against the Red Sox at Camden Yards.
• Orioles Hall of Fame through the years
"To think of the journey from 1999 until now, it went by really fast and it's kind of surreal when you look back on it all," said Roberts, who was selected by the O's in the first round of the '99 Draft and spent 13 seasons with Baltimore. "I just feel truly blessed to have been here as long as I had the opportunity to be here and have the opportunity to play on so many teams with so many great guys and great friends and great teammates, and also interact and be impacted by so many people in this community as well."
Roberts is the all-time leader in virtually every major offensive category among Orioles second basemen. In his 13 years with Baltimore, Roberts' numbers ranked among the club's overall best in steals (278, third), doubles (351, fourth), runs scored (810, eighth), walks (581, ninth) and hits (1,452, 12th). Roberts represented the Orioles in the All-Star Game twice, in 2005 and '07
"You don't set out with that sort of goal," Roberts said of being a permanent part of O's history. "Honestly, you set out with the goal of, 'How do I stay here tomorrow when I'm in that locker room? What do I need to do to do that first and foremost?' And then as you get a little bit more established your goals and the things that you're looking at do change. Obviously, it's not about, 'What do I do to stay here tomorrow?' but, 'How do I use the place that I'm in now to help this organization accomplish what we want to accomplish?"'
While Roberts' Orioles time was during a stretch of 11 consecutive losing seasons, the infielder said Friday he doesn't feel like he missed out on anything. Manfra, the Herb Armstrong Award winner, given to non-uniform personnel, was able to relish three postseason trips in five years before he retired last season.
"I never envisioned for one moment that I'd be in the Hall of Fame as the Herb Armstrong [Award] winner," Manfra said.
"It's truly humbling and amazing to think that here I am, a guy who grew up in East Baltimore cheering for the Orioles my entire life. And then working for the Orioles. ... To get into a situation where my name is even mentioned with [sportscaster] Chuck Thompson's name and Bill O'Donnell's name, or Harry Dalton's name -- iconic Orioles names -- is just amazing."
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.