These are the best O's by uniform number

December 1st, 2021

Who wore it best? Uniforms have always been a reason we love baseball, with the numbers on the back, specifically, always serving as a way to connect with the players wearing them.

Whether they’re randomly assigned or strategically acquired, numbers can become intrinsically tied to a player’s identity, sometimes as much as his play. For some, those numbers follow them into eternity.

That’s why across, we are cataloguing the best players to wear each jersey number for every team. Here is the top player to wear every uniform number in Orioles history:

No. 1: -- Two-time All-Star remains the franchise leader in games, at-bats, runs, hits, doubles, RBIs, walks and steals among second basemen.

No. 2: -- The heart and soul of the O’s playoff teams of the mid-2010s was also a three-time Gold Glove winner.

No. 3: -- The Maryland native was the consummate DH and elected to the Hall of Fame via the Today’s Era Committee in 2019.

No. 4: Jim Gentile -- Three-time All-Star of the early '60s had a .891 career OPS in Baltimore, still the franchise record for first basemen. His only competition here would be Earl Weaver, but we’re not considering managers for this exercise.

No. 5: -- Easy call here. There is only one Brooks.

No. 6: -- The eight-time Gold Glove-winning center fielder and four-time World Series champion beats out other standouts Melvin Mora and Jonathan Schoop.

No. 7: Mark Belanger -- Maybe the best defensive shortstop of his era was a paragon of the great Orioles teams of the late 1960s and early '70s.

No. 8: -- No explanation needed.

No. 9: Brady Anderson -- Don Buford and Reggie Jackson are runner-ups.

No. 10: -- Nobody wore No. 10 like Jones did in center field for more than a decade.

No. 11: -- The speedy Hall of Famer takes the crown in a crowded field over Gus Triandos and Doug DeCinces.

No. 12: -- Twelve All-Star nods and 10 career Gold Gloves will get you here.

No. 13: -- Machado may not have been lucky in No. 13, but he was often very, very good.

No. 14: -- Durable glove-first shortstop was an All-Star in 2000 and remains with the organization as a broadcaster. He gets the nod here over Lee May, Merv Rettenmund and Nolan Reimold.

No. 15: -- Hall of Fame knuckleballer won an ERA title with the Orioles in 1959 at age 36.

No. 16: -- One of the tougher calls on this entire list goes to the six-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove-winning second baseman, over Scott McGregor, Trey Mancini and Wei-Yin Chen.

No. 17: -- Durable, versatile, popular and productive, Surhoff hit .291/.341/.451 with 120 homers across two separate stints in Baltimore between 1997-2005.

No. 18: -- The well-traveled regular spent six years of his 17-year career in Baltimore as a valuable utility player with power.

No. 19: Dave McNally -- The four-time 20-game winner and franchise legend tops runner-ups Chris Davis, Ben McDonald, Scott Erickson and Fred Lynn here.

No. 20: -- Hall of Fame player. World Series MVP. Decorated manager. Trailblazer. Baseball legend. The No. 20 is retired in Baltimore for a reason.

No. 21: -- Doubles machine, Gold Glove winner and more. Markakis was a durable all-around contributor for a near-decade in Baltimore and remains one of the Orioles' best first-round Draft picks this century.

No. 22: -- Who else?

No. 23: Tippy Martinez -- The longtime reliever’s 499 appearances (and three famous pickoffs) with the club outweigh contributions by Chris Hoiles, Nelson Cruz, David Segui and others who’ve worn the number.

No. 24: -- Nobody has suited up behind the plate for the Orioles more than the 1983 World Series MVP.

No. 25: -- Despite his ties to performance-enhancing drugs, Palmeiro’s gaudy counting numbers give him the nod here over Don Baylor, Rich Dauer and Moe Drabowsky.

No. 26: -- Two digits, one name: Boog.

No. 27: -- Journeyman outfielder was never more than a role player in Baltimore, but he’ll never pay for a drink in the city again based on his 2014 postseason heroics alone.

No. 28: -- The hard-throwing southpaw saved 107 games over two seasons for the O’s, including a Major League-high 45 in '97.

No. 29: -- Underrated in his era, the on-base machine made three All-Star teams and hit .284/.388/.445 from '75-84 with the Orioles.

No. 30: -- The 1989 American League Rookie of the Year, “Otter” gets the nod here in a tough call over Dennis Martinez and Luke Scott.

No. 31: -- This former All-Star never lived up to his big-money contract in Baltimore, but he was a durable and popular rotation piece on playoff teams in 2014 and '16.

No. 32: -- One of the most hyped prospects in recent memory turned into a four-time All-Star and fixture behind the plate for eight seasons in Baltimore.

No. 33: -- “Steady Eddie” entered the Hall of Fame in 2003 as one of the best switch-hitters in baseball history.

No. 34: Storm Davis -- Unlike fellow 34s Jake Arrieta and Fernando Valenzuela, who had more success elsewhere, some of Davis’ best years came with the Orioles.

No. 35: -- The 2019 Hall of Fame inductee split his career evenly between Baltimore and New York, but he became a star with the Orioles.

No. 36: Tom Phoebus -- A member of great Orioles rotations of the late '60s, Phoebus won at least 14 games each year from '67-69.

No. 37: -- The relief ace for the O’s in the late '60s, Miller famously threw with little velocity. He pitched to a 2.37 ERA and saved 99 games across five years in Baltimore anyway.

No. 38: John Lowenstein -- The popular outfielder crushed right-handed pitching in the early '80s as part of one of Weaver’s most famous platoons alongside Gary Roenicke.

No. 39: Eddie Watt -- Pitching to a 2.74 ERA out of the O’s 'pen from 1966-73, Watt remains underrated but one of the best relievers in club history.

No. 40: Vern Stephens -- One of the top sluggers of the 1940s and a three-time AL RBI champion (once with the St. Louis Browns), Stephens also wore No. 40 playing for the Orioles in 1954 and '55.

No. 41: -- The six-time All-Star was good but not dominant during his only year in Baltimore, going 10-9 with a 3.60 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.

No. 42: -- This durable righty didn’t blossom into an All-Star until leaving Baltimore, but he’s remembered for his contributons to the '89 “Why Not?” Orioles.

No. 43: -- The troubled righty went 73-85 with 4.86 ERA and 28 complete games in a little under eight seasons for the O’s in the heart of the steroid era.

No. 44: Elrod Hendricks -- Hendricks, a Rule 5 Draft pick, became a beloved four-decade fixture with the organization as backup catcher, then a longtime bullpen coach.

No. 45: -- The Orioles got two excellent seasons from the injury-prone ace in 2006 and '07, then flipped the lefty for Adam Jones and others in one of the best trades in franchise history.

No. 46: -- The 1979 Cy Young Award winner spent parts of five decades connected to the Orioles as player, coach, broadcaster and executive until his death in 2011.

No. 47: -- The Hall of Fame closer saved an MLB-best 33 games in the strike-shortened 1994 season, his only in Baltimore.

No. 48: -- Miller, a wipeout reliever, helped the Orioles reach the 2014 postseason before turning into a firearm uber-weapon elsewhere.

No. 49: -- The combustible closer famously surrendered the “Jeffrey Maier home run” to Derek Jeter in the 1996 ALCS.

No. 50: -- This durable reliever placed third in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2002.

No. 51: -- Moyer was an ageless who left-hander went 25-22 with a 4.41 ERA in the O’s rotation from 1993-95.

No. 52: -- The sensation of the 1983 World Series champions led the AL in wins and ERA the following season, earning 62 victories between 1983-86.

No. 53: -- A dominant sinkerballer, Britton set an AL record for consecutive save chances converted during his historic 2016 season.

No. 54: -- The journeyman starter gets the nod here in a thin field.

No. 55: -- This power-hitting catcher slugged 47 homers for the O’s from 2006-08.

No. 56: -- O'Day, a side-winding reliever, was a vital cog in great O’s bullpens of the mid-2010s and an All-Star in '15.

No. 57: -- The six-time All-Star wasn’t at his most dominant in Baltimore down the stretch in 2013, but K-Rod’s 437 career saves are nothing to sneeze at.

No. 58: -- This inconsistent reliever eventually turned into an All-Star starter for the Reds.

No. 59: -- The future All-Star only wore No. 59 during his rookie year in 1960, when he went 10-7 with a 3.22 ERA despite leading the AL in walks and wild pitches.

No. 60: -- The hard-throwing setup man was a fixture of the strong Orioles bullpens of the mid-2010s, posting a 3.32 ERA in 296 games over parts of six seasons.

No. 61: -- “El Presidente” only wore 61 as a rookie in 1976, but he gets the nod here in an extremely thin field.

No. 62: Cesar Valdez -- Valdez, a journeyman junk-baller, emerged as one of the feel-good stories of 2020.

No. 63: -- The durable reliever appeared in 103 games for the O’s from 2011-12, pitching to a 4.62 ERA with 22 saves.

No. 64: Mark Williamson -- A mainstay in the O’s ‘pen from 1987-94, Williamson enjoyed a solid rookie season in '87 wearing No. 64.

No. 65: -- Roe is just one of three Orioles to ever wear No. 65. The side-winding setup man pitched to a 4.06 ERA across 45 relief appearances from 2015-16.

No. 66: -- Tanner Scott may one day surpass McFarland’s accomplishments in Baltimore. For now, the two lefty relievers are the only O’s to ever sport No. 66.

No. 67: -- The unlikelihood of Means’ emerging as the AL runner-up for Rookie of the Year in 2019 is evident by his Spring Training-style number.

No. 68: / -- These two righty relievers are the only O’s to wear No. 68. Both made just two appearances with the club.

No. 69: -- The journeyman southpaw went 1-4 with a 3.99 ERA in six starts for Baltimore in 2020, when he became the first Oriole to wear No. 69.

No. 70: -- The righty reliever’s 2.81 ERA in 22 games in 2020 makes him the best of four Orioles to don No. 70 in a game.

No. 71: -- The well-traveled reliever pitched to a 3.89 ERA in 30 games for the O’s from 2015-17.

No. 72: -- An Orioles backup catcher from 2003-04, Machado is the only Oriole to wear this number.

No. 73: -- A right-handed control pitcher, Eshelman went 4-3 with a 5.22 ERA as a swingman for the O’s from 2019-20. He is the only player in franchise history to wear No. 73.

No. 74: -- The versatile utility man became the first Oriole to wear No. 74 when he hit .277 with eight homers in 2020, playing six positions.

No. 75: -- A longtime reliever-turned-bullpen coach, Mills wore a coach’s number well before his coaching days.

No. 76: Mickey Jannis -- The right-handed knuckleballer became the first Oriole to wear No. 76 when he debuted, at age 33, in June 2021.

No. 77: / -- You make the call.

No. 78: -- The backup catcher got seven plate appearances for the O’s in 2009 as a 31-year-old.

No. 79: Konner Wade -- The right-handed reliever made seven appearances for the club in 2021.

No. 80: Spenser Watkins -- Watkins became the first Oriole to wear No. 80 when he debuted in 2021, making 16 appearances in a swingman role for the team.

No. 81: Shaun Anderson/Conner Greene -- Both right-handers wore No. 81 in 2021, becoming the only two players in franchise history to do so.

No. 82: Kelvin Gutierrez -- The sure-handed third baseman took over the hot corner down the stretch in 2021.

No. 83: -- Long before he turned into a star for the Dodgers, Turner wore this Spring Training number as a slap-hitting rookie for the O’s.

No. 84: Manny Barreda -- The longtime Minor League journeyman made his MLB debut in Sept. 2021 wearing No. 84, which no Oriole before him had worn.

No. 85: -- The Ellicott City native debuted for his hometown team in 2020.

No. 86: Brooks Kriske -- The right-handed reliever was named after Brooks Robinson, and made four relief appearances for the O’s in 2021.

No. 87: -- The versatile infielder emerged as a fine contributor at second base for the O’s in 2021.

No. 88: -- Mercurial and well-paid '90s slugger was productive in Baltimore but retired two years into his five-year contract due to injuries.

Never worn: 76, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 86, 89-100