BALTIMORE -- The Orioles have been quick to identify franchise-changing talent. And the six numbers they've retired reflect that, as the O's deserve some credit for putting these uniforms on ice at Camden Yards. Yes, being a surefire Hall of Famer is a tall task, but these half-dozen numbers (along
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles have been quick to identify franchise-changing talent. And the six numbers they've retired reflect that, as the O's deserve some credit for putting these uniforms on ice at Camden Yards. Yes, being a surefire Hall of Famer is a tall task, but these half-dozen numbers (along with No. 42 for Jackie Robinson) represent the glory, prestige and remarkable talent that has graced the black and orange. From a manager to starting pitchers and some iconic infielders, the Orioles have a steep price of admission for retiring numbers. These aren't merely great players, they are generational talents.
Earl Weaver, manager: No. 4
Number retired: 1982
Weaver managed the Orioles from 1968-82, winning four American League pennants (including three in a row from 1969-71) and the 1970 World Series. He retired after the 1982 season, then briefly came back in 1985. He retired for good after the 1986 season, the only losing season under his tenure.
Eddie Murray, 1B: No. 33
Number retired: 1998
Murray played 13 seasons with the Orioles, winning the 1977 Rookie of the Year Award. The first baseman received MVP votes in each of the next eight seasons, including back-to-back second-place finishes in 1982-83. He had 2,080 of his 3,255 career hits and 343 of his 504 career homers in an Orioles uniform. Elected into the Hall of Fame in 2003, his first year of eligibility, Murray also played for the Dodgers, Mets, Indians and Angels.
Jim Palmer SP: No. 22
Number retired: 1985
The best pitcher in club history, Palmer played all 19 seasons with Baltimore. A three-time Cy Young Award winner, Palmer appeared in the postseason seven times and was a vital part of three World Series teams. Palmer won four Gold Gloves and hit the 20-win mark eight times. He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1990.
Brooks Robinson, 3B: No. 5
Number retired: 1977
The Human Vacuum Cleaner, Robinson played his entire 23-year career with the Orioles. He claimed the 1964 American League MVP Award and 16 straight Gold Gloves from 1960-75. His solid offense and premium defense made him a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 1983. Robinson retired in 1977 and the Orioles retired his number shortly thereafter.
Cal Ripken, Jr., SS: No. 8
Number retired: 2001
Like Brooks, Ripken spent his entire career in the Orioles infield. Most famous for the "Iron Man" streak in which he surpassed Lou Gehrig for consecutive games played, Ripken earned the 1982 Rookie of the Year Award and MVP Awards in 1983 and 1991. He was originally drafted in the second round of the 1978 First Year Player Draft and reached the Hall of Fame -- with 98.5 percent of the vote -- in 2007.
Frank Robinson, OF: No. 20
Number retired: 1972
Robinson played only six years in Baltimore, but he was part of four World Series-bound teams. He won the Triple Crown in 1966, bringing home the MVP Award and helping the Orioles win the World Series. The Orioles traded Robinson to the Dodgers in 1971, but they retired his number the next year before his playing career was even over. He became the first player to have his uniform number retired by the Orioles.
Note: On April 15, 1997, the Orioles joined every team in MLB in retiring No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson.
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.