Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown in August 1996, Earl ranks 19th in victories among 20th century managers. His .583 winning percentage (1,480-1,060) over 17 seasonsall in Baltimoreranks 5th on the all-time list of those who managed 10 or more seasons exclusively in the 20th century.
Earl was a Minor League second baseman for 13 years, mostly in his hometown St. Louis Cardinals organization. He began his managing career in the Minors in 1956 and joined the Orioles organization a year later. He came up to the Orioles as first base coach in 1968 and was named manager on July 11 of that year.
From 1969 through 1982, he won six AL East titles, four AL pennants and 1 World Series, beating the Cincinnati Reds in 1970. Earl's Orioles won 100 games or more 5 times, and he earned Manager of the Year honors three times. He retired following the 1982 season, which ended one-game shy of another AL East title when the Orioles lost to the Milwaukee Brewers on the final day of the season. He came back to manage in mid-1985 for 1 1/2 years before retiring for good. The only time in his 17 seasons as manager that he posted a losing record was his last, in 1986.
"Mr. Oriole" spent 23 seasons with the Orioles and started 20 consecutive opening day games. He won the AL Most Valuable Player Award in 1964 and shares the record (with former pitcher Jim Kaat) for most Gold Gloves with 16.
His election to baseball's Hall of Fame (his first year of eligibility in 1983) was cemented with his performance against the Cincinnati Reds in the 1970 World Series, when he was named MVP and earned the nickname "Hoover" (as in vacuum cleaners) for his play in the field. Brooks played in 18 All-Star games.
He trails only Cal Ripken among the Orioles' all-time leaders in games, at-bats, hits, doubles, RBI, runs, total bases and extra-base hits. In addition to his AL MVP Award in '64 and his World Series MVP Award in '70, he was the All-Star Game MVP in 1966 and was voted the Most Valuable Oriole in '60, '62, '64 and co-winner in '71 with Frank Robinson. He also earned the Commissioner's Trophy (now the Roberto Clemente Award) for exemplifying the game of baseball in 1972 and the Joe Cronin Award for significant achievement by an AL player in 1977. Brooks holds 10 Major League fielding records and three American League records for third basemen, including highest lifetime fielding percentage (.971). He is 12th on the all-time list of games played, 4th in the AL and 5th in games played with one franchise.
Cal Ripken, Jr. finished his career with 3,184 career hits, 13th on the all-time list, and 431 career homers, 30th all-time.
He is one of only seven players in history to reach 400 HR/3,000 hit plateaus, joining Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Stan Musial, Dave Winfield and Carl Yastrzemski, and only the second -- with Yastrzemski -- to do it exclusively in the American League.
In 2001, his final season, he was elected to his 19th All-Star berth, breaking the AL record for most times as an All-Star, previously held by Brooks Robinson (18 games over 15 seasons, 1960-74). Technically, he started the game at shortstop, breaking Ozzie Smith's record for most All-Star games at that position when Alex Rodriguez moved him there and took third base.
Ripken finished his career with 3,001 games played, eighth most in baseball history and fourth in games with one club behind Carl Yastrzemski (3,308), Hank Aaron (3,076) and Stan Musial (3,026).
Ripken played 20 years and 57 days in the Majors, all with the Orioles. He was originally drafted in the second round of the 1978 First Year Player Draft.
Frank's achievements during his 21 seasons as a player rank him among the top players of all-time in 10 categories. He hit 586 home runs, 6th on the all-time list. He spent 19 seasons with the Orioles as a player, coach ('79-'80 and '85-'87), manager ('88- '91) and assistant general manager ('91-'95).
The trade that brought Frank from Cincinnati to Baltimore turned the Orioles from contenders to World Champions in 1966. He won the Triple Crown (.316 average, 49 homers, 122 RBI) and was both the AL and World Series MVP in his first season with the Orioles. In all, the Orioles went to the World Series four times in his six seasons as a player with them.
When he was traded to the Dodgers after the '71 season, he became the first to have his number retired by the Orioles. Frank was NL Rookie of the Year with the Reds in 1956 and is the only player to win MVP honors in both leagues ('61 NL, '66 AL). He played in 11 All-Star games and was MVP of the 1971 classic.
While still an active player, he became the first black manager in Major League history with the Cleveland Indians in 1975. In addition to the Indians ('75-'77), he managed the San Francisco Giants ('81-'84), the Orioles ('88-'89) and the Montreal ExposWashington Nationals ('02-'06). Frank was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame the first year he was eligible in 1982.
The greatest pitcher in Orioles history, Jim won 268 games in a 19-year career, all of it with Baltimore. He won three Cy Young Awards in a four-year span ('73, '75, '76) and his 2.86 ERA is 4th on the all-time list among pitchers with 3,000 or more innings pitched. Jim won 20 games in a season eight times, one of only six who pitched exclusively in the 20th century to accomplish the feat. He put that string together in a 9-year stretch, 1970-78, during which he went 176-97 with a 2.54 ERA.
In 1966, at age 20, he became the youngest pitcher ever to throw a World Series shutout, and in 1983 he became the only hurler to have won a World Series game in each of three decades. He was the winning pitcher in the Orioles' first four pennant clinching games and was 8-3 in 17 post-season appearances. He was a six-time All-Star and was the AL's starting pitcher four times. Jim was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on the first ballot in January 1990.
Eddie was elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2003. He played 12 1/2 of his 21 seasons with the Orioles and ranks second, third or fourth in virtually every club offensive category. He spent his first 12 years with the Orioles and rejoined the team in 1996, helping lead the club to the postseason and becoming the 15th player to reach the 500-home run plateau.
Eddie, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays are the only players with 500 homers and 3,000 hits. A model of consistency, he drove in at least 75 runs in each of his first 20 Major League seasons, a feat unmatched. He has more RBI than any switch-hitter in history and ranks seventh all-time in RBI. Eddie was named to eight All-Star teams, seven as an Oriole, and batted .300 or better seven times, including five times as an Oriole. He won the Orioles' "triple crown" five times, leading the club in average, homers and RBI.
He played at least 150 games in 16 seasons, second most in history behind Pete Rose. Eddie broke in as the AL Rookie of the Year in 1977. He was named Most Valuable Oriole seven times (twice sharing the award with Cal). A three-time Gold Glove winner, he holds the Major League record for games played and career assists by a first baseman. Like Frank Robinson before him, Eddie's Oriole number was retired when he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also played for the Mets, Indians and Angels.
The first black player in the Major Leagues, he played for the Dodgers from 1947-56. The six-time All-Star was National League Rookie of the Year in 1947 and NL Most Valuable Player in 1949.
In 1997, the 50th anniversary of his debut, every team in baseball retired his number.
From his Baseball of Hame Plaque:
"Leading NL batter in 1949. Holds fielding mark for second baseman playing in 150 or more games with .992. Led NL in stolen bases in 1947 and 1949. Most Valuable Player in 1949. Lifetime batting average .311. Joint record holder for most double plays by second baseman, 137 in 1951. Led second baseman in double plays 1949-50-51-52."