05/25/2006 4:12 PM ET
DeCinces, Hoiles elected to Orioles Hall of Fame
Former trainers Eddie Weidner and Ralph Salvon named winners of Herb Armstrong Award
Doug DeCinces, who replaced one of baseball's most legendary players and hit the home run that started "Orioles Magic" in the 1970s, and Chris Hoiles, who spent his entire 9-year career with the Orioles and caught more games in club history than all but one person, have been elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame, it was announced today.
DeCinces, who played third base for the Orioles from 1973 through 1981, and Hoiles, the club's catcher from 1989 thorugh 1998, will be formally inducted in pre-game ceremonies on August 26, before the Orioles' 4:35 p.m. game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
The first two trainers in modern Orioles history, Eddie Weidner and Ralph Salvon, also will be honored posthumously that day as the recipients of the Herb Armstrong Award, presented to non-uniformed personnel who have made significant contributions to the ballclub and the game of baseball.
DeCinces played 15 years with the Orioles, Angels and Cardinals, batting .259 with 237 home runs. He was drafted by the Orioles and made his debut in 1973, but it wasn't until 1976, when he took over for Brooks Robinson, that he established himself as a regular. In his 9 years with the Orioles, he batted .253 with 107 home runs, the most famous of which came on June 22, 1979 at Memorial Stadium. DeCinces' game-winning, 2-run homer in the bottom of the 9th beat Detroit, 6-5, and propelled the Orioles to their first World Series appearance in 8 years. The home run is regarded as the beginning of what came to be known as "Orioles Magic."
DeCinces was traded to the Angels following the 1981 season, paving the way for another baseball legend, Cal Ripken Jr., to step in at third base.
Hoiles was a minor leaguer for the Tigers when he joined the Orioles organization as part of a 3-player deal for Fred Lynn in August 1988. He made his major league debut the next season and by 1991 had established himself as the Orioles' regular catcher. He remained in that role until leg and hip injuries slowed him and he was released prior to the 1999 season. Hoiles batted .262 with 151 homers, including 8 grand slams, in his career. He became only the 9th player to hit 2 grand slams in the same game on August 14, 1998 in Cleveland.
Hoiles was the Orioles' MVP in 1993 and still ranks 9th on the club's all-time home run list and 10th all-time in slugging percentage (.467).
Weidner joined the minor league Orioles as a 14-year-old scoreboard operator in 1916 and became head trainer in 1922, a position he held for 45 years. He became the major league team's trainer in 1954 when the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore and remained in that position for the club's first 14 years. Although he had no formal medical training, he experimented with batting helmets and had players use golf gloves under their fielding mitts to prevent bruises long before those practices became the norm.
Salvon joined Weidner as assistant trainer in 1966 after 10 years as a trainer in the Orioles farm system. He became head trainer in 1968 and over the next 20 years was credited with repairing or reducing the injuries of numerous players, in addition to being part of the heart and soul of the team.
Salvon was the senior trainer in the American League when he passed away at age 60 in 1988, following complications from heart bypass surgery. Weidner died in 1994 at the age of 92.
All four inductees will be honored at a luncheon sponsored by the Oriole Advocates, founders of the Orioles Hall of Fame, on Friday, August 25, at the Warehouse. Tickets to the Luncheon can be obtained by contacting Blaine Baer at 410-466-8242. Tickets for the induction ceremony and Orioles-Devil Rays game on August 26 are available now on orioles.com or by calling 888-848-BIRD.