We present the top five Baltimore Orioles base stealers in franchise history which includes former Orioles second baseman, Brian Roberts.
When it comes to offensive production, it’s safe to say the current Baltimore Orioles team are prolific hitting not only home runs but also pretty good at hitting doubles too.
But, when you think about base stealers, most people don’t think of the Baltimore Orioles, and for good reason. The Orioles as a team steal fewer bases than anyone else in baseball.
When you look at the Orioles roster construction they have some players who are fleet of foot but don’t do a great job of running the bases (looking at you Manny Machado).
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Most of their stolen bases over the last few years have come from platoon players such as Craig Gentry or Joey Rickard, or in unique situations where pitchers just forget the base runner is there (I think Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis have a few of these).
Now, this isn’t to say the Orioles are slow and clogging the base paths, as that isn’t a fair assessment, although when Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy were on the team, it was more accurate.
So, let’s get to it with the top five base stealers in Baltimore Orioles’ history. Note, this is Orioles’ history and does not include the St. Louis Browns.
Finally, visit our library of Orioles all-time lists to see similar articles.
5. Luis Aparicio and Mark Belanger, 166 Stolen Bases
Hall of Famer Aparicio spent five years in Baltimore from his late 20s to his early 30s, from 1963-1967. Aparicio was an All-Star the first two seasons, his sixth and seventh invitations in a row.
He was a force to be reckoned with on the base paths. From 1956, his Rookie of the Year campaign, through 1964, Aparicio led the major leagues in stolen bases.
Those numbers culminated in 1964 when he took 57 bases for the Orioles. That’s nine straight years leading the majors. Aparicio stole 97 bases his first two years in Baltimore, and then 26, 25 and 18 the next three years.
His best year in an Orioles’ uniform was also a year in which the Orioles were World Champions, 1966. Aparicio hit .276/.311/.366 with 182 hits in a league-leading 707 plate appearances. In his 17 years in Baltimore, Belanger had double digits in stolen bases nine times, with the highest being in 1976.
Belanger was also an All-Star that year, the only time in his career. He hit .270/.336/.326 with 22 doubles that year, but also had 17 times caught stealing as well.
The eight-time Gold Glove winner was known for his glove work, but his ability to steal bases also was an essential part of the long-time Orioles’ game.