The Birds Nest

‘Brother Lo,’ Roenicke, Mora Voted into Orioles Hall of Fame

Orioles Magic platoon and hard-hitting third basemen to be honored in August.
Orioles coverage sponsored by
All About Me Salon + Day Spa

During the Orioles Magic years of the late ’70s and early ’80s, every guy on the O’s roster seemed to play just a little over their heads, coming through in the clutch with a big hit, home run, or spectacular play in the field.

No one more so than John Lowenstein, Baltimore’s beloved “Brother Lo.”

Remember the 10th-inning, pinch-hit, walk-off, three-run HR against the California Angels in Game 1 of the ALCS at Memorial Stadium after Jim Palmer had battled Nolan Ryan to a 3-3 draw? How could you forget—the place went

In those days, the
Earl of Baltimore got extraordinary mileage out of Lowenstein and platoon partner Gary Roenicke in leftfield. Otherwise average players, the left-handed swinging Lowenstein and right-handed, hard-hitting Roenicke combined for 171 home runs and 574 RBI in the seven seasons they played together for the Orioles. In their first season platooning in left, they combined for 36 home runs and 98 RBI, helping the O’s win the aforementioned 1979 American League pennant.

So, it was fitting yesterday that Orioles announced that the pair would be inducted into the team’s
Hall of Fame together. They’ll be honored at a luncheon at Oriole Park on Friday, Aug. 14 at noon, and then during on-field ceremony prior to the Orioles game against the Oakland A’s later that evening.

Unfortunately, the O’s also announced, Lowenstein won’t be able to attend the events because of a prior commitment. We don’t know why there was a failure to find a date suitable for both the organization and Lowenstein, but we do know the outspoken,
colorful spirit of Brother Lo will be sorely missed at Camden Yards that night.

And we certainly don’t want to shortchange the contributions of the other Orioles player, Melvin Mora, who is getting inducted as well. Mora played nine and a half seasons with the O’s from 2000-2009—during some lean years—compiling a .280 batting average and 158 home runs. His 808 games played at third base are second to Brooks Robinson on the club’s all-time list and he’s among the club’s career leaders in doubles (8th, 252), RBI (8th, 662), home runs (10th, 158), runs (10th, 709), total bases (10th, 2,073), hits (11th, 1,323), walks (11th, 465), games played (12th, 1,256) and at-bats (12th, 4,733).

In 2004, Mora, a two-time All-Star, set the O’s single-season record with a .340 batting average, while also posting a career-high 27 home runs and 104 RBI.

Long-time scout Fred Uhlman Sr. will also be inducted as this year’s Herb Armstrong Award winner. Before retiring earlier this season, Uhlman spent 46 years in professional scouting, including the last three decades with the O’s. He joined the Orioles as scouting director in 1985. Uhlman, the O’s noted in a press release, established the Orioles’ first baseball academies in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, and also was responsible for signing Jeff Ballard, Steve Finley, Gregg Olson, Arthur Rhodes and David Segui, among other players.

Big congrats to the whole quartet.