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Who is the most feared hitter in Orioles' history?

Your eyesight isn't fading and we haven't forgotten to pay the electrical bills (not recently, anyway).

Connolly's has been dark for a few days – and will be for several more.

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I am taking a little time off until I head down to Sarasota in March. Meanwhile, Jeff Zrebiec and, yes, Peter Schmuck, are busting their tails in Florida to deliver everything Orioles to you.

But I know there are a lot of thirsty people in Charm City and I have a few things I wanted to mention.

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First, it has been a rough week. You all know about the death of Orioles' umpires' attendant Ernie Tyler. But his was not the only viewing I attended this week.

Harry Thomas Walker Jr., a former Howard County educator who received his doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Maryland and lived an incredibly interesting life (here's the obituary), died Saturday of heart failure at age 66.

He was the father of Childs Walker, intrepid Sun reporter, good guy (despite his Gilman education) and occasional guest bartender at Connolly's. To those bar patrons who have read Childs' work in various sections in the past decade (his piece on Peter Angelos last summer was a must read) and interacted with Childs through The Toy Department blog or his fantasy sports columns, please keep him in mind during this difficult time.

Childs and I have formed several bonds over the years, including a love for music and the southern rock band, the Drive-By Truckers. Coincidentally, I had the pleasure of seeing the Truckers in concert again Wednesday night, their second gig since releasing their new CD "Go-Go Boots."

The album – they also released it on vinyl, so I can call it an album – is exceptionally mellow, and, consequently, Wednesday's Truckers' show was a little more chilled than normal. There was plenty of the Truckers' legendary energy and shredding guitars, however. And so I wanted to pass on this regional programming note to my fellow music lovers: The Truckers are playing shows Friday and Saturday at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. I hear both are sold out, but if you can finagle tickets, do so. You won't regret it, I promise.

One other personal note: Those of you who live in Northern Maryland or York County, Pa. and want to talk a little baseball, I have an event for you. I'll be talking (and answering questions) about the upcoming baseball season this Monday (Feb. 21) at 7 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church, 2215 Brandywine Lane in York. We'll cover the Orioles and baseball in general.

I'll be joined by York Daily Record sportswriter Jim Seip, who covers the York Revolution, the 2010 Atlantic League champs. There is no admission fee, though a freewill offering will be taken for Zion's new furnace fund. For more information, call the church at 717-767-4673.

OK, with all that housekeeping out of the way, let's talk a little baseball in here. Vladimir Guerrero is expected to be introduced today in Sarasota as the newest Oriole. Even at age 36, Guerrero becomes the club's most feared hitter since Albert Belle in 2000 and maybe since Eddie Murray in the early 1980s.

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Because he has been so successful throughout his career, because he can hit a ball out of the park at any moment and because, with his free-swinging nature and quick bat, he is a threat to hit any type of pitch thrown anywhere between the two dugouts, Guerrero is one of those guys that the opposition absolutely hates facing.

And that got me thinking. Who is the most feared hitter in the history of the modern day Orioles?

Miguel Tejada was a dangerous hitter and so were Cal Ripken Jr., Brooks Robinson, Boog Powell, Brady Anderson, Jim Gentile, Robbie Alomar and Rafael Palmeiro.

But when I think about a hitter that really strikes fear in an opposing pitcher, the list is short. In baseball and in Orioles' history.

I immediately think of two names: Frank Robinson, who I didn't see play in an Orioles' uniform, but boy did I hear the stories; and Murray.

I want to know who you think was the most feared Orioles' hitter of all time. Not the best or the most successful, necessarily, but the most feared. This is tricky, because pretty much all of Murray's best years were spent here while Robinson had some great ones, but didn't get to Baltimore until he was in his 30s.

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I am curious to see if Frank wins in a landslide, if it's a Frank-Eddie or horserace or if there are others who make a run at the title.

Daily Think Special: Who is the most feared hitter in Orioles' history?


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