Melvin Mora inducted into Baltimore’s Hall of Fame


Melvin Mora hit .280 with 158 homers, 662 RBIs, 709 runs scored and 82 steals in 10 years with the Orioles. (Getty)



BALTIMORE — When Melvin Mora looks at these recent Orioles teams, it’s hard to not wish he had been part of a happier time in Baltimore baseball history.

Sure, Mora — inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame on Friday — was able to play with and become friends with the likes of Cal Ripken Jr., Miguel Tejada and Javy Lopez.

«To be able to play with those guys was great, a great time then. But to see these Orioles right now, and to not be able to be a part of this I feel jealous, to be honest with you,» Mora said of the defending American League East-champion O’s, who have made the postseason in two of the past three years. «This is what I play for: to win. I play to be in October. And that’s why I played hard from the beginning [every year] to see what we can do. And now I see a different Oriole [team] and I have to give a lot of credit to the manager, to pull all of this together. They don’t have a big, big name, but they play baseball the way it’s supposed to be played.»

Mora played 10 of his 13 big league seasons with the Orioles, all of which came during the club’s stretch without a playoff appearance. Acquired from the Mets in July 2000, Mora was a two-time All-Star with the O’s, in ’03 and ’04, the latter of which he set a club-record .340 batting average.

«It’s different emotion, especially when you are coming from far away just to be with a team. So much memory here, and legend. It’s kind of like a dream come true,» Mora, on hand for the Orioles Advocates Hall of Fame luncheon, said of being permanently enshrined in club history. «I just want to thank all the media that voted for me for this and everybody that paid attention to my career. Now that I’m here, I don’t know what to say.»

That’s rare for the fun-loving Mora, who lists the birth of his quintuplets as his top moment in Baltimore.

«That’s the one thing that comes to my mind every time,» he said. «Because you are talking about a baseball game, but without the front office and people helping take care of my family, they made my life and my career better and better.»

Mora was honored in a pregame ceremony Friday night at Oriole Park before the O’s opened a homestand against the Oakland Athletics. The former left-field platoon duo of John Lowenstein and Gary Roenicke were also enshrined as selections of the Veterans Committee, while longtime Orioles scout Fred Uhlman, Sr. was inducted as this year’s Herb Armstrong Award winner.

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