BALTIMORE (AP) -B.J. Surhoff was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame on Saturday night, a fitting reward for a versatile athlete who played five different positions for Baltimore and helped the team reach the postseason in 1996-97.
Surhoff became the 44th player, coach or manager to join the team's Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held before Baltimore's game against Minnesota as thunder boomed in the background.
``My best years were here, and I truly loved playing in Baltimore,'' said Surhoff, who began his career in Milwaukee and made a stop in Atlanta. ``Unfortunately, we never won a World Series here, but we had some great years.''
Before he could finish the speech, it began to rain. Surhoff threw out the ceremonial first pitch after the grounds crew covered the mound and plate with a tarp.
Cal Ripken Jr., Rick Dempsey, Mike Flanagan and Boog Powell - all members of the Orioles Hall of Fame - helped usher Surhoff into their exclusive club.
``He was a player that played all those different positions, everything except pitcher,'' Ripken said. ``My favorite thing about B.J. was his pursuit of excellence. ... A tremendous competitor, a tremendous friend.''
Surhoff played 7 1/2 years for the Orioles, from 1996-2000 and 2003-05. He batted .291 with 120 home runs and 551 RBIs during that time. He was team MVP in 1999, when he reached career highs in hits (207), RBIs (107) and runs (104).
The late Bill O'Donnell, a radio and television announcer for the team for 17 years until his death in 1982, was honored with the Herbert E. Armstrong Award, presented to non-uniformed personnel who have made significant contributions to the club and the game of baseball.
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