This week’s Baltimore Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Week is the only catcher in Baltimore Orioles history to appear in more than one All-Star game.
Baltimore faithful are hopeful that phenom Matt Wieters will one-day exceed the total of four All-Star selections totaled by Gus Triandos during his tenure with the Orioles.
But for now, Triandos is the most decorated catcher in the history of the Orioles.
He joined the Orioles as part of a 17-player trade that among others sent Don Larsen and Bob Turley to New York following the 1954 season.
After playing in only 20 games over two seasons playing behind Yogi Berra for the Yankees, Triandos immediately became the starting catcher for the Orioles.
He hit .277 with 12 home runs and 65 RBI in his first season with the O’s and received MVP votes. He was even better in 1956 with a .279 average 21 home runs and a career-high 88 RBI.
After earning his first All-Star appearance in 1957, Triandos was the starting catcher for the 1958 All-Star game.
That season, he tied an American League record for most home runs in a season by a catcher with 30 blasts. He also drove home 79 runs and finished 11th in the MVP voting.
In 1959 he started the first of two All-Star games that season and drove home two runs.
In eight seasons with the Orioles, Triandos hit .249 with 142 home runs and 517 RBI. He completed his career with stints with the Tigers, Phillies and Astros.
If you had a favorite athlete growing up that you would like to see featured as the Baltimore Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Week, send me a nomination by e-mail.