New Orioles Hall of Famer Rich Dauer had to take time off from his job as third base coach for the Colorado Rockies to attend the Hall of Fame celebration this weekend at Camden Yards, but he wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
“The organization has meant so much to me for so many years,’’ said Dauer, who was inducted along with Mike Mussina and the late Walter Youse during a pregame ceremony on Saturday night. “I follow them all the time. I’ve been able to work in baseball for quite awhile, but when you start somewhere it’s always your first."
Dauer was a defensive cornerstone of an O's team that reached the World Series under Earl Weaver in 1979 and came within one win of the world title before losing three straight games to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He would get a World Series ring when the Orioles defeated the Phillies in five games in 1983. But he spent a lot of his news conference on Saturday talking about how much he enjoyed playing in Baltimore and in front of Baltimore fans.
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“My family grew here,'' he said. "My wife and I had two children here. Our home was here and we have a lot of friends that are very close and dear to us here. It is really special.”
Dauer played during a period in Orioles history when the players and fans could almost take success for granted. He never played on a losing team during his 10 seasons (1976-85) in an Orioles uniform.
“The winning part was great,’’ he said, “but, again, because we won so much, I didn’t know anything else. I walked into a team that was full of a lot of veterans who were not down-sliding, but actually still playing at a high level, so I got lucky there. I started off real bad and I had people that helped me get through my bad time because we were so good, and then I just became a part of the machine.”