The most electrifying defensive shortstop of his generation, Mark Belanger set the standard by anchoring a great Baltimore Orioles infield for most of 14 seasons.
During this stretch, Baltimore won 90 or more games 11 times with six postseason appearances capped by the 1970 world championship.
Belanger and Ozzie Smith are the only shortstops to retire with fielding averages over .975 while averaging more than five fielding chances per game.
As I recall, Belanger played with Brooks Robinson on one side and Davey Johnson & later Bobby Grich on the other. They were all Gold Glove winners or the best defensive infield in baseball.
He died in 1998. He left me with a lot of memories of watching baseball at the old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore.
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