Best Oriole: Adam Jones

If this award were based solely on performance, it would likely be going to second baseman Jonathan Schoop. Not that Jones’ season is anything to sneeze at. His 26 home runs rank fourth among center fielders in all of baseball as of this writing, and he became the first player in team history to hit 25-plus dingers in seven straight seasons. Think for a moment about all the Oriole greats he passed en route to that mark. As much as anything, this award goes to Jones for the way he handled racist taunts during a game at Boston’s Fenway Park last May, sharing his experiences and starting a national dialogue about racism in sports. Baseball likes to pride itself as the sport of Jackie Robinson, but Jones, by stepping forward, showed that the game, like the rest of the country, has a long way to go.

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