One of the most interesting bits of Oriole trivia comes from beyond the field of play. The Baltimore Orioles have employed three people as the head trainer over the past 90 seasons. Just three people have tended to the needs of the Orioles baseball team from 1921 through 2012. The three people are Eddie Weidner, Ralph Salvon, and Richie Bancells.
All three are members of the Oriole Hall of Fame,
Eddie Weidner was hired by the Baltimore Orioles in 1916. 1916 is the year that they returned from a self-imposed hiatus to make room for the Terrapins of the Federal League. Orioles owner Jack Dunn bought Terrapin Park (renaming it after the Orioles) and hired Eddie as the scoreboard operator. Five seasons later, Eddie was promoted to the position of trainer, a job that he was unprepared to assume. He figured out what to do.
Ralph Salvon came to Baltimore as an asset of the St. Louis Browns. He went to work in the Oriole farm team system. Paul Richards invited Ralph to take over as the trainer with the expansion Houston Colt 45’s in 1962. He returned to Baltimore in 1966 to serve as Eddie’s assistant, assuming the role as head trainer following his retirement in 1968.
Richie Bancells, the current head trainer for the Orioles worked his way to Baltimore, as was the custom. As with most rookies, he started in Bluefield and wound up in Rochester. Richie joined the Orioles, as Ralph’s assistant in the woebegone season of 1988. Sadly, Ralph passed away, mid-season leaving Richie to his own devices. Today Richie Bancells is the senior member of the major league trainers.
This article acknowledges the great work of the three Oriole trainers. Baltimore has a “thing” for honoring their trainers; case in point is Baltimore Colt trainer Ed Block whose name headlines a major charity of the NFL.
The balance of this article will look at the remarkable history of Baltimore Oriole baseball over these ninety seasons. We will look at the past 59 American League seasons and the years we spent as a member of the International League. We will not review dwell on the history of the St. Louis Browns, perhaps one of the worst franchises in all of sports. This piece is about Baltimoreans and their passion for Oriole baseball. This article will highlight the stars and great events of the Oriole games that your parents and grandparents may have attended. We will set the focus based on what Eddie, Ralph, and Richie witnessed over these ninety years of Oriole history.