Question #3264. Asked by hoss.
Last updated Mar 05 2017.
Belanger played with the Orioles from 1965 to 1981 and appeared in four World Series. In the early 1970's, he was part of an outstanding infield that had Brooks Robinson at third, Davey Johnson at second and Boog Powell at first. He was a link in an Oriole tradition of superb shortstops, taking over for Luis Aparicio and giving way to Cal Ripken.
None of them got to play shortstop very much. From June 30, 1982, to Sept. 14, 1987, no one played there at all. Except Cal Ripken. He played 8,243 consecutive innings, beginning that streak with a month at third base in May 1982 and continuing it for the next five seasons as the exclusive shortstop. Ripken's backups got about as much use during those five years as the first base and third base coaching boxes. Blame it on Lenn Sakata, an Orioles utility player from 1980 to 1985. Sakata started at shortstop for most of the first three months of the 1982 season before losing the job to Ripken for good.