There have been dozens of men that have been selected to be the head coach of the Montana Grizzlies football program, with the amount of success varying greatly from one coach to another. There have been coaches like Dewitt Peck and Clyde Carpenter who combined to go 0-11 during the first half of the 20th century, but also some fantastic coaches along the way.
Out of the program’s great history, there are five coaches that truly stand out above the rest. These five men won conference titles, and two even won a national title. Here are the five greatest coaches in Montana Grizzlies football history.
5. Jack Swarthout
The first coach on the list is the late, great Jack Swarthout who was a quarterback and halfback during his playing days at Montana. Following his college career, Swarthout coached in high school and as an assistant at the University of Texas before being named the Montana head coach in 1967.
Swarthout remained the head coach through the 1975 season and finished with a career record of 51-41-1. He won the Big Sky Conference twice and was named the conference’s Coach of the Year three times. After 1975, Swarthout decided to go back to coaching high school before retiring in the mid 1980s.
4. Mick Dennehy
Mick Dennehy knew what Montana Grizzlies football was all about since he played safety for the team in 1971 and 1972. Following his college days, Dennehy spent many years coaching high schoolers before taking a job at Montana Western. In 1991, he became the offensive coordinator for Montana and was promoted to head coach in 1996.
Dennehy led the Grizzlies for four seasons and in that time amassed a record of 39-12. In each of those seasons, the Grizzlies reached the NCAA Division I-AA tournament and made the title game in his first year before falling to Marshall.
3. Bobby Hauck
A Missoula, Montana native, Bobby Hauck attended the University of Montana but was an athlete in track instead of football. He joined the coaching staff after earning his degree from the school before heading to UCLA for a few seasons. Hauck bounced around as a coordinator in the Pac-12 and Northern Arizona before returning to Montana to become the head coach in 2003.
Hauck led the Grizzlies to seven Big Sky Conference Championships in a row before heading to coach UNLV in 2010. He’d remain in Las Vegas for five seasons, then spent time as the special teams coordinator at San Diego State before heading back to Montana once again to reassume head coaching duties in 2018.
2. Joe Glenn
Joe Glenn’s time at Montana as head coach was brief, but it sure was notable. The Nebraska native played college ball at South Dakota, and that’s where he got his coaching start. After becoming the head coach at Doane, Glenn was an assistant at Montana in the early 1980s before landing a gig at Northern Colorado that led to him becoming their head coach.
Glenn returned to coach Montana from 2000 to 2002. In his second season, the Grizzlies won the NCAA Division I-AA National Championship by defeating Furman the year after they came up short in the title game to Georgia Southern. Glenn won the Big Sky Conference in all three of his seasons and finished with a 39-6 record before taking the head coaching position at Wyoming.
1. Don Read
Don Read spent his playing days at Sacramento State and was a high school coach before getting his first taste of college head coaching at Portland State. After coaching the Oregon Ducks, Oregon Tech, and Portland State through the 1970s and early 1980s, Read made his way to Montana where he served as the Grizzlies’ head coach from 1986 through 1995.
Read had a losing record in his career by the time he got to Montana, but turned things around quickly and led the Grizzlies to an 85-36 record during his tenure. In that time, Montana had four double-digit win seasons and five NCAA Division I-AA tournament appearances. In Read’s final season before retirement, the Grizzlies won it all by defeating Marshall in the championship game for the school’s first national title.
Since their founding in 1887, Celtic Football Club has been the premier club in Scotland with a long list of championships with great players and managers along the way. Of those managers, there are some that have stood out as among the best in the club’s history. Between Scottish League titles and success across Europe, these five have helped define Celtic football and established it as the greatest club in the nation.
5. Neil Lennon
Northern Ireland-born Neil Lennon spent his career playing with many different clubs, but it was with Celtic where he had his most matches with one club at 214. The midfielder would retire after spending time with Wycombe Wanderers in 2008, and after a year off of football he became manager of the club he played with for eight years.
Lennon first served as Celtic manager from 2010 to 2014 and won 70 percent of his matches and three Scottish League titles. The then managed Bolton Wanderers and Hibernian before returning to manage Celtic once again from 2019 to 2021, and once again won 70 percent of his matches while adding two more Scottish League titles.
4. Gordon Strachan
Gordon Strachan had one of the longest senior careers ever as a midfielder, starting with Dundee back in 1974, playing with manchester United in much of the 1980s and then finally ending his career with Coventry City in 1997. He stuck around with Coventry when he started his managerial career, leading the squad from 1996 to 2001.
After a few years with Southampton, Strachan became the Celtic manager with his tenure running from 2005 to 2009. During his time with Celtic, the club won three Scottish League titles and nearly two-thirds of their matches, and added a Scottish Cup and a pair of Scottish League Cups during his tenure.
3. Martin O’Neill
From 1971 to 1985, Martin O’Neill played for several clubs, but none more than Nottingham Forest as he spent a decade with them, making 285 appearances. O’Neill’s managerial career got started with Grantham Town in the late 1980s and he made several stops including Leicester City in the second half of the 1990s. In 2000, he took on the Celtic managerial position.
O’Neill spent 282 matches as the Celtic manager, and won more than three-quarters of those matches to go along with five total titles and needed just 40.3 matches per trophy. Following his departure from Celtic, O’Neill spent time as the manager for Aston Villa and Sunderland before retiring following his brief gig in 2019 with Nottingham Forest.
2. Willie Maley
There isn’t anybody alive that remembers Willie Maley’s playing career, with 70 of his 71 senior career appearances coming with Celtic from 1888 to 1897. Celtic would be the only team that Maley managed, and he did it for a very long time. All in all, he spent 43 years as the manager, with his tenure lasting from 1897 to 1940.
Nobody will able to top Maley’s record for matches managed with 1,617. He won 1,042 of those matches and an astonishing 16 Scottish League titles. Malley retired in 1940 and would live for 18 more years in retirement. The legendary manager passed away in 1958 at the age of 89.
1. Jock Stein
As a player, Jock Stein spent eight years with Albion Rovers before heading to Llanelli Town and ending his career with six years with Celtic in 1957. Following his playing career, Stein took a few years off then became the manager of Dunfermline Athletic for the first half of the 1960s before a brief stint to Hibernian that led him to Celtic from 1965 to 1978.
Stein managed Celtic in 690 matches, winning just over 70 percent of those. He would end up winning the Scottish League 10 times and added another eight Scottish Cups. Following his Celtic managerial career, Stein was the manager for Leeds United briefly in 1978 and then managed the Scottish national team before passing away in 1985 at the age of 62.
They say that the NFL Draft is a crapshoot because you can scout a player for months and still not get exactly what you thought. There’s especially pressure for the team drafting first as you don’t want to mess up on selecting who should be the top player in the draft.
There have been many Hall of Famers and many busts, but what about those that were neither? When thinking of these five players, you may have forgotten that they were first overall picks as they feel more like middle-of-the-round types.
5. Sam Bradford
When the 2010 NFL Draft came along, there was a lot of talk as to who should be the first overall pick. The St. Louis Rams were desperate for a quarterback, though, and made 2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford the top pick out of Oklahoma. Bradford showed flashes of greatness, but he couldn’t stay healthy and only lasted for five seasons with the Rams before spending his final four seasons with three teams and was out of the league after 2018.
Was it worth the pick? Sadly, no. The following six selections in the draft ended up being great players, especially Ndamukong Suh for the Detroit Lions and Trent Williams for the Washington Commanders.
4. Courtney Brown
When talking about the biggest busts in NFL history, nobody seems to bring up Courtney Brown. In fact, nobody seems to bring him up at all. Brown was the Big Ten Defensive Player and Lineman of the Year in 1999, and in the spring of 2000 he was selected by the Cleveland Browns to anchor their defense for years to come. However, Brown lasted just five seasons and only 19 sacks before ending his career in 2005 with the Denver Broncos.
Was it worth the pick? 100 percent not worth it. Washington selected a better defensive player and a perennial Pro Bowler with the next two picks while Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher was also a top 10 pick.
3. Mario Williams
When you think about defensive ends that were selected first overall by the Houston Texans, you probably think of Jadeveon Clowney. That’s because Clowney was one of the most hyped college players ever, but eight years prior to him being drafted, the Texans surprised many by taking Mario Williams first overall. He certainly didn’t disappoint as he was a four-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro, but unfortunately most of those accolades came when he was with the Buffalo Bills.
Was it worth the pick? Absolutely. No other player drafted in the top five was at the same level as Williams, and many of the Pro Bowlers in the 2006 NFL Draft ended up being a flash in the pan.
2. Eric Fisher
It’s hard to find an NFL Draft that received as little hype as the 2013 edition. There were some names that got floated around as to who should be the number one pick, but the Kansas City Chiefs were still able to shock some analysts by selecting left tackle Eric Fisher from Central Michigan. Fisher played for eight seasons in Kansas City and made two Pro Bowls before heading to Indianapolis for the 2021 season.
Was it worth the pick? The 2013 NFL Draft was filled with landmines and only a few players that ended up having solid and lengthy careers from the first round. Fisher was a mainstay for Chiefs and won a Super Bowl with him at tackle, so it would be hard to say they didn’t make the right choice. However, Lane Johnson was the fourth overall selection and a better player at the position.
1. Jake Long
Fisher isn’t the only somewhat forgettable left tackle from the state of Michigan as Jake Long was the first pick by the Miami Dolphins five years prior. Long played for four teams total in his career, making four Pro Bowl squads. He last played in 2016 for the Minnesota Vikings before retiring after 104 career games.
Was it worth the pick? Not really. The Dolphins had the chance to select Matt Ryan, which would have solved their quarterback troubles for years. In terms of the top five, however, Long was the second best player so it wasn’t a total miss.
When it comes to the largest contracts in Major League Baseball, many of them are signed with the teams that originally drafted the player as they don’t want to let a franchise cornerstone get away in free agency. There are also massive contracts signed by players who hit unrestricted free agency as teams get into a bidding war with one another for a star player.
Then, there are rare circumstances where a player signs a massive contract with a team only to get traded away with plenty of years left on their contract. Teams have become warier in taking on major deals that players have signed with other teams, but sometimes a franchise will pull the trigger because the player is still a star, and the team trading that player away needs the salary relief. Here are the five biggest MLB contracts that were traded to other teams.
5. Yu Darvish
The Chicago Cubs were still contenders in 2018 and thought pitcher Yu Darvish could get them over the hump and grab a second World Series in the 2010s. Instead, the team turned their focus to a rebuild, but still had Darvish’s six-year, $126 million contract on the books.
The team decided to deal Darvish to the San Diego Padres after he played half of his contract in Chicago. In exchange, the Cubs received Zach Davies in four prospects.
4. Eric Hosmer
Eric Hosmer was once the third overall draft pick in 2008 and cracked into the MLB with the Kansas City Royals in May of 2011. Hosmer was an All-Star with Kansas City and won four Gold Glove Awards before hitting the free agent market after the 2017 season. Hosmer inked an eight-year deal worth $144 million with the San Diego Padres who were looking to add the final pieces of what they felt was a World Series-worthy roster.
Hosmer didn’t quite live up to his contract, and the Padres attempted to trade him to the Washington Nationals for Juan Soto. However, Hosmer evoked his no-trade clause as he didn’t want to be in Washington, so his contract was instead sent to Boston for a pair of Minor Leaguers.
3. David Price
David Price started his career with the Tampa Bay Rays and was one of the best pitchers in baseball, winning the AL Cy Young Award in 2012. Price continued to be a strong performer when he spent 2014 with the Detroit Tigers and split his 2015 season between Detroit and Toronto prior to becoming a free agent. The Boston Red Sox won the bidding war for Price, giving him $217 million over seven years for his services.
Price would only end up playing in four of those seasons for Boston, however, and was limited by injury in much of his time there. Price was then sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers alongside Mookie Betts in exchange for Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs and Connor Wong as the Red Sox looked to dump salary and acquire younger players.
2. Nolan Arenado
The Colorado Rockies drafted Nolan Arenado in 2009, and at 22 years old he made his debut with the team in 2013. Arenado proved to be worth the hype right away and quickly became one of the best infielders in baseball. He certainly didn’t struggle with Colorado as he made five All Star Games and was rewarded in 2019 with an eight-year contract worth $260 million.
The St. Louis Cardinals performed the heist of the century when they took on the disgruntled Arenado from the Rockies for five players. Not only that, the Rockies paid $51 million of the contract. Arenado immediately performed for St. Louis and in his first season was a Gold Glove winner and All-Star with 34 home runs.
1. Giancarlo Stanton
Back when he was referred to as Mike, Giancarlo Stanton came into the MLB through the Miami Marlins organization and quickly became one of the best sluggers in baseball. Stanton was a four-time All-Star with Miami and led the National League in home runs twice, and in 2015 he signed a 13-year contract to stay with the Marlins through the 2027 season.
However, the Marlins were sold in 2017 and the new ownership group wanted to unload the $325 million deal as part of the rebuilding process. With that, Stanton was traded to the New York Yankees after his MVP season in exchange for a pair of Minor League players, cash considerations, and Starlin Castro. When healthy, Stanton has proven to be worth the money.
For decades, China was a bit of a niche market for cinema in the eyes of Hollywood, but things changed dramatically at the start of the 21st century. Chinese-made films were starting to earn big numbers at the box office domestically, with many even making their way into the west. The reverse has also been true, with Hollywood movies earning more in China starting in the 2000s.
Films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, along with the “Transformers” and “Fast and Furious” franchises, have done extremely well in China. However, it’s some of the homegrown films that have stood out as the highest-grossing in the country’s history. Here are the five highest grossing movies in Chinese history with a little bit of background on how they came to be and how much money they pulled in.
The Battle at Lake Changjin
Sitting at the top of the list of highest-grossing films in China is “The Battle at Lake Changjin”, released in 2021 and written by Lan Xiaolong and Huang Jianxin. This film follows the dramatized events of the real-life Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in the midst of the Korean War. It had a budget of $200 million and earned a whopping $913 million worldwide, the second-highest-earning film in 2021 and the highest-earning film of all time in China.
Wolf Warrior 2
Released in the summer of 2017, “Wolf Warrior 2” is the second-highest-earning film of all time in China. This action-packed film is directed by Wu Jing, who also co-produced, co-wrote, and stars in the movie. The movie follows the adventures of Jing’s character Leng Feng, a Chinese soldier who doesn’t play by the rules.
In this sequel to the first “Wolf Warrior” that came out in 2015, Feng must protect himself and those around him as he makes his way through an unknown location in Africa that’s being attacked by mercenaries and Somalian pirates. The film had a budget of $30.1 million and earned an incredible $874 million.
“Hi, Mom” is a Chinese comedy released in February of 2021. It was written and directed by Jia Ling, who also stars in the movie. The film’s budget was $59 million and it earned $850 million, making it the third-highest-earning film in China.
The film follows Ling’s character Jia Xiaoling transported back in time to the 1980s, twenty years prior to her mother’s fatal car accident. She does her best to befriend her mother in hopes of redeeming herself, feeling she hasn’t been a good enough daughter to her mother. She attempts to alter the course of history to give her mother a better life than she has in her future.
Ne Zha, also spelled Nezha, was released in 2019 and is the fourth highest-earning Chinese film in history and the only 3D animated film on our list. The action-packed film had a budget of $20 million and earned an astounding $742.5 million. It follows the intriguing journey of Ne Zha, born with a demonic nature from the Demon Orb, having been told he is full of good and was born of the Spirit Pearl.
The Wandering Earth
“The Wandering Earth” is a Chinese sci-fi film released in 2019, directed by Frant Gwo. The film has a $50 million budget and earned $700 million, making it the fifth highest-earning Chinese film of all time.
The intense sci-fi film takes place in the year 2061, when a global crisis takes place. The sun is dying and ready to form a red giant that will destroy the earth and everything that inhabits it. Scientists come up with a plan to relocate Earth to another solar system in an attempt to save it. The sequel, “The Wandering Earth 2”, was subsequently announced after the first film’s success and given a 2023 release date.
When your baseball franchise has lasted well over a century, you’re bound to have plenty of managers along the way. A lot of them end up being not so great at the job and don’t last for very long, while others become Hall of Famers. The Baltimore Orioles have had dozens of managers to lead the team throughout the franchise’s history, some of which stuck around for just a couple of games.
Out of all of the men that have managed the Orioles, though, which ones are the best? Here are our picks for the five greatest managers in Baltimore Orioles history.
5. Joe Altobelli
Detroit native Joe Altobelli had a lengthy playing career but spent most of his time in Minor League Baseball. He hit .210 for the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins over three different seasons between 1955 and 1961. In 1977, Altobelli became a manager for the first time, spending three seasons leading the San Francisco Giants.
Altobelli finished with a record of 225-239 with San Francisco and after a few years away from managing, he took over the Orioles in 1983. In his first season, Altobelli won the World Series with the Orioles after a 98-64 regular season. The following season, the Orioles finished 85-77 and in 1985 he was fired after the team started 29-26.
4. Paul Richards
Despite not playing between 1935 and 1943, Paul Richards spent a lot of time in the Major Leagues from 1932 to 1946 as a player for four different franchises. He became the manager for the Chicago White Sox in 1951 but resigned following the 1954 season despite posting a career-best 91-54 record
Richards was hired by the Orioles prior to the 1955 season and was also given the title of general manager, and he spent seven seasons leading the O’s. During that time, Richards had a record of 517-539 before resigning toward the end fo the 1961 season even though the team was on its way to its best record under his leadership.
3. Hank Bauer
Hank Bauer was a fine ballplayer in his time, spending most of his career with the New York Yankees following World War II. Bauer was a three-time All-Star in New York, and he went immediately into managing at the end of his playing career, spending 1961 and 1962 leading the Kansas City Athletics.
In 1964, Bauer made the move to Baltimore where he found immediate success. Bauer won 97 games in his first season, which was followed up with a 94 win campaign. In 1966, Bauer led the Orioles to another 97-win season, but this time they made the World Series and swept the Los Angeles Dodgers for the franchise’s first World Series.
2. Buck Showalter
It seems like the list of teams that Buck Showalter hasn’t managed would actually be shorter, as he’s spent time leading five different franchises in the MLB. From 1992 to 1995, Showalter had the difficult task of managing the Yankees under George Steinbrenner, and from 1998 to 2001 he led the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Following a four-season stint in the mid-2000s with the Texas Rangers, Showalter became manager of the Baltimore Orioles in 2010. He would stay with the team through the 2018 season. It was clear that the Orioles were tanking in his final season and going in a new direction, and if you take out the 47-115 record in that last year, Showalter finished with an impressive 622-569 mark.
1. Earl Weaver
There’s almost no debate that the greatest manager in Orioles history is Earl Weaver, who first took over the team in 1968 and continued his career through the 1982 season. After leaving the franchise for two seasons, Weaver returned to manage the 1985 and 1986 seasons before calling it a career that got him into the Hall of Fame.
Weaver’s Orioles won the American League East six times while he was in the dugout, and made it to the World Series four times. Weaver had one World Series win which came in 1970 after the Orioles defeated the Cincinnati Reds to cap off their 108-win season.
On a global scale, few countries are seeing the type of mainstream reach as South Korea in recent years. Thanks to the rise of Korean filmmakers and artists, there are a lot more celebrities from the country that are making it big more than ever. This includes China, where several Korean celebrities have become megastars thanks to their talents.
Out of all of the Korean celebrities that have achieved stardom in China, which ones stand out the most? Here is a look at five that have transcended pop culture to become icons in their native South Korea, as well as China.
South Korean-born Na Jae-min, also known as Jaemin, is one of the many members of the boy band NCT(Neo Culture Technology)and a sub-unit of the band, NCT Dream. He’s a talented singer, actor, dancer, and rapper. K-pop is one of the most popular genres of music among today’s youth. Jaemin in particular is one of the biggest stars to come out of the K-pop world. In 2020 he was ranked #2 in China’s AiMan Commercial Index, a ranking system for celebrities based on their popularity level in China.
Park Ji-min, primarily known as Jimin, is a singer and dancer from South Korea. He’s one of seven members of the worldwide sensation BTS(Bangtan Boys). I’m 2022, his Chinese-based fan club PARKJIMINBAR went as far as setting up what they call Jiminland, a decked-out party for the singer’s birthday. It took place from October 9th to October 15th in the seven-story P.Ark cultural center at Yeongdo in Busan, South Korea. Something that had never been done before. Jimin’s incredible influence and love for his home of South Korea convinced the center to hold the party in honor of him.
Jeon Jung-kook, known as Jungkook, is the youngest member of the worldwide phenomenon BTS. In China, the South Korean singer is the most popular member of the boy band. His first solo collab topped multiple charts on one of China’s biggest music streaming services, QQ Music. Jungkook also holds the title of the most followed member of BTS on QQ Music, Netease, and a few other popular music streaming services. He also became the sole K-pop solo artist to reach #1 on QQ Music’s Western Hot 100. He has had a successful career thus far in South Korea, China, and the US.
Lee Dong Wook
Lee Dong Wook is a South Korean entertainer, actor, and model. He’s had a successful and busy career thus far, starring in shows like My Girl, Hotel King, Life, Hell is Other People, The Fugitive of Joseon, Scent of a Woman, Nine Tailed, and the most recent Bad and Crazy. He’s had growing success in China, with Hotel King receiving 200 million views on China’s popular streaming service Ai Qi Yi. He also appeared more recently in GQ China, where the magazine interviewed the actor after recently reaching the age of 40.
Jennie Kim, known primarily as Jennie, is one of the four members of the all-female group BLACKPINK. She later debuted her solo single “Solo”, which found success on the Circle Digital Chart, a music record chart in South Korea ranking in the top 200 hits. She’s set to show off her acting prowess in 2023 on HBO’s “The Idol”. BLACKPINK made their long overdue comeback with their recently released album “BORN PINK”, having sold over 800,00 digital albums in China following its release. Making BORN PINK this year’s best-selling female album in China. Even passing Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” album sales by nearly 300,000.
Think about how hard it is to make $100,000. Even if that’s your annual salary, all of the taxes and expenses that you have will make your net worth far less than that. Now think about how much it would take to do that ten times over and officially become a millionaire. That’s the goal that a lot of people have, but for many, the goal is astronomically higher.
To become a billionaire, you have to become a millionaire 1,000 times over. Every billionaire got their start somewhere, and it’s usually the first million that meant the most to them and allowed them to shoot for the stars. Here’s a look at five of the world’s most notable billionaires and how they made their first million.
Nobody took advantage of the old forms of music media quite like Richard Branson, who started the Virgin brand back in the early 1970s and saw it transform into megastores and even transportation throughout the years.
When he was just 16 years old, Branson started a magazine called “Student” after his initial idea of selling Christmas trees didn’t pan out. The magazine sold well enough to earn Branson some revenue from advertising space, but it was what it turned into that made Branson rich. He used the magazine to start a mail-order business, selling music records for less than stores were charging. Soon enough, Branson started his own record shop and, thus, Virgin was born.
Some billionaires are perfectly content with running operations while receiving no public attention, but not Elon Musk. The South African-born Musk is the founder of SpaceX and CEO of Tesla, two cutting-edge companies that have received global attention.
Musk had multiple business ventures during his teenage years, which even included selling the rights to a video game he developed for $500. It wasn’t until he received a loan of nearly $30,000 from his father that he was able to hit it big, starting the company Zip2 which served as an online city guide. Musk founded the company with his brother Kimbal Musk and Greg Kouri, with Elon making $22 million when the company was sold to Compaq in 1999.
One of the most accessible billionaires in the world, Mark Cuban is known for his time on the television series “Shark Tank” and his ownership of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. Cuban also started the Cost Plus Drug Company that took the internet by storm.
Cuban always had a mind for business from his childhood when he was selling everything from stamps to garbage bags. Cuban worked several jobs in early adulthood and eventually started his own company called MicroSolutions. The business created a lot of technologies that are still used today, and revenues were large enough for Cuban to earn $6 million from the company’s sale to CompuServe. In turn, he was able to launch Audionet and Broadcast.com which would make him incredibly rich.
You can’t take three steps in any direction or make three clicks on the internet without running into Amazon. The man behind the company is Jeff Bezos, who has often found himself at the top of list of the world’s richest people.
Bezos wasn’t exactly poor due to his experience in finance in his 20s but still needed money to help boost Amazon after its creation in the mid-1990s. After receiving $300,000 from his parents, Bezos launched Amazon but was losing money at first just to get its name out there. It wasn’t until 1997 that Bezos became a millionaire after the first Amazon initial public offering in 1997.
These days, Detroit-native Steve Ballmer is known for being the owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers after retiring, but he’s made billions thanks to his innovations in software and was the face of Microsoft for more than a decade.
By the time the 1980s rolled around, there were only a couple of dozen employees at Microsoft. Ballmer became the 30th after he had dropped out of Stanford graduate school and left Procter & Gamble. Speaking of gambling, Ballmer risked his career by making the move, but his devotion to Gates and Microsoft paid off. In 2000, Ballmer became the company’s CEO and in 2003 sold most of his shares that earned him nearly $1 billion in one transaction.
Almost every team in Major League Baseball has signed a player to a contract that they would come to regret for years. From the Mets still paying for Bobby Bonilla well after his retirement to Washington Nationals giving $175 million to an already-injured Steven Strasburg, there has been a lot of overpays in baseball history.
The Baltimore Orioles are no stranger to these types of deals, either. While some of the other teams in the division like the Yankees or Red Sox are more known for being free agent destinations, there are some Orioles signings that have been head-scratching in retrospect. Here are the five worst contracts that the O’s have given out.
5. Brian Roberts
When there’s a beloved player in the franchise that has been there for years, you tend to do whatever you can to keep them happy and have them stick around. That’s what the Orioles did for second baseman Brian Roberts in 2010. Leading up to that point, Roberts was a two-time All-Star who could hit for average and routinely flashed the leather.
The only problem, though, was that Roberts was already 32 years old by the time the 2010 season came around, but the Orioles gave him a four-year contract worth $40 million. Over those four years, Roberts played in fewer than 200 games, including one season with just 17 games. After his contract, Roberts finished his career with the Yankees to nullify being a potential Orioles lifer.
4. Ubaldo Jimenez
Ubaldo Jimenez spent much of his career with the Colorado Rockies where he defied the odds by being a good pitcher at Coors Field, posting a 3.66 earned run average and a 56-45 record in five-plus seasons. Jimenez was dealt to the Cleveland Indians where he remained through the 2013 season before the Orioles signed the former All-Star to a four-year deal worth $50 million.
Jimenez struggled right out of the gate, posting a 6-9 record with a 4.81 ERA, but would have a bit of a rebound in his second year. Over the final two seasons of his contract, though, things fell apart quickly and he combined to go 14-23 with an ERA over 6. Jimenez’s career was finished as soon as his contract was following the 2017 season.
3. Sidney Ponson
Sidney Ponson is one of those stories of what could have been in Major League Baseball. He started his career with the Orioles in 1998, and the Aruban was a fine pitcher that finished the 2003 season with a 14-6 record and 3.77 earned run average. During that season, however, Ponson was traded to the Giants before becoming a free agent.
Ponson returned to Baltimore as the team offered him $22.5 million over three years, but he would only last for two trouble-filled years. Ponson had several run-ins with the law, including two arrests for driving under the influence. When he was on the field, Ponson posted a record of 18-26 during those two years and an ERA close to 6 before the Orioles cut their losses.
2. Albert Belle
Albert Belle was known for being a bit of a hothead, but an overall great player during his time with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox. A five-time Silver Slugger Award winner and All-Star, Belle had actually signed a five-year deal with the White Sox but it was nullified after two due to a stipulation about his salary.
When Belle became a free agent, the Orioles gave him $65 million for five years. Just like he did in Chicago, though, Belle lasted for just two seasons. Though he was solid in those two years, Belle’s degenerating hip cost him the remainder of his career after 2000 and he missed the final three seasons of the contract before heading into retirement. Had he continued to produce the way he did at the start of his deal, Belle would have been worth it.
1. Chris Davis
After starting his career as a slugger for the Texas Rangers where he hit 42 home runs, Chris Davis was traded to the Baltimore Orioles during the middle of the 2011 season for Koji Uehara. Davis had a strong rest of the season over 31 games and then put together an All-Star campaign in 2013 with 53 home runs and 138 runs batted in.
Davis saw a huge drop in his batting average the next year but rebounded nicely in 2015 to earn himself a seven-year contract with Baltimore for $161 million. Much of the contract was deferred, and Davis was done by the end of the 2020 season and at his worst was batting just .168 over a full season.
There have been hundreds of players that have been able to say they played with the Baltimore Orioles. From legends like Cal Ripken Jr. and Eddie Murray to Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer, there hasn’t been a shortage of franchise greats.
There have also been some legendary players that you may have completely forgotten wore an Orioles jersey at one point, though. Here are five forgotten Orioles that made their way to the Hall of Fame.
5. Nelson Cruz
Nelson Cruz may go down as one of the most underrated players of the 21st century. After beginning his career with the Brewers, Cruz spent the bulk of his career playing with the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners from 2006 to 2018. For one year (2014) in between, though, Cruz became a member of the Baltimore Orioles after becoming a free agent.
Cruz had been under investigation for use of performance-enhancing drugs and was looking for a one-year deal with any team willing to take on the risk of having him. Cruz signed with the Orioles, making $8 million in the process. The gamble paid off for the O’s as Cruz was an All-Star in his one season and set a career-high for games played with 159. He’d finish with an impressive .271 batting average, 40 home runs, and 108 runs batted in.
4. Sammy Sosa
You don’t have to go very far down the list of career home run leaders to see Sammy Sosa’s name as he is a member of the rare 600 club, hitting 609 dingers in his career. Sosa, of course, is most known for his days as a Chicago Cub where he led the National League in home runs twice (2000 and 2002).
After more than a decade with the Cubs, the team traded the former franchise cornerstone for Jerry Hairston Jr., Mike Fontenot, and Dave Crouthers. While none of those players really panned out for the Cubs, Sosa didn’t do much for the Orioles, either. Sosa played just one season, hitting a paltry .221 with 14 home runs and 45 runs batted in before he took a year off of baseball and ended his career where it started, with the Texas Rangers.
3. Jim Thome
Another member of the 600 home run club, Jim Thome was a beloved franchise player for the Cleveland Indians from 1991 to 2002 before heading to the Phillies and White Sox for a few years. Thome became a journeyman toward the end of his career, adding stints with the Dodgers and Twins while even returning to Cleveland and Philly.
Thome ended his career with the Orioles, however. The Orioles were in line for a playoff run and wanted to acquire someone that has played in many playoff games, so they dealt for Thome for the final half of 2012. In 28 games with the O’s, Thome hit three home runs while batting .257 as the team made its way to the postseason.
2. Vladimir Guerrero
One of the most unique free-swingers in baseball, Vladimir Guerrero is a Hall of Famer that split the first 14 years of his career between the Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Angels. Before his son, Vlad Jr., made it into the league, Guerrero had one year with the Texas Rangers in 2010, and when he became a free agent, he signed with the Orioles for one year and $8 million for the 2011 season.
It would be the final season in Guerrero’s career, and he actually fared quite well at 36 years old. Guerrero had a .290 average while only missing a couple of games, but the power was mostly gone as he hit just 13 home runs at the Orioles but came up short of the playoffs.
1. Reggie Jackson
The man known as “Mr. October” thanks to his time with the New York Yankees was also known for being a mainstay of the Athletics franchise as they moved from Kansas City to Oakland. Jackson wrapped up his career with the Angels and a return to the Athletics but had a short stint between Oakland and New York when he played for the Orioles.
In 1976, Jackson played 134 games for Baltimore where he had a solid season, hitting .277 with 27 home runs and 91 runs batted in while stealing a career-high 28 bases. Jackson became a free agent after a fallout with the front office following the season, though, and signed with the Yankees.