That was because of the bonus baby rule. Today an 18-year-old would automatically go to Aberdeen or maybe Delmarva if really highly regarded. Back then there was a rule that if you signed for more than $X you had to spend a whole year or two in the majors, kind of like the Rule 5 now. So Kaline got 30 PAs in his age-18 season. But he turned out okay.
All time best players born in Maryland but never Orioles: Foxx, Kaline, Home Run Baker, Cupid Childs*, Charlie Keller, Bill Nicholson, Brian Jordan, Buck Herzog, Dave Foutz^, Billy Werber, Babe Phelps. Pitchers include Lefty Grove (not really, he won over 100 games for the IL O's), HOFer Vic Willis, and Eddie Rommel. Bobby Mathews never played for the Orioles, but he did play for the NA Baltimore Canaries in '72 when he went 25-18 and led the league in Ks and BBs.
* Childs is a near-HOFer, and he did play six games for the Eastern League Orioles near the tail end of his career.
^ I bet none of you has heard of Foutz, despite his 1887 season where he hit .357, and went 25-12 on the mound. Won 41 games for St. Louis in '86.
Note that I left off Mark Teixeira, because Mark Teixeira sucks.
Nothing against Nick, but Kaline's career is kind of what we wanted Nick Markakis to be. 7-win peak early on, then above-average to near-MVP level for the better part of 20 years. Big difference was Nick came up at 22, Kaline at 18. Kaline was a bit odd in that his best year was at 20. Had some other really good seasons, but never quite up to his batting title and .967 OPS year early on.
Palmer did pretty well against Kaline, who hit .217/.321/.370 off him. But Kaline has become an underrated player over time. You never really hear much about him. He was an outstanding two-way player who was a 15-time all star and 10-time Gold Glover. Players like that don’t grow on trees.
I'm not taking about the roster though, I'm taking about the prospects. Guys like Adley and Rodriguez just don't get a full year of game experience to get better. They'll be a year older and no better. And the Os miss out on the control.
Oh my children, you must read this. Many years and many readings later it’s still one of the funniest baseball bits ever.