Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Brian Roberts, 2008 Topps Finest #104

And then there was one.

Last night's 3-2 walkoff win over the Yankees chopped the magic number to three, and tonight's contentious 5-2 victory over the Blue Jays knocked it down to one. The Orioles will take the field at 7:05 tomorrow evening with a chance to sew up their first American League East division crown since 1997. The Yankees have officially been eliminated with another low-scoring walkoff loss tonight, as Tampa Bay eked out a 1-0 win in the bottom of the ninth. That 1997 date keeps cropping up; that was also the last time that the O's finished ahead of New York in the standings. Tonight's winning pitcher was Wei-Yin Chen, whose record improves to a sterling 16-4. He is now the team's winningest lefthander since Jimmy Key in...1997.

A friend who is a Yankee fan (no, those are not mutually exclusive terms) was venting his frustrations on Twitter last night as manager Joe Girardi called upon a noticeably weary David Robertson to face the Birds for the third straight day. Robertson allowed doubles to three of the four Baltimore batters that he faced (Nelson Cruz, Steve Pearce, and Kelly Johnson) in blowing the save before an ESPN viewing audience. My friend noted that the Yankees were five games out of the wild card as of last night, and they've had an exceptionally poor season series against the Orioles. It's 11-4 in favor of the O's with four games remaining between the two in the Bronx next week. If the Yanks indeed miss out on the postseason, the Orioles will take their fair share of credit. It's been a long time coming.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Earl Weaver, 2004 Maryland Lottery #40

With Toronto's 10-inning loss to the Rays this afternoon, the magic number is an Earl Weaver-esque four. The Orioles have battled to a stalemate with the Yankees through six innings, so we could still get into Harold Baines (or Curt Blefary, or Bobby Grich, pick your preference) territory before the Jays come to town tomorrow. No matter how you slice it, the O's can clinch at Camden Yards if they take care of business this week. I have tickets to Tuesday and Wednesday's games, and I am more excited than I can say.

In unrelated news, today I celebrated one year of marriage. So far, so good!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Rick Dempsey, 1982 Donruss #77

Rick Dempsey turned 65 today, and I'm grateful that he finally stopped dying his hair and mustache so dark.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Vintage Fridays: Brooks Robinson, 1961 Topps #10

Just like that, the magic number is five. All it took was the Orioles' first doubleheader sweep of the Yankees in three decades, and a 1-0 Rays win over the Blue Jays. The O's have won 10 of 13 against New York this year, and held them to a single run in 20 innings today. Some time in the next week, they're really going to clinch.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Oriole Park at Camden Yards, 2009 Topps Orioles Team Set #BAL15

I'll be here tomorrow. Of course, now there's a rooftop bar, a statue courtyard in the picnic area, and a lot more fans in the stands, but Oriole Park at Camden Yards remains the same ballpark that the baseball world loved when it opened 22 years ago. Tampa Bay choked away leads to the Yankees last night and tonight, so it'll take a four-game sweep this weekend for the O's to eliminate New York from the A. L. East race. That's no easy task, even though the Birds clearly have the better team in 2014. But they have to start somewhere, and I'm going to see my first doubleheader tomorrow, so maybe the groundwork will be laid.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cal Ripken Jr., 1995 Leaf Opening Day #6

Eight.

The O's did indeed hold off Boston last night, 4-1. They completed the sweep and clinched a season series win against the Red Sox with a 10-6 win today that featured 10 different players scoring the Orioles' runs, as well as five and a third perfect innings from starter Wei-Yin Chen. Joe Saunders tried to make a nine-run lead disappear in the ninth, but Darren O'Day earned an unexpected save to bail him out. Elsewhere, the Yankees lost 4-3 to the Rays last night and fell back to third place, with Toronto leapfrogging them with a 9-2 win over the Cubs. Toronto's played two more games, however, so they are even with the Yanks when it comes to the magic number calculations. This evening, the Rays have blown a four-run lead over New York; it's tied 4-4 at the moment. The Blue Jays are whipping up on the Cubbies again, so it looks like we'll stay put with Cal Ripken for the time being. Tomorrow's a deserved day off for the Orioles before Friday's doubleheader against the fading Yankees. So it'll be more scoreboard watching for Birdland.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Adam Jones, 2011 Topps Orioles Team Seat #BAL2

If I have any sense - which is debatable - I will be in bed by the time tonight's Orioles game is over. So the magic number countdown will resume tomorrow, and it will be a good one if current trends hold. The Yankees are trailing the Rays in the seventh inning right now, and the O's are holding a 4-1 sixth-inning lead over Boston. Three Baltimore home runs have accounted for the team's offense. The first two were from Alejandro de Aza, which is unexpected. The third was an absolute moon shot over the Green Monster by Adam Jones, which is somewhat more expected. This particular four-bagger was number 25 of the season for Adam, making him the first outfielder in Oriole history with four consecutive 25-homer seasons. Oh, and either a Birds win or a Yankee loss would reduce the magic number to 10, so maybe I got the jump on the countdown anyhow. I'd still like to skip right to nine, but I'm doing my best to jam the brakes.