Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Brian Roberts, 2012 Topps #514

I'm home from Sarasota, and it looks like I might have brought some warmer weather home with me. I'll share some photos from Ed Smith Stadium tomorrow, but I didn't want to bury the unexpected highlight of the trip. On Sunday afternoon, I met Brian Roberts.

We were staying with my brother-in-law Robby and his fiance Jordan; they live 15 minutes away from the ballpark. They'd already mentioned that Jordan's family had made the former Oriole's acquaintance. When we arrived on Thursday evening, Jordan told us that his folks would like to meet us, and that his nephew's fifth birthday party was Sunday. He said that Brian Roberts might be stopping by as well, but I took that to mean it wasn't a sure thing.

We stopped by the party site, Bounce Down Under - "Sarasota's largest Aussie-themed indoor inflatable party and play center" - on our way to that afternoon's O's-Twins game. I was busy trying not to look out of place at a kid's birthday party when Robby pointed out that Brian was right in front of us. Jordan handled the introductions, and Brian was very friendly. He asked who the Orioles were playing, admitting that he wasn't keeping close tabs. (Really, who does? It's the Grapefruit League.) I told him that it was our first spring training visit to Sarasota, but that it seemed like a much better venue than Fort Lauderdale, where I'd taken in a few games in 2008 when the Birds were still training there. He assured me that he loved the city itself, but that the Orioles' former facility was "a dump".

My wife, my sister, and I stayed long enough to have pizza and cake, and I debated approaching Roberts again to ask for a photo. However, he was busy with daddy duty most of the time, and I didn't want to impose. But as we were about to leave, Brian actually took notice and said that it was nice to meet us. I took advantage of the opening and asked if he'd mind posing for a picture. As you can see, I might be taller, but Brian has a much better tan. My sister is on the right; my wife was the photographer.
So that's how I met Brian Roberts while standing mere feet away from an inflatable basketball court and an unfortunate person in a furry kangaroo suit.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Brad Pennington, 1994 Fleer Ultra #7

Brad Pennington is a natural for my weird face theme week, since he usually looked like he was going to vomit when he was pitching. I'm sure that anybody who remembers his body of work with the Orioles can sympathize.

Sadly, our theme week ends here. Less sadly, it's because I'll be flying down to Sarasota tomorrow to visit my brother-in-law...and the Orioles, as we're taking in a couple of games at Ed Smith Stadium this weekend. I'll see you next week, with pictures and stories!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Brooks Robinson, 2012 Topps Golden Greats #GG-78

Today's odd Orioles face: Brooks Robinson passes a kidney stone in the midst of the fourth inning. Yes, he still gunned the runner out by two steps. That's why the man was the best at what he did.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Melvin Mora, 2005 Topps Total Silver #565

I haven't done a theme week in a while, so I'll spend this week unearthing action shots with O's players making unusual faces. Yesterday was Mike Young's open-mouthed gape as he ran the bases. Today I present Melvin Mora grimacing in the midst of a jump-throw. It's really quite poetic.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Mike Young, 1985 Topps #173

You might think that Mike Young is sending the wrong message by yawning noticeably while taking his lead off of second base, but he's actually playing possum. The catcher thinks he's bored and disinterested and tries to fire a pickoff throw down to the bag to catch the runner unawares, but it's a humid day and the ball slips out of his fingers. Mike's already standing on third base, and now he's laughing.

Sure, Young was a mere 6-for-8 in steals in 1984, but maybe he just knew how and when to pick his spots.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Chris Hoiles, 1992 Upper Deck Ted Williams' Best Hitters of the Future #T16

As hard as it is for me to believe, yesterday was Chris Hoiles' 50th birthday. To celebrate such a significant milestone for one of my favorite childhood players, I thought I'd share some nice things that Ted Williams said about him over 20 years ago:

"Good, solid, quick swing. Excels at my philosophy: get a good pitch to hit, swing with a slight uppercut and be quick. A pull hitter with power and intensity. Confidence about his abilities strengthens his game."

Hey, what could be better than a stamp of approval from the Splendid Splinter?

Friday, March 20, 2015

Vintage Fridays: Mike Cuellar, 1972 Topps #70

Who wants to play catch with Mike Cuellar? He promises not to throw the screwball without warning. He also breaks his promises.