Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Paul Carey, 1993 Fleer Final Edition #F-158

I'm featuring a #88 today because it's my great uncle Bill's 88th birthday. I'm not much of a mathematician, but I'm pretty sure he was born in 1926. If you want to put that in context, there were only 16 MLB teams back then, and the Orioles still existed as the St. Louis Browns. The Cardinals outlasted the Yankees in a seven-game World Series. In the decisive game, 39-year-old pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander earned the save by stranding the bases loaded in the seventh inning and staying on to get the last seven outs. With St. Louis clinging to a 3-2 lead, Babe Ruth unexpectedly made the last out by getting caught stealing at second base with Bob Meusel at bat. We've come a long way. Happy birthday, Uncle Bill!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Harold Baines, 1994 Leaf #84

Yesterday news broke that Orioles hitting coach Jim Presley was stepping aside for personal reasons. So far, the news is less about who might be the next man to take the job, and more about who's not interested. That star-studded list includes:

-Former Indians and Phillies manager Charlie Manuel
-Jim Thome, who hit the final three of his 612 career home runs as an Oriole
-Harold Baines
-B. J. Surhoff
-Brady Anderson
-Raul Ibanez (BOO HIS 2012 NEVER FORGET)

Most of the above were uninterested in committing to the daily grind and travel of the 162-game season, which is their prerogative. Baines was content to stay in Chicago, and that undead creep Ibanez doesn't plan on taking a lowly coaching role if he doesn't get the Rays' managerial job (he's one of three finalists).

But the O's could still wind up hiring a familiar face - or promoting one, for that matter; current minor league hitting instructor Jeff Manto was the first candidate interviewed. He's not Jim Thome, but then, none of us are.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Corey Patterson, 2007 Topps #22

Remember the days when baseball dugouts weren't plastered with advertisements and logos? Today I posted Tim Hulett's card on my 1993 Topps blog, and I was almost surprised by how bare the visitors dugout looked in the background. Compare that to the Corey Patterson card above, which seems to be sponsored by New Era. I guess this is the way of things. Two decades ago, rotating signs on the backstop were an affront to the eyes, but at some point we probably stopped noticing them. Eventually, there will be ads on player uniforms, and we'll all adjust to it, or else feebly complain to nobody in particular. There's money to be made.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Javy Lopez, 2005 Playoff Prestige #18

A few thoughts on a Sunday afternoon:

-Need a unique, dynamic photo for your baseball card? Why not go with a power-hitting catcher jogging back across the infield after making an out? (At least that's what this looks like. Wouldn't be my first choice.)

-Javy Lopez is wearing a mid-1970s throwback uniform, though it always bugged me when the Orioles didn't bother with throwback batting helmets. Go all-out or don't do it at all.

-I didn't realize how much I liked the orange jerseys until the O's finally brought them back a few years ago. I don't think it's a coincidence that Baltimore's return to respectability went hand-in-hand with the revival of orange jerseys and the cartoon bird. I'm only half-joking.

-Look at this dull-as-dishwater card design and tell me why Donruss (who oversaw the Playoff brand) went belly-up.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Radhames Liz, 2008 Bowman #201

Radhames Liz hasn't pitched in the major leagues since he managed to cough up 10 runs while getting four outs in a pair of disastrous relief appearances with the Orioles in 2009. That left him with a career ERA of 7.50 in 28 total games. Since then, he's pitched in the minors for the Padres and Blue Jays for a season each, bookending a three-year stint with the LG Twins in Korea. Overseas, he posted a 26-38 record with a 3.51 ERA. Now Liz is 31, and he's hoping to be the Pirates' latest rehab project. Last year, they went dumpster-diving and came up with solid returns from Francisco Liriano, Edinson Volquez, and Vance Worley. Pittsburgh apparently saw enough promise in the right-hander that they gave him a spot on the 40-man roster and a major league contract. Can a pitcher with three quality starts in 21 tries become a key contributor to a contender? Stranger things have happened, I guess.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Vintage Fridays: Don Buford, 1972 Topps #370

Whoops, the night has gotten away from me. So here's Don Buford, giving us all the side-eye. I don't know what you did, but he looks pretty pissed off.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Omar Daal, 2003 Topps Total #623

There's laughably bad Photoshop, and then there's this half-assed attempt to digitally change Omar Daal from a Los Angeles Dodger into a Baltimore Oriole. Is that the tiniest jersey wordmark you've ever seen? That's without even mentioning that he appears to be wearing road grays, and yet "Orioles" is in black lettering, as per the Birds' home uniforms at that time. This image doesn't portend great things, and so it went for the 31-year-old lefty in Charm City, the final destination of his big league career. You've got to fail on a grand scale to be the worst starter in a rotation featuring a sophomore-slumping Rodrigo Lopez (7-10, 5.82 ERA, 1.57 WHIP) and a past-his-prime Rick Helling (7-8, 5.71 ERA, 1.41 WHIP). Heck, even Damian Moss (1-5, 6.22 ERA after arriving from the Giants in the Sidney Ponson deadline deal) wasn't appreciably worse than Omar. He went 4-11 in 19 appearances with a 6.34 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP. He allowed nearly 13 hits per nine innings. Then poof, he was gone. You can see why I still shake my head when I hear or read that the current Orioles have a surplus of starting pitchers. It's been a long time coming.