Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Mike Trombley, 2000 Fleer Tradition #117

On the heels of last weekend's four-game sweep at the hands of the Twins, I was going to mention that I had suddenly grown to dislike Minnesota's team. But really, that's not a new development. I've long harbored a sense of resentment for the way the Twinkies seemed to roll over and play dead every single time they faced the Yankees in the postseason. Seriously, they lost four Division Series to New York in an eight-year span. How is that even possible? The Orioles also imported their share of free-agent duds from the Twins back in the deep, dark 2000s. There's Mike Trombley, with his seven blown saves and three additional losses in Y2K. How about Marty Cordova, with his tanning bed injury? I'm also willing to include 2003's Rule 5 draft flop, infielder Jose Morban. The Birds kept him on the roster all year, just so he could cough up a .141/.187/.225 batting line (9 OPS+) in 77 plate appearances, never to be heard from again. So thanks for nothing, Twins. It's going to take more than one J. J. Hardy trade heist for us to be even.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Boog Powell, 1994 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes #195

On this date in 1966, the Orioles wrenched victory from the jaws of defeat with some timely pinch hitting. It was a run-of-the-mill Friday game pitting the first-place Orioles against the tenth-place Red Sox, and only 13,657 fans turned out to Memorial Stadium to witness it. They didn't have much to cheer about through eight and a half innings, as Boston pitcher Lee Stange had scattered six singles and a pair of walks while striking out only one batter. John Miller was even better for the O's, yielding just three singles and two walks and striking out seven. But the Sox bunched their runners together and scraped together single runs in the eighth and ninth innings, positioning Miller for a hard-luck loss.

With catcher Larry Haney and reliever Eddie Fisher due up against Stange in the last half of the ninth, manager Hank Bauer called upon his reserves. First he sent another catcher, Vic Roznovsky, up to bat for Haney. The result was a pinch-hit home run, spoiling the shutout. Bauer's next move was a true no-brainer. Curt Blefary had started the game for the Birds at first base, leaving Boog Powell free to bat in the pitcher's spot representing the tying run. Next thing you know, BOOM, the ball was gone, the game was tied, and Stange had been pulled. It was only the third time in major league history that two pinch hitters had slugged back-to-back home runs. The Orioles loaded the bases against reliever Don McMahon with one out, but Russ Snyder was forced at home on a Blefary grounder and Bob Johnson popped out to send it to extra innings.

Finally, in the bottom of the 12th, the O's were victorious against Boston relievers Dan Osinski and Jose Santiago. Paul Blair led off with a single, Roznovsky (who had stayed in to catch) bunted him to second, Boog was intentionally walked, and Luis Aparicio earned a free pass to load the bases. Santiago was summoned from the bullpen and promptly gave up the walkoff single to Snyder. Baltimore won 3-2 and extended their considerable lead over the second-place Tigers to 12.5 games. And so few were there to see it all happen!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Scott Erickson, 1997 Collector's Choice #37

Sometimes I feel that Scott Erickson and Will Ferrell's Anchorman character Ron Burgundy are kindred spirits. Any of the following Burgundy quotes could easily be a caption for the picture on this card:

"Hey, everyone! Come see how good I look!"

"It's a formidable scent...it stings the nostrils. In a good way."

"I'm in a glass case of emotion!"

"You know I don't speak Spanish."

"I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany."

"I'm a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn. That's what kind of man I am."

"I'm storming your castle on my steed, m'lady!"

Let's watch Anchorman instead of the Orioles. Whaddaya say?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Paul Kilgus, 1991 Crown/Coca-Cola All-Time Orioles #499

I had an unexpected Paul Kilgus sighting today, though I suppose any Paul Kilgus sighting would be unexpected. The Bowling Green, Kentucky native is coaching for his hometown team in the Little League World Series. Earlier this afternoon, the kids from Kentucky eked out a 4-3 win over Taylors, South Carolina in an elimination game. Just moments after I tuned into the game, Kilgus had to bail out of the first base coaches' box to evade a screaming line drive from one of his young players. If nothing else, he's still got excellent reflexes.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Melvin Mora, 2003 Upper Deck Vintage #132

The expression on Melvin Mora's face says what I'm thinking tonight: baseball is dumb and we're dumb for liking it. How is it possible to score three runs or less in six straight games against the Twins?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Vintage Fridays: Paul Richards, 1960 Topps #224

The Orioles' fortunes are looking as rough as this deeply creased Paul Richards card. A team with playoff aspirations shouldn't lose two straight home games against a reeling Twins team. Last night, the O's were listless in a rain-delayed 15-2 beatdown. Tonight, they mustered five hits against marshmallow-tossing lefty Tom Milone, but still held a 3-1 lead going into the eighth with Darren O'Day taking the mound. A walk, a hit batter, two bloop hits, and an infield single made that lead disappear faster than you could say "what the hell is going on?". The 2015 Orioles have let so many winnable games slip away from them, and that's incredibly frustrating when a possible postseason berth is so readily available for the taking. It's all the more so because of the team's uncertain future, with key players like Wei-Yin Chen, Matt Wieters, Chris Davis, and Darren O'Day primed for free agency. There's no telling when the Birds may have another chance like this.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Dan Ford, 1982 Topps Traded #35T

Hey, it's Disco Danny! I already had this card, but I just picked up another copy when I bought a 1982 Topps Traded set from a local hobby shop for ten bucks. Before you go thinking that I got the steal of the century, I will clarify that the set does not contain card #98T - you know, that Ripken guy. This omission was clearly stated on the price tag sticker, so there's no need to go to the Better Business Bureau. I'm just thrilled to have a (near) complete master set of Topps from the year of my birth, and the 1982 Traded set features terrible airbrushed caps aplenty and a few Hall of Famers tossed in for good measure: Reggie Jackson, Fergie Jenkins, Gaylord Perry, and Ozzie Smith to be precise. Oh, and Cal, who I'm now obligated to track down for the sake of a completed set. Fortunately, a cursory check of a few online hobby dealers suggests that Junior's first-year card can be gotten in the neighborhood of $100. That's one-third of the price that it fetched the last time I truly paid attention to such things. So it's certainly an easier "get" than Brooks Robinson's 1957 Topps rookie card.