Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Eddie Murray, 1985 Donruss 3x5 All-Stars #9

I got mail today! It was a pair of plain white envelopes taped together, from Friend of Blog (TM) Randy. Included were some 23 O's cards, many of which were brand new to me. I'll hold a few back for the coming days, but this was my absolute favorite from a sheer visual standpoint. The very 80's Tron border, the postcard size (because the only thing better than an Eddie Murray card is a BIGGER Eddie Murray card), and of course, the sheer Eddie-ness of both the action shot and the inset headshot. Some day I might have to make a list of my favorite cards of ol' number 33. Thanks, Randy!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bob Melvin, 1991 Donruss #335

It's past my bedtime, and I'm glued to the American League Wild Card Game on my television. In the bottom of the ninth, Bob Melvin's Athletics are trying to close out a 7-6 win over Jeremy Guthrie's Royals. I have no real stakes in this game, but I can't stop watching. The playoffs have just begun. I might be a wreck by the time the weekend gets here...

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mike Devereaux, 1991 Stadium Club #555

"Good evening, and welcome to 'The Mike Devereaux Show'! Tonight we have two special guests who will be sitting down to chat with Devo: Sam Horn and Leo Gomez! It's sure to be a fantastic show, and...what's that? Tonight's episode has been cancelled due to total lack of interest. Well, that's too bad. Thanks for tuning in anyway!"

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mickey Tettleton, 1989 Score #358

162 games are in the books, and the playoff matchups are set. Here in Baltimore, we'll be hosting the Detroit Tigers on Thursday in the American League Division Series. People are going to go gaga over the guys from the Motor City because they have big names in their starting rotation: Max Scherzer, David Price, Justin Verlander. That's great, but Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Bud Norris, and Miguel Gonzalez are all having quite good seasons in their own right. Detroit beat the O's five times in six meetings this season, but those games were all in April, and each team moved in a different direction as the year wore on. The Orioles were the club that left their division rivals in the dust, finishing 96-66 and  wrapping up the AL East crown with 11 games left to play. The Tigers frittered away a seven-game lead in the Central on two separate occasions, and had to wait until today's regular season finale to pop the champagne. I like our chances.

To put it another way, the Birds gave away Mickey Tettleton to the Tigers in January 1991. There won't be any more gifts this October.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Cal Ripken Jr., 2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Preview #GCP-11

I visited my parents this evening, and my father suggested that I've been "mailing it in" with some of my recent blog posts. Can you believe that? I mean, if I were giving less than a full effort, I would probably just grab the first Cal Ripken card I could find for tonight's entry, since I have hundreds of cards of the Iron Man. It doesn't take a lot of heavy lifting to spit out a few thoughts about the Iron Man.

If I were really on auto-pilot, I would deflect attention from myself by pointing out that the Orioles have been sleepwalking through the past week, losing series to the inferior Red Sox and Blue Jays and splitting with the zombified Yankees. They've been firmly locked into the second division champion seed in the American League for a while, so they're resting key players and giving significant field time to the Steve Clevengers and Alexi Casillas and Evan Meeks of the world, to ensure that they've got a reasonably healthy 25-man roster when the ALDS begins on Thursday. I don't blame them, but it doesn't inspire many wise words from yours truly.

Or maybe I could talk about the slapdash portrait of Cal Junior on this five-year-old Upper Deck card. It's meant to depict the youthful O's shortstop circa 1983, when he was the AL MVP and helped lead Baltimore to their third World Series crown. Yet number 8 looks haggard - deep bags under his eyes, heavy creases lining his face. He bears a stronger resemblance to Sir Anthony Hopkins than to Ripken. Also, what kind of baseball field is that? From the angle of the picture and the curvature of the infield dirt, it looks like Cal's playing second base.

So yeah...everyone's a critic.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Vintage Fridays: Dave McNally, 1966 Topps #193

On this date in 1962, Dave McNally took the mound as a major leaguer for the first time, making a late-season start in the opener of a doubleheader for the seventh-place Orioles against the visiting ninth-place Athletics. In other words, the few fans in attendance at Memorial Stadium had no reason to expect that they were witnessing something special. The O's scratched out a pair of second-inning runs off of Kansas City starter Bill Fischer, but couldn't muster anything else against him in seven innings. Luckily, the rookie Baltimore pitcher didn't need much support from his offense. After a few bumps in the early innings, McNally found his groove. A fourth-inning single by Ed Charles gave the A's runners on first and second with one out. From that point onward, Dave retired the last 17 batters he faced. Jerry Adair tacked on a solo home run off of Johnny Wyatt in the eighth inning to provide the final margin. 3-0 Orioles, as Dave McNally announced his presence with a two-hit, three-walk shutout. It was the first of 181 wins and 33 shutouts that the Montana native collected in orange and black. He's still the winningest lefty in team history, and also ranks first among O's southpaws in strikeouts and shutouts.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

B. J. Surhoff, 1996 Score Select #133

In exactly one week, I will be at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, watching Chris Tillman and the Orioles do their best to win the first game of the American League Division Series. Their opponent is not set in stone yet, but it's probably going to be the Detroit Tigers. Until then, I'll try to wait patiently.

One thing I can do to pass the time is search the video library on MLB.com. A few nights ago, I went searching for 1990s Orioles highlights. There were a few clips from Game One of the 1996 ALDS, the first postseason game in Baltimore in 13 years and the first ever at Camden Yards. It's a nice glimpse of the exciting atmosphere, and it should rekindle some warm memories for O's fans.

The Wild Card-winning Birds outslugged the Indians 10-4, adding four home runs to their record-setting regular season total of 257. Brady Anderson kept up his improbable season with a leadoff home run off of Charles Nagy in the bottom of the first, only for Manny Ramirez to answer with his on leadoff blast against David Wells in the next half-inning. B. J. Surhoff's rebuttal came in the bottom of the second, a go-ahead solo shot to right-center field. The Orioles kept up the pressure in the third inning, with Rafael Palmeiro and Cal Ripken each adding a run-scoring hit. Wells gave both runs right back, and then things cooled off for a few innings.

In the bottom of the sixth, Baltimore chased Nagy with two walks sandwiched around a single. Alan Embree came out of the Tribe bullpen and got Roberto Alomar to hit a shallow fly ball for the second out, but Chris Hoiles tagged and scored the fifth run for the home team. Embree plunked Palmeiro to re-load the bases and gave way to Paul Shuey. Bobby Bonilla worked the count full and then launched Shuey's sixth pitch onto the flag court for a game-breaking grand slam. The Indians pushed across a single run in their next at-bat to end Wells' day, but the O's bullpen wriggled out of further trouble. Terry Mathews, of all people, coaxed an inning-ending groundout from Albert Belle with runners on second and third. Surhoff capped the scoring after the seventh-inning stretch with his second homer of the game, another solo shot. Randy Myers closed out the game with a stress-free perfect ninth inning, and the Orioles were on their way to a surprising four-game series win over the defending American League champs.