Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Brian Roberts, 2004 Fleer Tradition #350

And then there was one. One. One sleep until we meet our baby. It's so surreal.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Eric Davis, 1998 Upper Deck #39

Just a reminder: Adam Jones is not the first lithe, power-hitting Orioles outfielder to enjoy a good wad of bubble gum. Eric Davis was blowing bubbles while Adam Jones was still in middle school.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Jonathan Schoop, 2014 Bowman Chrome #7

I might not officially be a father for another five days or so, but I had a very enjoyable first Fathers' Day today. My wonderful wife Janet treated me to a breakfast of scrambled eggs, along with apple cider donuts from Weber's Farm. Then my sister and I took our dad to Camden Yards, where the Orioles won the rubber game against the Blue Jays in a less-than-tidy three and a half hours, out-slugging Toronto in an 11-6 final. Baltimore pounded out a season-high 19 hits, including Matt Wieters' 4-for-5, four RBI performance. Three other O's had three hits apiece: Hyun-Soo Kim, Chris Davis, and Jonathan Schoop. Schoop had the most impressive hit on the day, a towering 458-foot two-run home run off of Jesse Chavez in the bottom of the seventh inning. His blast reached the recessed seating beyond the concrete walkway in the lower deck in left field, which nobody seems to recall happening before. Chris Tillman wasn't at his best, allowing a pair of two-run homers in the second inning, but he stopped the bleeding there and cleared five innings to earn his tenth win against just one loss. Oh, and my father and I got these snazzy newsboy caps, a fine promotional giveaway if there ever was one:

So Happy Fathers' Day to all of the current dads and dads-to-be out there.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Eduardo Rodriguez, 2013 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP207

The Orioles' starting pitching has been identified as the team's Achilles' heel since before the season began. Entering tonight's game, the team's non-Chris Tillman starters had an unsightly 5.53 ERA, leading many to lament the prospects that were traded away in midseason deals in recent years, emerging pitchers such as Zach Davies and Eduardo Rodriguez. Yeah, about that...

Tonight the O's took their hacks against Rodriguez, dealt away to Boston in July 2014 in order to bring Andrew Miller to Baltimore. The lefty turned heads last year with a 10-6 record and 3.85 ERA (111 ERA+) as a rookie last year, but started this season on the DL and made just his fourth start of the year tonight. The Orioles were not accommodating, chasing him in the fifth inning and racking up five runs on eight hits. Meanwhile, Tyler Wilson excelled. Facing a formidable Boston offense, he tossed a career-high eight shutout innings, allowing three hits and a walk and striking out six. So the Birds return home tomorrow in sole possession of first place, and they'll try to keep the surging Blue Jays at bay. As Buck Showalter would say, "Bring it on".

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Brady Anderson, 1997 Fleer Ultra #2

Countdown to Parenthood has reached nine days...or less. (Please take your time, kid.) Are we ready? Will we ever truly be ready? Probably not, but we have a pail full of clean cloth diapers and a freezer full of donated breast milk, so I guess the necessities are in place.

Huh...eight years ago, I never would have thought I'd be mentioning breast milk on this blog. It's a brave new world.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Bobby Bonilla, 1996 Donruss #225

Last weekend, the Orioles picked up some familiar names in the MLB amateur draft. In the seventh round, they spent the 211th overall pick on North Carolina State University first baseman Preston Palmeiro, the younger son of former O's All-Star Rafael Palmeiro. Yes, he bats lefty. In 59 games as a junior, Preston batted .337 with 20 doubles, nine homers, and 55 RBI. Scouts like his contact hitting ability but question his power potential; sounds a lot like the early outlook for his father. Back in spring training, Preston's big brother Patrick was in the Birds' minor league camp, but was released before long.

On Saturday the O's used their 13th round selection on lefty reliever Brandon Bonilla, the progeny of slugging third baseman-outfielder Bobby Bonilla. Bobby Bo spent parts of two seasons in Baltimore in the mid-1990s, and his kid saved a dozen games as a senior for the Hawaii Pacific University Sharks. He reportedly throws 97 mph, and allowed just one run in 25.1 innings this season, striking out 38 and walking 15 while giving up nine hits.

As always, there's no telling whether either second-generation player will ever make it to the big leagues. But it certainly seems like they have some good tools.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Jeffrey Hammonds, 1994 Leaf Limited #1

11 days. Eleven. I will be a father in less than two weeks. I'm dealing with a lot of complex emotions, and I tried to unpack some of them earlier today in a Facebook post. I hope you'll forgive me if I copy and paste:

"Sometimes I worry that I'm going to run out of ways to express my gratitude to everyone. Since Janet's diagnosis back in March, our friends, family, coworkers, and community members have given so much: advice, companionship, sympathy, prayers, hope, time. Then there are the material gifts: baby clothes, toys, books, and care items, ready-to-heat meals (that's a biggie)...and of course we were blown away when you donated $3,700 to Janet's head shaving fundraiser for the St. Baldrick's Foundation.

It's precisely because of this generosity that we've hesitated in asking for more. But our friend Molly offered to set up a donation page to help defray our medical costs, and I don't mind telling you that the expenses associated with cancer treatment caught us off guard. Long story short - Blue Cross/Blue Shield Federal offers great maternity coverage, but their cancer coverage leaves a lot to be desired.

Our GoFundMe page has been up for less than 48 hours, and you've already contributed over a thousand dollars. Janet and I both are simply overcome with emotion. Some of you have boosted the signal by sharing our page with your own friends, resulting in donations from folks that we don't even know. What is there to say? Thank you. You've given us comfort, hope, and peace of mind. I hope we can repay you in kind."

You can find our GoFundMe page here. Every bit helps, and I'm not just talking about donations. It helps to know that there are people I've never met who are pulling for us, reading about my experiences and hopes and fears and offering encouraging words. Thanks as always.