Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Technical Difficulties...

...Please stand by.

I have managed to fry my laptop charger, hence the most recent hiatus on this blog. I shall be back soon! In the meantime, the O's have started their week by handing the Yankees their sixth straight loss. Music to my ears.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Cal Ripken Jr., 1992 Donruss Gallery of Stars #GS-11

The Orioles' offense sputtered mightily at the end of their just-concluded road trip, as they scored a total of five runs over their last four games in Kansas City and Tampa Bay and lost three of those contests. I guess that all they needed was some home cooking. Tonight the O's used three home runs, 15 hits, and a pair of big innings to clobber the first-place White Sox, 10-2. Manny Machado broke an 0-for-17 skid with a double in the third inning, tying the game and delivering the first of four Baltimore runs in that frame. Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo immediately followed with back-to-back homers, and there was no looking back. Janet and I were in a childbirth prep class during the first half of the game, but we juuuust happened to see the score alerts pop up on her phone throughout the class, don't you know. We made it back to the car in time to hear most of the fifth-inning fireworks, most notably Manny's second career grand slam, the 75th round-tripper of his already-impressive career. The star third baseman has now passed Cal Ripken and has hit more homers prior to his 24th birthday than all but two other O's players: Boog Powell (88) and Eddie Murray (79). Machado's birthday is July 6, so he has 62 games to try and track down that pair of Charm City legends. It should be a blast to watch his best effort.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Steve Stone, 1981 Topps #520

I like to think that I'm secure in my heterosexuality, as well as my masculinity (so far as that goes). That's why I have no problem saying that in this photo, Steve Stone cuts a pretty handsome figure. Even today, 35 years along, he's aged fairly gracefully. Of course, he's also the rare gentleman who I'd say looks better clean-shaven than he does with a bit of facial hair. There are exceptions to every rule.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Brian Matusz, 2010 Upper Deck #5

It's time for a bit of the cutting-edge, insightful analysis that you've come to expect from this blog. Are you ready? Here goes:

Brian Matusz is...not very good.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Adam Jones, 2014 Panini Donruss #82

Adam Jones hasn't had a great year in the early going. He sat out a week with a rib injury, and entered tonight's game batting .211 with one home run. But tonight Adam did something he's never done in 1,253 previous big league games: he drew three walks. The Orioles' center fielder is not known for his plate discipline, to say the least. Two years ago, he walked only 19 times all season. Thankfully, the O's did not let Adam's patient streak go to waste, as they battered the Royals 8-3. Chris Davis homered as part of a four-hit night. The red-hot Mark Trumbo drove in four more runs, and leads the team with 15 RBI. Mychal Givens and Brad Brach combined to pitch 3.2 perfect innings of relief, with Givens stranding the bases loaded with a pair of strikeouts to bail out the returning Brian Matusz in the sixth inning. So the Orioles remain the only team in the American League East with a winning record, and they lead the Red Sox and Blue Jays by 3.5 games each. I'll take that.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Vintage Fridays: Milt Pappas, 1962 Topps #75

Earlier this week the Orioles family lost one of its first prominent young pitchers. Milt Pappas died on Tuesday at age 76. If you're anything less than a diehard baseball fan, you probably know Pappas as the chief outgoing player that the O's sent to Cincinnati in the Frank Robinson trade. But if you dig a little deeper, you'll see that Milt was plenty successful in his own right: in a career that spanned 17 big league seasons, he won 209 games and lost 164 with a 3.40 ERA (110 ERA+). He completed 129 of his 465 starts, including 43 shutouts, and twice made the All-Star Game as an Oriole. Most famously, he no-hit the Padres while pitching for the Cubs on September 2, 1972...but lost his perfect game bid on a full-count offering to pinch hitter Larry Stahl with two outs in the ninth. Home plate umpire Bruce Froemming ruled that Stahl had checked his swing and called it ball four, to Pappas' vociferous objection. The pitcher rallied to retire Garry Jestadt on a popup to seal the no-hitter, but it was of little consolation.

In researching tonight's blog entry, I found a great anecdote relayed by MLB.com writer (and former Orioles beat reporter) Richard Justice. On April 18, 1962, longtime Baltimore sportswriter John Steadman approached Milt prior to the righty's first start of the regular season against Mantle, Maris, and the vaunted Yankees. He asked Pappas, still just 23 years old and already in his sixth season in the majors, "How do you beat the Yankees?". In his own blunt and self-assured manner, the O's young starter replied: "If I pitch a shutout and hit a home run, we'll probably win."

Of course, Pappas couldn't quite finish the job. All he did was hold New York scoreless on two hits over six innings before turning things over to Hoyt Wilhelm. But before he left the game, Milt did hit a solo homer off of Yankee starter Bill Stafford. The O's won, 1-0.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Manny Machado, 2013 Panini Pinnacle #163

My reward for sticking out last night's 10-inning, three-hour and 22-minute slog of an Orioles game was that I got to see history. For the first time ever, the O's won on a walkoff passed ball. Caleb Joseph started the rally with a two-out double, and Joey Rickard's infield single (his third hit of the night) and Manny Machado's walk loaded the bases for Adam Jones. The center fielder took ball one from rookie reliever Joe Biagini, fouled off a pitch, and then took a second pitch. That one squirted away from Toronto catcher Josh Thole, and Caleb dashed home with the winning run. It's always fun to see somebody get doused with a celebratory cooler full of water for scoring on a catcher's mishap.

Machado continued his hot start with two hits and an RBI in addition to his two walks, as he's now kicked off the 2016 season with a 14-game hit streak and counting. At the end of last night's game, his batting line was a robust .407/.467/.796. Oh, and he's doing a fairly bangup job with the glove and arm at third base as well. Basically, I'm ready for the Birds to give Manny as much money as it takes to keep him in Baltimore for years to come.