Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Billy Ripken, 1990 Donruss #164

Guess who turns the big 5-0 today? No, it's not me, and I'm greatly offended by your presumption. It's not 2032 just yet, thank you very much. Nope, the second-best Ripken to ever play for the Orioles was born on this date in 1964. So here's wishing a hap-hap-happy birthday to Billy, the man who gave my 22-year-old self a nonsensical nickname and was generally a tough act to follow. But it's not fair to dwell on unpleasantries on such a momentous occasion, so I went and tracked down the box score from little brother's first career home run: July 19, 1987. It was an Earl Weaver special off of Bud Black in the top of the fifth inning in Kansas City, giving the O's a 4-0 lead in a game they'd eventually win 5-1. For one day at least, Billy snatched the spotlight from Cal, who had a measly double...and three walks...and a stolen base.

What a showoff.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Mike Mussina, 1999 Bowman Chrome #60

Should you be curious, the "C" in "Michael C. Mussina" stands for Cole. Former outfielder Alex Cole went 1-for-7 with three strikeouts in his career meetings with Mike Mussina. That probably means something, even if that something is "I've been awake for too many hours".

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Brady Anderson, 2000 Pacific Omega #17

Is Brady Anderson in the middle of a headfirst slide into third base, or is he on an invisible hang glider? It's just another one of life's mysteries.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Don Aase, 1987 Fleer Star Stickers #1

This is quite a festive card/sticker, with its green border, red and white banners, and stars. It's hard to believe that we're only 12 days away from Christmas, but it must be true. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is on my television, and holiday greetings continue to arrive in the mailbox. Today I reaped one of the special benefits of being an Orioles season ticket holder, as my favorite baseball team sent me a little something:

So what do you think - should I send them a card?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Vintage Fridays: Camilo Carreon, 1966 Topps #513

That's some good hustle by Topps to get Cam Carreon on a card in an Orioles uniform, considering that the O's didn't acquire him from Cleveland until March 10, 1966. The player they gave up? A young outfielder named Lou Piniella. This card is also something of an oddity because Carreon went on to play just four games for Baltimore, going 2-for-9 with three walks and spending most of the year at AAA Rochester. When he returned to the minors for the duration of 1967 as well, he decided to retire to spend more time at home with his family in Tucson. Though the minor league Toros coaxed him back for one season as a player and a few more as a coach, the team was based out of Tuscon, so he was still around for much of the year. One of his sons, Mark, went on to enjoy a ten-year career as an outfielder with the Mets, Tigers, Giants, and Indians. On one last note, here's a scan of the card back, featuring a great cartoon about Cam's favorite hobby.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Chris Gomez, 2007 Topps Heritage #154

I have thousands of Orioles cards in my collection, but I can safely say that this one is the orangest. Heck, the PhotoShop filter that Topps used even gives Chris Gomez's skin a carroty glow. If he were wearing an orange practice jersey, he might be completely camouflaged.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Jimmy Key, 1997 Fleer Ultra #356

On this date in 1996, the Orioles signed Jimmy Key to a two-year contract for nearly $8 million. The free agent deal paid immediate dividends, as the veteran lefty tied Scott Erickson for the team lead with 16 wins in 1997, tossing 212.1 innings with a 3.43 ERA that was second on the staff to ace Mike Mussina. He was especially strong prior to the All-Star Break, posting a 12-4 record and a 2.55 ERA as the O's charted their course for a wire-to-wire division lead. By the postseason, Key seemed to be running out of gas. He failed to complete five innings in either of his playoff starts, though he did provide three innings of crucial shutout relief in Game Five of the ALCS. In allowing just one walk and no hits, he carried the Birds' slim two-run lead from starter Scott Kamieniecki to closer Randy Myers and helped Baltimore stave off elimination.

Like most of his teammates, Jimmy's fortunes took a downturn in 1998. Shoulder problems limited him to 25 games that year - 11 starts and 14 relief appearances. He went 6-3 with a 4.20 ERA in 79.1 innings, and retired at age 37 with a career record of 186-117 and a 3.51 ERA in 15 seasons.