Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Monday, July 21, 2014

Eddie Murray, 1997 Fleer #9

It was 18 years ago today that Eddie Murray returned to the Orioles, as the Indians dealt the future Hall of Famer to Baltimore in exchange for lefty pitcher and free agent bust Kent Mercker. The 40-year-old Murray was reunited with Cal Ripken, Jr. and with the fans of Charm City, the latter of whom were thrilled to chant "ED-DIE! ED-DIE!" once again. In a storybook moment, Eddie went on to hit his 500th career home run at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 6, 1996 - exactly one year to the day that Cal Ripken played in his record 2,131st consecutive game. It was one of 10 homers that Murray hit in a 64-game stint with the O's, helping them capture the American League Wild Card with a 35-22 surge over the final two months of the regular season. Number 33 also had a big hand in the team's Division Series upset of the Indians, as he reached base nine times in 18 trips to the plate against the club that had dealt him away a few months earlier. Although Eddie's twilight encore in Baltimore ended with the heartbreak of a six-game ALCS defeat at the hands of the Yankees, he had a poetic farewell. In his final at-bat in an Orioles uniform, in the bottom of the eighth inning in Game 5 at Camden Yards, he hit a home run off of O's nemesis Andy Pettitte, cutting the deficit to 6-2. It was too little, too late for the Birds, but that doesn't take away the reality that it happened.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Jim Johnson, 2012 Topps Orioles Team Set #BALT13

Wow, the Orioles sure got out while the getting was good with Jim Johnson. Last night, the ex-Orioles closer faced his old teammates for the second time this season. For the second time, he allowed a home run that extended an O's lead, as Chris Davis led off the ninth inning in Oakland with a no-doubt blast to right field to push the Baltimore lead to 8-4. Johnson only saved two games for the A's before getting demoted from the closer role, and here in mid-July his earned run average sits at an unsightly 6.25. He's allowed 56 hits in 40.1 innings, with 23 walks, 28 strikeouts, and five homers. His WHIP is 1.96, and whenever he pitches at home (where he's got a 10.29 ERA and 2.79 WHIP in 16 games) the fans are ready to jeer him at the drop of a hat. All that, and he's making $10 million dollars for a cash-strapped team. I'm actually starting to feel bad for Dirty Jim, but I'm glad that he's not our problem.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Luke Scott, 2010 Topps National Chicle #156

This may shock you, but Luke Scott's mouth just got him in trouble again. The ex-Orioles outfielder found out that calling your coach a liar and a coward is frowned upon in South Korea, where he had been playing for SK Wyverns. I say "had been", because the team released him for being disrespectful. Luke had been placed on the disabled list with plantar fasciitis, and disagreed with the way the situation was being handled. Surely there are better ways to express that frustration, but that's Luke Scott for you. He wasn't lighting the league on fire even before the injury, batting .267 with six homers in 33 games. At age 36, it's hard to see Scott ever playing in the big leagues again at this rate.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Vintage Fridays: Earl Robinson, 1962 Topps #272

Former Oriole Earl Robinson, who batted .271/.343/.433 in 162 games with the club in 1961-1962 and 1964, passed away this past July 4 at age 77. He had suffered two heart attacks last year. Earl starred in both baseball and basketball at the University of California-Berkeley, and earned a doctorate in education from the school. He was inducted into Cal's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Pacific-10 Conference's Hall of Honor in 2010. After his major league career ended, he became California's first junior college African-American head basketball coach when he was hired at Merritt College. He also held positions at various times as director of special projects for the Oakland Athletics, vice president of the Board of Trustees at the Oakland Zoo, and a member of the Board of Directors for the California Alumni Association. His is not a name that is often mentioned in relation to the Orioles, but Earl Robinson led a long and productive life beyond the diamond. May he rest in peace.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Koji Uehara, 2010 Topps 206 Bronze #205

Koji Uehara seems pretty nonplussed, considering that Earth's atmosphere is erupting in flames behind him.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Steve Trachsel, 2007 Topps #558

This is your periodic off-day reminder that Steve Trachsel's unofficial nickname is "Old Turtle".

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Joe Altobelli, 1983 Topps Traded #3T

After all of those lean years when the Orioles were lucky to get their one obligatory All-Star selection (George Sherrill, Ty Wigginton, et. al.), I have no complaints about this year's Midsummer Classic. Not only are Nelson Cruz and Adam Jones starting tonight for the American League, but they're even batting back-to-back in the lineup. Matt Wieters will also be introduced with the rest of the stars, even though his recent elbow surgery precludes him from playing. But if I had any one hope for the 2015 All-Star Game, it would be for Buck Showalter to manage the A. L. team. After all, those are the spoils that go to the World Series clubs. The O's skipper hasn't called the shots in the mid-July showcase since Joe Altobelli represented the 1983 World Champions in 1984. Of course, that year the National League pulled out a 3-1 victory, but you can bet that wouldn't happen on Buck's watch.