Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Friday, June 26, 2015

Vintage Fridays: Ross Grimsley, 1975 SSPC #377

Tonight, Nationals starter Max Scherzer finally gave up a run, as the Phillies touched him up for a pair in the seventh inning. It snapped a 47 and one-third inning shutout streak by Washington starting pitchers, ensuring that the 1974 Orioles' post-expansion record of 54 straight scoreless innings will stand. Of course, the Birds did it the hard way, as those innings were truly consecutive. Dave McNally finished up a 7-1 complete-game victory over the Royals with a scoreless ninth inning on September 1 after his shutout was spoiled by a John Mayberry groundout with runners on the corners in the eighth. The next day, Ross Grimsley and Mike Cuellar each went the distance in a pair of 1-0 squeakers, as the O's swept Boston in a twinbill in Memorial Stadium. "Scuz" twirled a three-hitter, and Cuellar one-upped him with a two-hitter. Jim Palmer continued to flummox the BoSox on Wednesday the 4th, blanking them on three hits in a 6-0 breezer. The Orioles traveled to Cleveland for a Friday doubleheader and McNally (three-hit, 2-0 final) and Cuellar again (five-hit, 1-0 final) kept the zeroes coming. On Friday, September 7, Grimsley carried a four-hit shutout into the game's final frame. With the Tribe down by three, George Hendrick led off with a double and Charlie Spikes finally spoiled the fun with a two-run homer. Ross regrouped to put down the next three Indians hitters in order, preserving the complete game victory. It was the tenth straight victory for the O's, who were in the midst of yet another late-season surge under Earl Weaver. That must have been an incredible time to be a fan.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Steve Pearce, 2015 Topps Orioles Team Set #BO-10

Earlier today, Buck Showalter remembered that Steve Pearce is still on the active roster and penciled him in as the starting left fielder. Last season's breakout hitter rewarded his manager with a three-hit, two-double game, and the Orioles won yet another series in Fenway Park by eking out an 8-6 win in the rubber game. Most of the damage was done in a six-run fourth inning, as the O's heated up with seven straight hits against former Baltimore prospect Eduardo Rodriguez and chased him from the game. Rodriguez, sent to Boston last summer in the Andrew Miller trade, saw his stock immediately rise in the Sawx organization, leaving many Birds fans wringing their hands about the one who got away. On this day at least, the Orioles took a bit of luster off of him. So that's 15 wins in the last 20 games for the resurgent Showalters, and six straight series wins if you count the home-and-home four-game thing with the Phillies as a single series. That's how you climb in the standings. And the lovely capper on it all? Dating back to 2011, the Orioles have won nine of their past 12 series in Beantown. They've split two more series, and lost only one. I remember when arrogant Boston fans used to refer to Camden Yards as "Fenway South". What a difference a few years can make.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Joe Orsulak, 1989 Topps Big #181

Longtime reader and commenter Zach knows that I take his posting requests as a challenge, and I like to think that I'm up to the task. He took it easy on me yesterday by asking for a Topps Big card. The Orioles had a schizophrenic presence in that particular set, as all of the action photos used for the backdrops featured the players in 1988's tri-color headgear with the cartoon bird, and the foreground portraits had the O's clad in the brand-spankin'-new solid black caps with the more realistic bird. Joe Orsulak's card shows him batting in a chilly and sparsely-attended Old Comiskey Park, I believe. This is Topps Big, so I'd be remiss if I didn't scan the card back, too:
Unlike most of the players included in the Topps Big sets, Joe actually somewhat resembles the generic beefy white dude in the cartoons. The first panel, with "Orsulak" sporting an old-timey pirate hat and eye patch as he hoists a stack of pilfered bases, is especially choice. I do find it a bit odd that they couldn't pick out anything about his just-concluded 1988 season to highlight. Joe O was one of the few bright spots on that year's wretched Baltimore club, posting a team-high .288 batting average after a year's hiatus from the big leagues. His 113 OPS+ was a new career best, until he topped it in '89 with a mark of 121. But yeah, tell me all about his time in Pittsburgh in the middle of the decade.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Jeffrey Hammonds, 1997 Score #205

I took a quick look at all of my previous Jeffrey Hammonds posts to make sure I hadn't used this card before. When you post a card scan on a near-daily basis for seven and a half years, you can never be too sure. Anyway, I realized that there are quite a few amusingly goony Hammonds cards in circulation. Click the link above, and you'll see what I mean. This 1997 Score card, with Jeffrey shooting a knowing glance at the photographer ("I see you snapping shots of my butt, and I don't even care"), doesn't even crack the top three.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Jim Palmer, 2013 Topps Allen and Ginter #293

Okay, I'm back from a quick weekend trip to Charlotte, and I'm glad that the Orioles were kind enough to take two of three in Toronto while I was away. For the sake of my blood pressure, I'm also grateful that I didn't have to witness those games live. But as long as the O's have a night off in Boston, I'll show off the one and only Oriole that I pulled from a discounted box of 2013 A&G while on a Target excursion in the Tar Heel State. If you're only going to get a single Oriole in a box of 48 cards, it may as well be 'Cakes. Besides, there were plenty of other great vintage players in that blaster: Stretch McCovey (mini and base), Bob Gibson, Mike Schmidt, Wade Boggs, Catfish Hunter, Robin Yount, and a mini A&G back Spahnie. I also got a mini Bud Selig, but that's why God invented the Sharpie.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sam Horn, 1991 Upper Deck #530

As I mentioned last night, Twins refugee Chris Parmelee had one hell of an Orioles debut, collecting a pair of singles and a pair of home runs in his first four at-bats. In 61-plus years in Baltimore, only one other player hit two round-trippers in his first game for the team: the one and only Sam Horn. On April 9, 1990 - Opening Day - the former Red Sox prospect went 4-for-5 with a pair of three-run homers, nearly single-handedly carrying the O's past the Royals in a 7-6 win. Sam had a nice little three-year stay in Charm City, batting .240/.328/.468 (122 OPS+) with 42 home runs and 125 RBI in 827 plate appearances. I wouldn't bet on Parmelee to stick around that long, but Dan Duquette has found useful players in unlikely places before.

P. S. : No posts from me for the rest of the week. See y'all Monday.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Brady Anderson, 2001 Donruss #66

Tonight the Orioles throttled the Phillies 19-3. They scored in all but one inning, and put up three or more runs in four separate innings. Oh, and I buried the lede - the O's set a new team record with eight home runs. The record-breaker was hit by Ryan Flaherty off of Philly outfielder Jeff Francoeur, who took one for the team by tossing 48 pitches over two innings. Manny Machado led off each of the first two innings with homers, Chris Parmelee added a pair as part of his four-hit Oriole debut, and Jimmy Paredes, David Lough, Chris Davis, and Flaherty had one apiece. It was the most runs scored by the Birds since a September 28, 2000 rout of Toronto that ended up at 23-1. That day, the O's also had a leadoff homer - from Brady Anderson. So it's been a minute.

Did I mention that I was at tonight's game? Well, I guess I did, just now. Thanks for the fireworks, guys.