Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Jeff Conine, 2002 Upper Deck Piece of History #17

This is the first year since 1986 that Jeff Conine hasn't been playing professional baseball on some level. "Niner" was the kind of guy that was always in demand; he played for each of his primary three teams in the major leagues (Kansas City, Florida, and Baltimore) on two separate occasions. Three times in his final five seasons he was traded after the July 31 waiver deadline as teams were looking for a dependable, experienced player to fill in the blanks during the stretch run. He's probably best known as one of the original Florida Marlins; he played all 162 games in their inaugural season, won the 1995 All-Star Game MVP as the sole Florida representative, and is the only player to have been on both World Series-winning teams in Fish history. When Jeff announced his retirement at the end of last season, the Marlins signed him to a one-day contract so that he wouldn't have to call it quits as a Met. After all, he'd only played 21 games in orange and blue and they didn't turn out all that well.

But Conine is keeping busy. He recently announced that he is training for the Ironman World Championship Triathlon, which will take place in October in Hawaii. The soon-to-be forty-two-year-old has already competed in several biathlons and recently completed his first half-triathlon, finishing 1,375th out of 1,929 competitors. A full triathlon consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride (roughly the distance from Baltimore to Philadelphia - two of Conine's six MLB teams), and a 26.2 mile marathon run. As someone who ran cross country in high school and never exceeded ten miles at once, I can't fathom the strength and endurance required to complete a triathlon. Just remember Jeff Conine the next time a football fan tells you that baseball players are subpar athletes.

1 comment:

William said...

I remember seeing #19 play for Baltimore in '02 and his at-bat music was "Tom Sawyer" by Rush.