Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Friday, May 2, 2008

Vintage Fridays: Wes Stock, 1963 Topps #438

Baseball is a sport notorious for its colorful and often cruel nicknames. The first deaf player in the big leagues was known as "Dummy" Hoy. Mordecai Brown, the great Cub pitcher, was known as "Three-Finger" due to a disfiguring farm accident from his childhood. I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but my favorite mean baseball moniker is that of former Giants and Dodgers pitcher Fat Freddie Fitzsimmons.

Take a good look at ol' Wes Stock up there. If you're like me, you'll be surprised to learn that neither Baseball Reference nor Wikipedia have a record of any nicknames for the former relief specialist. Not even, say, Dumbo, or Earflaps, or perhaps Gomer. I would have thought that his teammates and peers would at least make light of his offensive shortcomings. As a reliever, Wes only batted fifty-nine times in nine seasons. He had three hits, all of them coming in 1964 with the Kansas City Athletics. That's an .051 batting average, kids.

Okay, this has been a needlessly taunting post. In all seriousness, Wes Stock was a valuable and resilient pitcher for the Birds in the early 1960s. He spent one year in the minor leagues before losing the next two to military service, but joined the O's on his return in 1959. In 1962 he led the team in games pitched with 53. He sandwiched this feat between undefeated campaigns (5-0 and 7-0, respectively). For his career, Wes had a great 27-13 record. That's certainly 27 more wins than you or I have.

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