Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ben McDonald, 1995 Emotion #5

Well, I didn't make it to the ballpark in time to get a Wild Bill Hagy shirt last night (since the folks at the gate apparently didn't abide by the 15 and up age restriction), but the Orioles won a thrilling 6-5 game with two runs in the bottom of the eighth for their twentieth comeback victory of the year. That is, of course, the greater good, particularly since the team is now 2-0 in 2008 when I'm in attendance. I like to keep track of those little things, so with my birthday coming up in less than two months (yes, I'm counting), I took the time to put together a little project the other day. I was curious to see just how the O's have fared throughout history on August 5.

As it happens, there's something about my birthday that suits the Birds. From their first season in Baltimore (1954) through 2007, they've played 49 games, with 29 wins and 20 losses, a .592 winning percentage. They've done even better since I came into the world in 1982: 16-8, winning two out of every three contests, including five straight between 1992 and 1996. Big Ben McDonald won two of those himself, back-to-back complete games in 1993 and 1994, both against the Milwaukee Brewers (totals: 18 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 13 K, 0.50 ERA, 0.72 WHIP). The latter game was a one-hit masterpiece in hostile territory; Brew Crew pitcher and future Oriole Ricky Bones also went the distance, incidentally. 1993 and 1994 just happened to be my first two years as a baseball fan, and I appreciate his considerable efforts to ensure that my eleventh and twelfth birthdays were especially happy ones.

Believe it or not, there was an O's pitcher whose August 5 feats topped even Ben's heroics. Less surprisingly, it was Jim Palmer, who won all three of his decisions while allowing just one run in twenty-seven innings and striking out twenty-two. So he's the official August Fifth Oriole, but I'll go into much more detail at a later date.

I should also mention before I go that the Orioles are currently riding a four-game win streak on my birthday, and they'll go for a tie of the 8/5 record on Tuesday, August 5, 2008 in Anaheim. Can they do the improbable? Stay tuned!


Commish said...


Ben McDonald was an autograph guest at a card show I attended. I am not much of an autograph hound but since he was an O I figured, I'm here, why not? I bought an 8x10 and got in the short line. When he reaches for my pic I ask him to sign it to my boys, Brooks and Jim.
He looks up.. "What? Brooks as in Brooks Robinson?"

I said: "Yeah, In fact that's his name, Brooks Robinson A. And his twin is Jim Palmer A."

McDonald says: "OK, but I think that's weird"

I told him "So did my wife".

Rounding Thirty 3rd said...

Commish - great story - My wife might go along with Jonathan Ogden or Adalius Thomas, but not a baseball player.

Kevin - my birthday record is not much better, 26-20, but the highlights are pretty bright.

For starters, in 1974 McNally and Cuellar pitched shutouts on both ends of a double header. These were the 4th and 5th consecutive shutouts by the O's enroute to 54 consecutive scoreless innings.

In 1996, Eddie Murray hit his 500th HR during his second stint with the team.

And of course in 1995 Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig's "unbreakable" consecutie games record.

Kevin said...

Bob - Haha, Ben gets points for honesty at least!

Tim - I think your birthday takes the cake for milestone moments, if nothing else.