Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Manny Alexander, 1996 Collector's Choice #53

Here's Manny Alexander tossing a throw to second base. Based on his limited record as a pitcher, he probably would have been better off lobbing the ball underhanded from the mound as well. Oddly enough, I still remember where I was the night that the Orioles were drubbed by the Rangers, 26-7. I was at a middle school dance, and I even remember hearing from someone that Brady Anderson had led off the game with a home run, one of the team-record 50 that he would hit in 1996. I might have even known that free agent bust-in-the-making Kent Mercker fell apart right away, giving the lead back in a five-run Texas first inning. It was much later that I heard the incredible details of the rest of the game.

Down 6-1 in the fourth, the Birds rallied for five runs to tie. Mercker and Jimmy Myers coughed up three more tallies in the fifth and the teams traded scores in the seventh. The O's took the field in the bottom of the eighth down 10-7...and the wheels came off.

Like many other disasters in late '90s Oriole lore, this one began with Mr. Armando Benitez. Single, steal, walk, wild pitch, walk. Bases loaded. Out goes Armando, in comes the venerable (really really old) Jesse Orosco for what must have been the worst performance of his life. Double, sacrifice fly, home run, three straight singles, walk, single, walk. Jesse allowed all three of Benitez's runners to score, along with five of his own. He, too, left with the bases loaded, handing an 18-7 deficit to the last man in the Baltimore bullpen: Manny Alexander. To convey the full wonder of the scrawny infielder's hurling prowess, I defer to the play-by-play:
J Gonzalez      Walk; Hamilton Scores; Valle to 3B; Buford to 2B
Craig Worthington pinch runs for Juan Gonzalez batting 4th
M Tettleton Walk; Valle Scores; Buford to 3B; Worthington to 2B
D Palmer Walk; Buford Scores; Worthington to 3B; Tettleton to 2B
Kurt Stillwell pinch runs for Dean Palmer batting 6th
R Greer Flyball: CF/Sacrifice Fly; Worthington Scores; Tettleton to 3B
M McLemore Walk; Stillwell to 2B
K Elster Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep LF); Tettleton Scores; Stillwell Scores; McLemore Scores
D Hamilton Groundout: 2B-1B
The totals for the half-inning: 16 runs on 8 hits and 8 walks. 97 pitches thrown by two pitchers and one middle infielder to 19 batters. You might notice a few familiar names in the excerpt above. As if Rangers manager (and former O's skipper) Johnny Oates was rubbing it in, the outburst featured four ex-O's: Mickey Tettleton, Mark McLemore, Damon Buford, and Craig Worthington. Craig Worthington! Manny Alexander's final career earned run average stands at 67.50.

But hey, at least he got two batters out.

1 comment:

William said...

That reminds me of the Rangers/O's game from last fall -- I was watching when the Rangers went up 5-3, I flipped around the dial for about an hour, fell asleep, turned it back, and WHOA...it's 30-3. Sorry to bring up scarring memories.