Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Monday, December 29, 2008

Pat Rapp, 2001 Topps #98

For all intents and purposes, the Orioles just brought back Pat Rapp.

Not literally, of course. The righthander has been out of baseball for seven years. But his ugly 2000 season in Baltimore (9-12, 5.90 ERA, 1.64 WHIP) is about what I would expect from the Birds' latest free agent acquisition, 6'9" lefty Mark Hendrickson.

I understand, the O's are just marking time until their crop of promising young arms (Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, etc.) ripens. They need as many inexpensive veterans as they can get to fill the rotation in 2009...and possibly 2010. They can't repeat 2008, when injuries and ineffectiveness left the team so desperate for starters that they threw wild reliever Dennis Sarfate, 26-year-old rookie Brian Bass, and even Mexican League reclamation project Alfredo Simon to the wolves.

But Mark Hendrickson? The guy is best known for his height and by extension his 1,508 career minutes with the 76ers, Kings, Nets, and Cavaliers in the NBA. He just posted a 5.45 ERA in the National League. You might as well add at least a half a run to that now that he's switching to the junior circuit. He's essentially Daniel Cabrera with better control...which sadly, was probably a selling point for the O's.

I would love for Mark to prove me wrong. One of the few perks to being an Oriole fan these days is that you're constantly introduced to ragtag players - lifetime minor leaguers and declining veterans - and occasionally they exceed your rock-bottom expectations, however briefly. When April rolls around, I'll be pulling for our new pitcher. I just hope that Braden Looper (God help me) or Kenshin Kawakami or any of the other rumored additions to the rotation are delivered before then, so Mark can take his rightful place at the back of the rotation or the front of the bullpen.


Rounding Thirty 3rd said...


Great info as always. I didn't even remember Pat Rapp - must have blocked out that part of my memory from 2000.

One small correction, I think you meant 1,508 career minutes for Hendrickson in the NBA. 1,508 career games would have been a nice 20 year career, especially for a guy who just turned 34 last summer.

Kevin said...

Tim - Oops! Good catch.

Mickey said...

Pat Rapp. The Pride of the '99 Red Sox. He's one of those guys that roll off the tongue when you think of really crap players. I mean, in 10 seasons, that guy had only one season with more wins than losses. Yes, W-L records don't have the same weight anymore, but jesus, he sucked.

He will, undoubtedly, tell his grandkids about his scoreless inning pitched in the '99 ALCS against the bottom half of the Yanks lineup to close out the Sox only victory in the series.

Kevin said...

Mickey - I remember very little of Pat's time with the Orioles...I didn't pay much attention to them during my college years. I primarily remember his rookie year with the first Marlins team, which was probably the peak of his career.