Cal's tireless work ethic rubbed off on the speedy outfielder, as Anderson attempted to play through setbacks ranging from broken ribs to appendicitis. He even famously played a game in the late 1990s after being hit by a bus while rollerblading to the stadium! I think it's pretty fitting that Brady and Cal both played their last game in Baltimore on October 6, 2001. It wasn't a storybook finish, with Anderson striking out to end a 5-1 loss to the Red Sox, leaving Cal waiting in the on-deck circle for a final at-bat that would never come.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Cal Ripken, Jr. and Brady Anderson, 1993 Upper Deck #44
As you might imagine, there are tons of multi-player cards featuring Cal Ripken, Jr. Just in my collection, I have Cal sharing cards with Eddie Murray, Jerry Hairston, Jr., Lou Gehrig, Alan Trammell and Tony Fernandez, Jeff Blauser, Bobby Bonner and Jeff Schneider, Brady and Rafael Palmeiro and Roberto Alomar, Cal, Sr. and Billy, the entire 2000 Orioles starting lineup (I may just get to that one later this week)...the list goes on.
I've chosen this card as my favorite Cal combo. First of all, it's from the beautiful 1993 Upper Deck set, and is part of the great Teammates/Team Stars subset. Each team had a card featuring two to six of its stars, with some kind of theme and accompanying fun nickname and logo. While some cards featured flashes in the pan like Pat Listach or Geronimo Pena, the Orioles are represented by Cal and Brady, who were teammates and good friends for a whopping fourteen seasons (1988-2001), a rare feat in the big-spending free agency era. Brady spent practically his entire major league career in Baltimore, excepting 41 games in Boston as a rookie and an ill-fated 34 games in Cleveland in 2002. #9 played alongside #8 longer than any other Oriole: longer than Eddie Murray (1981-1988, 1996), even longer than Mike Mussina (1991-2000).
But this card preserves them in happier times, both in the primes of their careers playing for a contending team in a revolutionary new ballpark. They're posed in front of the trademark of Camden Yards, the towering B & O Warehouse. Everything is as it should be.