Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Gary Roenicke, 1981 Topps #37

It's hard to believe that this look didn't catch on. You might have to click on the image to get a closer look, but Gary Roenicke's batting helmet is adorned with a football-style face mask on the left side of his jaw. It was a temporary precaution that was taken after he was hit in the face with a pitch. There's a clearer shot of the makeshift guard here, and an excellent article by Uni Watch's Paul Lukas here. It largely focuses on former Pirates outfielder Dave Parker; to be fair, his helmet stylings were much more terrifying and unusual than Gary's.

What's your favorite unusual uniform modification? Brooks Robinson's sawed-off helmet brim? Frank Robinson's extended stirrups?


goyanks said...

actually an awesome little defense mechanism. I see this alot in little league and fast pitch softball games these days, but i'm pretty sure ballplayers would never pick up on this -- there's way too much of a tough guy and tradition honoring culture in the game for this.

William said...

Without a doubt, Charlie Hayes and his see-through mouth protector from his Rockies days. He was a blue-collar man's player, scrappy and underappreciated.

Commish said...

I like Brooks' small brim helmet, totally unique. I've never seen anyone else do that. Having said that, this is nobody cooler than Frank Robinson. And those stirrups are a big part of it.

Kevin said...

goyanks - I've seen cage masks in little league, but I seem to remember that we were cageless when I played. We did have an elastic chin strap to keep them on our narrow little heads, though.

William - I read recently on Camden Chat that current O's reliever Alberto Castillo was once traded for Charlie Hayes. Tells you that he's been around the block!

Bob - Those stirrups beat the heck out of the new style, with guys pulling their pant cuffs over the bottoms of their shoes. Ugh.