Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sam Horn, 1992 Leaf #219

Because the BaltimoreSun.com sports section has major kinks in their RSS feed, it took me a little while to discover their latest blog, "The Toy Department". It's a collaborative effort among a half-dozen or so Sun writers, some of whom have made previous attempts at blogging only to completely fade away in short order. Hopefully the group format will take some pressure off of them. Anyway, they've got several running features, and one I've taken an early interest in is "Catching Up With...". As you might have guessed, Mike Klingaman tracks down sports figures from Baltimore's past and gives a status update. Last week, he caught up with Sam Horn.

ESPN's Chris Berman (NOT one of my favorite people) used to say that all Cris Carter did was catch touchdowns. Well, for two seasons in Baltimore, all that Sam Horn did was hit home runs. In 1990, Horn went deep 14 times in 246 at-bats, a rate of one per 17.6 at-bats. Half of his hoemrs that year either tied the game or gave the O's the lead. The following year he set a career high with 23 longballs in just 317 at-bats, a ratio of one per 13.8 tries. Even with an abbreviated and disappointing 1992, his OPS+ as an Oriole was a strong 122. So, where is he now?

The 45-year-old Sam Horn is a goodwill ambassador for the Red Sox (ugh), his first team in the majors. He also has somewhat of a cult following; he is the namesake for the Sons of Sam Horn (SOSH) message board, a meeting place for the most rabid of Boston fans. He used to broadcast games for the "Sawx" and at one time owned a sports complex in East Greenwich, R.I. Today, the father of three golfs and plays in charity baseball games.

The thing that really tickled me about the blog post was a quote from Sam that he "weigh(s) 285 and...still love(s) sweets". What caused him to share that information? It's especially funny if you imagine Klingaman asking him, "So, Sam, you were a pretty big guy, even back in your playing days. Are you fat as hell now? I bet you are. I can even hear you eating a Snickers on the other end of the phone. C'mon, pal. Fess up." But I digress. It's good to know that he's doing well.


Rounding Thirty 3rd said...

During his years as an O, Big Sam Horn was my favorite. I was lucky enough to attend the game when he hit his only career triple - off of Nolan Ryan no less.

jacobmrley said...

As ridiculous as it seems, I bet the exchange in your last paragraph is exactly how it happened. Sam Horn is one of the most affable people i ever saw on television, so if someone called him fat, i am sure he'd own up to his snickers obsession immediately.

Kevin said...

Tim - That reminds me of Jeff Tackett hitting a triple early in the history of Camden Yards. He found a black hole in the right field corner.

Max - That's definitely how he comes across in the article. Just a 285-lb. teddy bear.