Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Eli Whiteside, 2003 Topps Total #332

Baseball is a funny game. Friday night, Jonathan Sanchez made an emergency start for the Giants following a shoulder injury to the ancient Randy Johnson. Sanchez had previously been banished to the bullpen following a 2-8 start. With the youngster being tabbed for a home start against the lowly Padres, his father Sirgfredo came all the way from Puerto Rico to watch him pitch. So naturally Sanchez, winless since May 25 and without a single complete game in his career, no-hit San Diego. The only Padre baserunner came on a late error by third baseman Juan Uribe, and Sanchez whiffed eleven batters.

You might also consider the story of Eli Whiteside, a catcher drafted by the Orioles in 2001. He spent seven years in the Baltimore organization, becoming intimately acquainted with long bus rides and receiving only a dozen major league at-bats with the O's (all in 2005). Fast forward to 2009, which was shaping up as his fifth consecutive season at AAA before he was promoted to San Francisco on May 24. Eli had still played only sixteen games before Friday, when starter Bengie Molina's wife went into labor and he left the club to be with her. The 29-year-old backup not only called the pitches ("I was just putting down fingers", he said modestly), he contributed two hits and an RBI and scored a run.

Go figure.

5 comments:

Dave said...

Sounds like something out of Bull Durham.

Heath said...

Good for Eli! Always liked that guy...

Kevin said...

Dave - No kidding. If Eli catches any games in DC in the second half, I hope he tells the pitcher to hit Screech.

Heath - Yeah, I don't begrudge him his place in history. Now, if it had been Ramon Hernandez...

dinged corners said...

It is indeed a funny game. Great post.

Jason V said...

Eli's an all-around guy. We played little league together and I always knew if he pursued it, he'd make the big leagues. He was always such a pure player.