Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tony Batista, 2002 Upper Deck Authentics #43

If I asked you to name all of the Orioles' All-Stars in this decade, how long would it take you to come up with Tony Batista? It's true, though. He was the club's lone representative in that dreadful, bleak, post-Cal Ripken, Jr. 2002 season. He took over for Junior at third base (so much for Ryan Minor), and played in 94 of the club's 95 losses. I assumed he was a poor choice from a poor team, but he really wasn't that bad. Despite batting .247 on the year, he walked 50 times and clubbed 36 doubles and 31 home runs to bring his OPS+ up to an above-average 105. He also slumped in the second half: at the break, he was at .269 with 19 HR and 53 RBI. Still, they could've gone with surprising rookie pitcher Rodrigo Lopez (8-3, 3.07 ERA at the Break).

Hopefully Adam Jones will prove to be a more memorable All-Star than Tony was.

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