Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Chris Richard, 2001 Upper Deck Gold Glove #20

If there were any lingering hopes that 2009 would be another enchanted season for the Tampa Bay Rays, they were likely extinguished on Tuesday night, when 35-year-old Chris Richard started at first base for the injured Carlos Pena. Yes, that's the same guy who the O's acquired for Mike Timlin in 2000 and tabbed as their budding star first baseman, ignoring the fact that he'd repeated AA twice because, ooh shiny, he hit a home run every 15.3 at-bats in one 200-at-bat sample size in the majors. He's also the same guy who disappeared from the majors after 2003 and who has spent the last three seasons with the Durham Bulls, becoming the famed minor league team's career home run leader in the process (64 HR total). I don't wish him any ill will, even though he had a reputation as an arrogant guy during his time in Baltimore. I'd like to think that a six-year exile from the big leagues would humble a guy. Of course, his return has been humbling on its own: he's 1-for-5 in three games with a crucial error that sparked the Yankees' game-winning rally last night. Baseball's not easy, as it so happens.

6 comments:

Paul said...

Was always going to be harder for the Rays when the Yankes and Sox weren't going to be underestimating them like they were last year. For the O's, Rays or Jays to win the division is comprable to any other side winning the World Series.

bobinsd said...

Kevin...you must have Chris Richard confused with another player. His personality is the opposite of arrogance, and his all-out style of play at Baltimore led to his premature departure from the ML because of a torn labrum and rotator damage. IF anything you should applaud his persistence and love for playing despite despite the lingering effects, which may have contributed to the error. He may have also set a ML record for time-between-starts. Did you know he hit 2 GSs in one game this year?

Kevin said...

Paul - Yeah, it's a shame. I think in the long run, trading Kazmir was a smart move though.

Bob - There certainly are two sides to every story, and I'll admit that anything I've heard of Chris's attitude in his Baltimore days was second-hand from media members. He's lucky to have dedicated fans like yourself.

Elizabeth M. Johnson said...

I agree with Bob, that from what I have seen, Chris's personality is the exact opposite of arrogant.

While I have only followed Chris (and the rest of the Bulls) for about a year ago, I have to say that he is a fan favorite here in Durham. He consistently lingers before and after games to sign autographs for kids and is also involved in community programming through the Bulls (Drug Free Junior Bulls, etc.). I believe you have to truly love the game to endure the long bus trips, bad food, heckling fans, poor salary that comes along with life in minor league ball. That kind of love of the game doesn't usually go hand-in-hand with arrogance, in my mind.

Anonymous said...

I met Chris twice when he played for Baltimore. Both times he seemed to be an upbeat, pleasant and down-to-earth guy. He signed a few autographs for me and my girlfriend. Told us a few stories about his growing up in California. He really seemed nice. On the field, he always seemed to give it 100%, and in my opinion was a victim of injuries. Things might have been different if he wasn't forced into the outfield because of Conine being the mainstay at 1st for the Orioles during that time. However, I always thought it was a bad decision to trade Mike Timlin for him.

Christina said...

I met Chris when he played for the Memphis Redbirds. He was always a very nice, sweet,and shy man. He never acted arrogant and was always very humble. He would guve credit for his own accomplishments to his teammates, etc. When it came to fan interactions he was always A LOT nicer than his teammates. He acted like he truly cared about the people he was talking to. He was also an awesome baseball player.