Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Jim Palmer, 2005 Upper Deck Classics #49

Last night I was thumbing through a brick of cards from yet another overstuffed envelope courtesy of reader Max. When I got to this Jim Palmer card, I had the following progression of thoughts:

1) "He's hatless again. What do you know?

2) "Look at his pinky sticking out, like he's drinking tea. That's odd."

3) "What a tiny glove - it's hanging halfway off of his hand."

4) "Wait a minute...he must be playing pepper! Cool!"

As you can see, I didn't even get around to the backdrop, which I believe to be Fenway Park. I've never played pepper myself, but it was recently explained in one of those in-studio demonstrations on the MLB Network by Harold Reynolds, Dan Plesac, and somebody else. Let's say Mitch Williams. I'll cut and paste from Wikipedia because I'm lazy:

"Pepper is a common pre-game exercise in baseball, where one player hits brisk ground balls and line drives to a group of fielders who are standing close by. The fielders try to make a play on the ball, and throw it back as quickly as possible. The batter then attempts to hit the return throw, and so on.

Some ballparks have banned pepper games because of the danger of balls landing in the stands and injuring spectators. Some of these stadiums may display a "NO PEPPER" warning on the edges of the field near the stands. Major League Baseball has also discouraged pepper because it damages the infield grass."

The way the ex-players described it, you wanted a glove that was as hard and small as possible, making it more so a paddle than a glove. In recent years, Upper Deck has been using one particular photo of "Cakes" over and over again, so it's nice to see a really creative action shot like the one on this card. Can you think of any other cards you've seen that depict a game of pepper?


Anonymous said...

Not pepper.
He is playing 'flip.'
Os pitchers used to play it during pre-game drills --- usually back and forth and off the backstop.
Flipping a ball back and forth.

Dinged Corners said...

With that head of hair, who needs a hat?

Word verification: hattey.

Kevin said...

Anon - Thanks for the correction! I'd never heard of "flip".

Patricia - Not to be confused with former Twins catcher Battey.

Big D said...

I agree with Dinged Corners. Jim is one fly dude.

Kevin said...

Big D - I would love to hear Jim Palmer use the term "fly" on an O's telecast one night.