It's always kind of intriguing to feature an Orioles card of a player who never actually made it to the major leagues. This card of lefty pitcher Mike Linskey is already kind of strange, in that he's wearing the "new" O's hat that debuted in 1989 but it is paired with the "old" jersey that was put in mothballs after 1988. But things become even more curious when you take a good long look at Mike's glove. Written near the thumb in black Sharpie is the word "NUKE". I can only assume that this is a nickname bestowed upon the Birds' ninth-round pick of the 1988 draft, probably a reference to Tim Robbins' Nuke LaLoosh character in the very popular film "Bull Durham". The movie came out in 1988, and featured Robbins as a naive, flaky minor league phenom who had to learn to control himself and his fastball. (Incidentally, the film was written and directed by former O's minor leaguer Ron Shelton, who based Nuke's character on former teammate and human myth Steve Dalkowski).
Indeed, Charm City native (he graduated from Loyola Blakefield High School) Linskey was every bit the phenom himself. He was a 6'5", 200-pound southpaw who had gone 10-1 as a senior at James Madison University and boasted a four-pitch repertoire. He went 29-21 with a 2.59 ERA in his first three seasons in the Baltimore organization, shooting up to AAA Rochester by midseason in 1990. So what happened? He scuffled badly in 1991, going 7-10 between AA and AAA with a 5.23 ERA and 1.68 WHIP. The O's gave up on him at age 25, and he was out of baseball two years later, having failed to regain his form in the Padres farm system.
If anyone out there can fill in some of the blanks as it pertains to Mike Linskey, I'd love to hear from you.