Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Gordie Sundin, 1991 Crown/Coca-Cola All-Time Orioles #447

I was perusing Baseball Reference's Cup of Coffee page, which lists every player in history whose first game was also his last. There are some very well-known stories: Moonlight Graham, who was featured in Field of Dreams; John Paciorek, who went 3-for-3 with two walks and four runs scored in a late-season debut but was felled by a back injury; and Larry Yount (Robin's brother), who was injured while throwing warm-up pitches in his major league debut and never threw an official pitch. But even if you've heard of those one-game wonders, there's a good chance you've never heard of Gordie Sundin.

Gordie was a skilled high school athlete from Minneapolis, MN. Standing 6'4" at the age of 15, he was All-State in football, basketball, and baseball at Washburn High. He signed with the Orioles in 1955, and made his major league debut at 18 the following September. Here are the grisly details:

On September 19, 1956, Sundin entered a game in Tiger Stadium with the O's trailing Detroit 8-1. He walked Frank Lary and Harvey Kuenn, and was replaced by Billy O'Dell. Lary scored on a sacrifice fly, leaving Gordie with a career stat line of one earned run on two walks in no innings pitched...for an earned run average of infinity. Ooh.

Gordie of course never pitched another game for the Birds, but remained in their minor league system through 1961, when his career apparently ground to a halt at the old age of 23.

But he married Mary Ann Dorsey, a member of the 1956 U. S. Olympic Figure Skating Team. So good for him!


Craig said...

Kevin...funny how key words catch your eye...seeing that Crown gas was part sponsor for that card reminded me of how tied they were to the Orioles at one time and all the various different "give-aways" they had of the team...hope your day is a good one!

Kevin said...

Craig - Those were the days. I have a Crown poster from 1988 that has pictures of Topps cards throughout the years: Palmer, the Robinsons, Boog, Belanger, Davey Johnson, Blair, Singleton, Cal, Eddie...I never would have imagined during my childhood that I'd have most of those cards by now.