Reasons the Internet is wonderful, part 731: The Sports Illustrated Vault. Yesterday, Stacey at Camden Chat linked to this glorious article by the great Frank Deford, detailing the Orioles' four-game romp over the White Sox in the 1983 ALCS. Of course it made mention of the highly unlikely series-clinching home run by the esteemed Tito Landrum, who had been on the team for less than two months and who would hit 13 home runs in his career. His blast broke a scoreless tie in the tenth inning and drove Chicago starter Britt Burns from the game; the O's would tack on two more runs before Tippy Martinez slammed the door shut in the bottom of the frame. Oh, and apropos of nothing, Deford mentions in passing that Tito used to be a male model.
Let's quote the relevant piece of text: "A onetime male model, Landrum got to bat 41 times for the Orioles, but he never started a game in right-field until the playoffs, when Dan Ford was hobbled by an injured right foot."
Yep, that's what I thought he said. But seriously, how could you just throw that out there and let it drop? Have any of you ever heard of that before? And how the hell was Tito a male model? As Stacey said, "I don't see it". Look, the Birds have a long and rich history of players moonlighting as beefcakes: Jim Palmer, Brady Anderson, Scott Erickson. But look at that photo. No harm meant, but on the list of most attractive O's, Landrum is several notches below the aforementioned guys, firmly entrenched in Joe Orsulak territory. To be fair, he's still not anywhere near Andy Etchebarren's cool, dank basement.
Look, I can pick on Tito all that I want. But at the end of the day, he played 39 regular-season games in an Orioles uniform and had one big hit to win a crucial postseason game. That's not a bad ratio.