Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ben McDonald, 1992 Upper Deck Hologram Insert #CP3

The honors just keep coming for Ben McDonald. The 6'7" ex-Oriole has already been inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame and had his jersey number retired by Louisiana State University. Over the weekend, he was also chosen as an inductee for the 2010 class of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Though he ranks 20th in major league history in career wins by a Lousianan, I have a hunch that the Baton Rouge native was chosen largely on the merits of his outstanding amateur career. Here are the highlights:

-All-state baseball and basketball player at Denham Springs High School

-Won a Gold medal with the 1988 U.S. Olympic baseball team

-Was a forward on the 1986-1987 LSU Men's basketball squad that reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament

-29-14, 3.24 ERA in his LSU career

-1989 Golden Spikes Award winner (most outstanding amateur player), National Player of the Year (as chosen by The Sporting News, Baseball America, and Collegiate Baseball): 14-4, 3.49 ERA, 202 strikeouts

-Led LSU to two College World Series and was a two-time All-American

-Set Southeastern Conference record with 202 strikeouts in 1989. Also set SEC records for innings pitched (152.1) and consecutive scoreless innings (44.2)

-Set LSU record with 373 career strikeouts

So when you put it that way, you can see why McDonald was a slam-dunk #1 overall pick for the O's in 1989. Sure, he never put it all together and stayed healthy in the majors, but that's life. Congrats, Ben!

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