Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Brad Bergesen, 2009 Topps Heritage #522

After all of the hand-wringing I did yesterday, it’s a welcome relief to have a ready-made subject. Today is my sister’s 25th birthday. If you check through the archives (or just click this link), you’ll see that two years ago I commemorated her special day by featuring a scan of Dick Kryhoski, an Oriole from the 1950s who was also born on March 24. Of the hundreds of players who have passed through Baltimore in the past 56 years, Dick is the only one born on this day. If you’re morbidly inclined, Hall of Fame infielder George Kell is the only Oriole to die on this date (passing away one year ago today, in fact).
If I wanted to stretch it, I could have run a George Sisler card today, since one of the greatest hitters of the 1920s plied his trade for the St. Louis Browns team that moved to Charm City in 1954. But this blog ain’t called “Orioles Franchise Card O’ the Day”.

So instead I went with pitcher Brad Bergesen, one of five potential members of this year’s young and hungry O’s squad who will also celebrate the big 2-5 at some point during 2010. The others: pitchers David Hernandez and Troy Patton, and outfielders Adam Jones and Felix Pie. Bergy was far and away the most pleasant surprise to emerge last season, a control pitcher whose lack of a blistering fastball had caused him to be overlooked in favor of flashier prospects like Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman. When Brad followed up his 2008 Jim Palmer Award (given annually to the Orioles’ top minor league pitcher) with a great Spring Training, he bypassed those bigger names to become the first homegrown pitcher to get the callup in ’09. He responded by becoming the club’s most dependable starter and a dark-horse candidate for Rookie of the Year, until a scary-looking line drive from Kansas City’s Billy Butler severely bruised his leg and cost him the last two months of the season. His final numbers were encouraging, though: 7-5 with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. He was second on the team in wins and first in most of the “rate” stats. On a staff desperate for innings-eaters, he made it through at least the sixth in 15 of his 19 starts, and only once did he pitch less than five and two-thirds (his second-ever major league start, when Texas knocked him out after four). After an odd offseason that saw him tweak his shoulder during a Mid-Atlantic Sports Network commercial shoot, he has bounced back with three solid Spring Training starts to give O’s fans optimism that he will be able to pick up where he left off last July.


Commish said...

Happy Birthday Kevin and thanks for a daily dose of the O's!

I like that Heritage cards in general and specifically this rookie card template was one of my favorites.

Craig said...

Happy Birthday to your sister Kevin...was curious, is your email on your profile still good? I sent you an offer regarding some cards I wasn't interested in and never got a response
Keep up the great work!

Kevin said...

Bob - Thanks, but it was my sister's birthday, not mine. I'm a fan of TH too, and I suspect I'll be in hook line and sinker for 2012 Heritage (1963 Topps) and 2014 (1965).

Craig - Thanks! Let me check back through my mail, it may have slipped through the cracks.

Commish said...

Oooooops... must read more carefully!! LOL

Hell, Happy Birthday to your sister!!