Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cal Abrams, 1991 Crown/Coca-Cola All-Time Orioles #2

Acquired from the Pirates in a May 1954 trade, Philadelphia native Cal Abrams was not only the first Pennsylvania-born player to suit up for the Orioles, but he was also their leading hitter. Of course, the brand-new Birds were so offensively deficient that his title was somewhat of a booby prize. They batted only .251 as a team (the major league average was .261), and they were dead last - 16 out of 16 - in runs scored with 483. The nearest club to them was the woeful Philadelphia Athletics, who weren't that close with 542 runs.

Still, the overall ineptitude of Baltimore's bats shouldn't detract from the good year that Abrams had. In 115 games, he managed to lead the club in batting (.293), on-base percentage (.400), slugging (.421), runs (67), doubles (22), triples (7), and even times hit by pitch (4). Most categories weren't even close - the next-best OBP came from Chuck Diering, who checked in at .349! Vern Stephens was the only other regular Oriole to slug over .400 (.403). He was the top home run hitter, with a whopping eight, and also paced the team with 46 RBI. Abrams and Bob Kennedy tied for second place with six round-trippers apiece.

Despite being practically the only Oriole hitter with a pulse, Cal was robbed of the inaugural Most Valuable Oriole award. In a baffling decision, fellow outfielder Diering (with a .258 AVG, .311 SLG and the aforementioned OBP .051 lower than Abrams) took home the honors. Well, Cal, for what it's worth, you would have had my vote in a walkaway.

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