August 27, 1968. It was a walkoff victory in the bottom of the ninth over the visiting Athletics, and Merv Rettenmund provided the heroics. With one out and the scored tied 3-3, Curt Blefary singled. Elrod Hendricks was announced to pinch hit for Larry Haney, so Oakland manager (and ex-Oriole) Bob Kennedy replaced righthander Jack Aker with lefty Warren Bogle. Never one to shy away from a chess match, Earl Weaver countered with the rookie Rettenmund, who delivered a two-run homer. 5-3, Orioles. It was the first home run of Merv's career, and the only walkoff shot he ever hit.
Why am I writing about the Birds' 1,001st win? Because this, loyal readers, is my 1,001st post on this blog. A few weeks ago, William (who must have almost as much time on his hands as I do) mentioned that I was nearing 1,000 and wondered if I had anything special planned. As I prepared to post yesterday's underwhelming Rick Schu card, I briefly considered checking to see how close I was to that nice round number. Obviously, I failed to do so, but I could easily pretend that I planned it this way. After all, life isn't about wrapping things up in neat little packages and round numbers. It doesn't go according to plan. But I've already shown my hand, so there's no chance for that. I'm glad that I found a neat tidbit to go with #1,001 anyhow.
When I started this blog on New Year's Day 2008, I didn't know if I'd really be able to keep myself on-task and update it every day. If you look at the archives on the sidebar, you'll see that I have kept it going for 2.75 years now, with one or two hiccups. I'm certainly not in danger of running out of different cards to feature, and although some days I don't have the time or inspiration to write much, I am still not tired of rambling on about my life, my hobby, and my favorite team. Of course I wouldn't have poured numerous hours into this pursuit if no one was reading, so I'd like to thank all of you who have shared your own memories, opinions, kind words, or snide remarks in blog comments and emails. I've traded cards with a number of you, and others have given freely from their collections without expecting anything in return. I've even had the opportunity to meet a few of you, and that has been a rewarding experience as well. I wouldn't have imagined it when I creeped back into the hobby in 2007, but the Internet has made card collecting a much more social pursuit for me than it was in my adolescence.
So thanks for following along for the first 1,001. The best should be yet to come - I'm sure you'll want to read my thoughts after the Orioles win the World Series next October...