Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jim Palmer, 2006 Upper Deck All-Time Legends #ATL-29

Because I'm such an important person*, I get PR emails from the MLB Network from time to time. Earlier this week, I received a press release touting the inclusion of the 1971 Orioles in tonight's new episode of the "Prime 9" program, which counts down top nines in various categories. This episode was focusing on the greatest starting rotations of all time, and was unsurprised by the inclusion of the '71 O's, who are still the only post-Dead-Ball Era club to boast four 20-game-winners. I was curious to see how they stacked up to the other heavyweights, so I tuned in at 8:30.

The Birds were ranked seventh, ahead of the 2001 Athletics and 1986 Mets but behind several Dead-Ball staffs (1927 Yankees, 1910 Athletics, 1906 Cubs), the 1997 Braves, the 1954 Indians, and...the 2005 White Sox? Yep, the most recent rotation to crack the list came in at number six, just ahead of the Birds, and stuck out like a sore thumb. In the interest of fairness, I checked out the Chicago players' stats and if you're going by ERA+ (which adjusts for park factors and league average), they bested the O's foursome. They all even topped 200 innings pitched, not something to be taken for granted in the current era. Naturally, the Baltimore pitchers blew them away in complete games by a total margin of 70-9, and outstripped them in wins (the Sox were led by Jon Garland at 18-10). The lower walks-per-nine marks belonged to the Pale Hose, but the Orioles were better in hits-per-nine rates. It's a close call, but this homer would give the Birds the nod.

Regardless of where they were placed, it was good to see some highlights of Jim Palmer (20-9, 2.68 ERA), Dave McNally (21-5, 2.89), Pat Dobson (20-8, 2.90), and Mike Cuellar (20-9, 3.08) making hitters look silly. Palmer, Earl Weaver, Brooks Robinson, and Paul Blair also provided sound bites for the piece. If you're interested in checking out the replay, it'll be on at 11:30.

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