Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jimmy Key, 1998 Collector's Choice #42

This is another card that I received in my recent trade with Ryan, and it's probably my favorite photo of the lot. It's a playful Spring Training shot of Jimmy Key in an unfamiliar setting: on the base paths. He won't exactly be mistaken for Rickey Henderson, not while blowing a bubble and resting his hands firmly on his thighs. In case you're wondering, Jimmy batted only three times in his long career. All three plate appearances came in a June 13, 1997 interleague game in Atlanta. Given the unenviable task of taking his first career swings against Greg Maddux in the latter's prime, Key struck out twice. However, he also successfully executed a sacrifice bunt that aided a four-run uprising. He allowed a single run in 6.2 innings, and the Birds survived an Armando Benitez gasoline act to beat Maddux 4-3.


Ryan aka Orioles Magic said...

This card is awesome. I've somehow never seen it before.

Bo said...

Key over Maddux, just like Game 6 of the 1996 World Series.

Rounding Thirty 3rd said...

As a young pitcher in Toronto (1985), Jimmy Key was called on as a pinch runner in the tenth inning, replacing the DH Jeff Burroughs who had reached 2B on an error with none out.

Willie Upshaw came up next and hit a fly ball to center. Key tried to tag and go to third, but was gunned down by Kirby Puckett. Toronto went on to lose in the bottom of the tenth.

Key also batted once in post-season, in the 92 WS (foul pop-up 1B). Oddly, it was not the game he started, but rather game six, where he came on in relief and picked up the win. The Jays relievers picked up three of the four wins in that series, as Toronto tallied the winning runs in the 9th inning twice and in the 11th inning in Key's game six win.

Kevin said...

Ryan - I'd never seen it until it arrived in the mail, either!

Bo - Somewhere, a Braves fan just bit his tongue, and he doesn't know why.

Tim - That's some good research! I saw Key's DH credit on B-R and assumed it was the old Earl Weaver trick. Thanks for looking into it!