Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Albert Belle, 2001 Topps Opening Day #136

After spending an hour tormenting my back muscles by shoveling snow, I enjoyed the rest of my day off with some well-earned sloth. This included watching one of those entertainingly disposable Top 50 countdown programs on the MLB Network. In a thumb of the nose toward concussion awareness, this particular episode focused on the most memorable on-field collisions. Number one was Pete Rose's flying shoulder block of Ray Fosse to score the winning run in the 1970 All-Star Game, of course. The first runner-up was Albert Belle's violent forearm shiver to the jaw of Brewers second baseman Fernando Vina in a 1996 game. If somehow you missed it, Belle was hit by a pitch in the eighth inning with the Indians up 9-3. When Eddie Murray followed with a grounder directly to Vina, the second baseman reached up to tag the charging runner. Albert chose to break up the would-be double play by squaring up and clocking him. Vina flailed to the ground but held onto the ball, and Belle was called out. As there was no play at first, Murray was safe on a fielder's choice. Some choice! Anyway, the Brewers retaliated by plunking the rage-filled slugger again in the ninth. A brawl ensued, and Belle was subsequently suspended for five games.

I couldn't help but laugh when I saw the clip again for the first time in several years. It was so blatant. It's been a full decade since Albert retired due to an arthritic hip, so there's an entire generation of baseball fans who may not truly grasp the bat-doody insanity of Albert Belle. Tell the children...never forget.


drew said...

With the news of Gil Miche's retirement and subsequent return of $12 million in guaranteed money, i've been thinking of Albert Belle a lot today.

LoCoDe said...

Yup, Belle sure was a ding dong!

Kevin said...

Drew - At least the Orioles were insured. They weren't caught holding the bag when Belle retired.

LoCoDe - That's one way to put it.