Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Friday, February 11, 2011

Vintage Fridays: Gene Woodling, 1960 Topps #190

On Tuesday, April 19, 1960, the Orioles opened their season with a 3-2 win over the Senators in front of 32,747 fans at Memorial Stadium. Young starter Jerry Walker survived a six-walk, five-hit performance and allowed only two runs in five and one-third innings, and reliever Jack Fisher earned the win by shutting out Washington for the rest of the game. The O's picked up two runs in the third on a Brooks Robinson home run, and clinched the win in the seventh when Gene Woodling hit a two-out double to score Jackie Brandt.

That day, a 30-year-old man named Ernie Tyler worked his first game as the Orioles' umpire's attendant. He had been an usher at Memorial Stadium since the team debuted in Baltimore in 1954. In his new role, he would work each and every O's regular season and postseason game (as well as an All-Star Game and a few assorted exhibitions) through July 27, 2007. He only deigned to take a day off when Cal Ripken, Jr., a man with a similar work ethic, requested his presence at the shortstop's Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Tyler worked 3,819 consecutive home games in all. Though he encountered health problems in the subsequent years, he was still working for the club through the 2010 season.

Sadly, Ernie passed away at age 86 last night. He had been in a long-term care facility in North Baltimore since December, when he began rehabilitation after having a benign brain tumor removed in October. If you doubt the impact that Tyler had on the fans, players, coaches, and anyone else associated with the Orioles, just stop by the websites of the Baltimore Sun or MASN. The remembrances are pouring in from all over: Cal Ripken, Brian Roberts, Dave Trembley, and Jeremy Guthrie, and of course the various Sun and MASN reporters. The Orioles and the city have lost a great man and a living embodiment of the team's history. If you're interested, you can find out how to pass along your sympathies to Ernie's family and friends here.

I previously wrote about Tyler after spotting him on a Charles Johnson card, and lamented that he'd never been recognized with a card of his own. Fellow blogger Steve of White Sox Cards was kind enough to put together a custom card for the occasion, so I'll pay tribute by posting it now. Thanks for always being there, Ernie.


Ryan said...

It is truly a sad day in Baltimore baseball history.

Kevin said...

Ryan - As Jim Palmer said, a light has gone out at Camden Yards.