Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Charlie Maxwell, 1991 Crown/Coca-Cola All-Time Orioles #283

Charlie Maxwell is one of three players in Orioles history who went by "Charlie". The others were 1950s pitcher Charlie Beamon and late 1990s backup catcher Charlie Greene. There's also Charley Lau, who spelled it a bit differently. In hindsight, manager Paul Richards missed the boat with Maxwell. The O's acquired him from the Red Sox in December 1954 after an eight-year run in the Boston organization. He'd put up strong numbers in the minors (.310, 131 HR total), but hadn't been able to break through in a few brief major league trials. The outfielder made the Opening Day roster but received only four pinch-hit appearances in a month (0-for-4) before the Orioles sold his contract to Detroit. In limited duty with the Tigers, he batted .266 for the remainder of 1955. The following season he finally put it all together, making the American League All-Star squad and ranking in the top ten in several categories, including average (.326), on-base percentage (.414), slugging (.534), runs scored (96), and home runs (28). He repeated as an All-Star in 1957 and remained a productive hitter for the Tigers and White Sox into his mid-30s. He peaked as a power hitter with 31 home runs and 95 RBI in 1959, both of which would have easily led all Orioles hitters that season.

So, why all the Charlie talk? After a couple years of being worn down by my sister and other cat-loving friends, I finally broke down and adopted a cat yesterday. His name is Charlie, and we found each other at the Maryland SPCA out on Falls Road in Hampden. He had turned up in somebody's yard down on Ostend Street near M&T Bank Stadium late last month. When nobody claimed him, he was taken to the shelter two Fridays ago. He's three years old and perfectly healthy, aside from an upper respiratory infection that has given him the sneezes. He also adapted to his new home very quickly, and seems kind of quiet and mild-mannered. Needless to say, he has been a great fit for a first-time pet owner such as myself. I had assumed that I would want to rename whichever cat I adopted, but once I met Charlie, his name just seemed to suit him somehow. He's been sitting here watching baseball with me for the past few hours, though I suspect he's not paying close attention.

4 comments:

Ryan said...

I think Charlie needs an Orioles collar.

Commishbob said...

1) Even having that set I never ever think of Charlie Maxwell as an Oriole.

2) You'll love having a cat. We've been adopted by Kate The Cat. She showed up starving and we fed her.... she'll never leave.

3) Charlie is a lot better looking that Jose Meza (the cat Charlie I mean).

Kevin said...

Ryan - $25 on Amazon. Hmm...

Bob - I guess it doesn't help that they couldn't scrounge up a picture of him in an O's uniform. I found one, though: http://cgi.ebay.com/Charlie-Maxwell-1955-Baltimore-Orioles-Signed-8x10-COA-/270654252726?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f044026b6

Commishbob said...

That picture is great find, Kevin.