Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Steve Stone, 2005 Donruss Greats #79

Do you realize that Steve Stone was the last Oriole pitcher to win the Cy Young Award? Sad but true. The 32-year-old righthander won an incredible 25 games against just 7 losses in 1980, accounting for a quarter of the team's victories in a thrilling season that saw the club finish 3 games back of the Yankees. He still holds the O's single-season record for wins, and his peripherals were the best of his career as well: a 3.23 ERA, 149 strikeouts, and 8 hits allowed per game, all in a career-high 250.2 innings. He made the only All-Star Game of his career, getting the starting nod and tossing three perfect innings. However, it all came at a great cost: the increased workload and his heavy use of curveballs put enough wear and tear on Stone's right arm to bring an end to his career the following year, as his ERA inflated to 4.60 in just 62.2 innings. To an outside observer, it might seem as if Steve Stone had sold his soul to the devil. That's just what teammate Ken Singleton suggested, anyhow.

For much more detail about one of the most headline grabbing seasons by any Baltimore starting pitcher, you can check out Bill Pemstein's new book A Stone's Throw. Bill is a frequent reader of this very blog and a former D.C.-area account executive for the Orioles. He's spent the past 20 years as a Chicago reporter covering high school sports. If you follow that link, you can read a preview of the book and order a paperback copy (if you're so inclined). From the few pages I've seen, it looks like a worthwhile detailed chronicle of a sometimes overlooked chapter in Orioles history.

1 comment:

White Sox Cards said...

This would be the perfect time to mention that Steve Stone just came out with a book, "Said in Stone: Your Game, My Way".

Stone covers what he feels are the most important aspects of America's Pastime, including:

A thorough breakdown of each baseball position and how to play it correctly

The importance of managing and the front office's role in creating a successful team

His years pitching for the Giants, Cubs, White Sox and Orioles

What he considers to be the most important pitch in the game

Who he thinks is the best first base/second base tandem he has ever seen

His memories of Chicago Cubs legend Ron Santo