Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Johnny Schmitz, 1991 Crown/Coca-Cola All-Time Orioles #407
It's worth noting that Schmitz allowed only 3 home runs in 38.1 innings with the Birds, and one of those was served up to an Indians rookie named Rocky Colavito. It was the sixth of an eventual 374 career homers for the slugging outfielder, and the first of 39 that he would hit against Baltimore. A few weeks later, on August 10, 1956, Rocky hit his 11th. It also happened to be his 23rd birthday.
So what does all of this have to do with the price of soup? Well, August 10, 1956 was also the day that my uncle Jeff, the first baseball fanatic in my life, was born. As a kid, he always checked the bios on the backs of cards to see who shared his birthday (as I'm sure most of us did), and Colavito was the only one that really leapt out at him. Indeed, if you check the full list on Baseball-Reference, you won't see many exciting names on the 8/10 list. The only Orioles are 1950s reliever Bob Chakales and lunchpail catcher Sal Fasano. Note that Sal regrettably did not earn a card for his surprisingly productive 64-game stint in Baltimore in 2005; you can bet that I would have posted it in a blink. Maybe it's time I started rooting around for photos to make my own virtual cards. But I'm getting off-track.
So anyway, happy birthday, Uncle Jeff. I should also pass along birthday wishes to my mother and my cousin Brittany. August 10 is a jam-packed day in my family!