Monday, November 21, 2011
Aubrey Huff, 2008 Topps Co-Signers #58
Really, the lack of Orioles in the MVP race is just another signpost of how far off-track the club has been recently. Aubrey Huff's fluke 2008 season earned him a 16th-place finish in that year's MVP vote, making him the only Oriole in the last five years to be so honored. Miguel Tejada's fifth-place finish in 2004 was the last time the Birds had a serious candidate, and even then he received no first-place votes. The last time any voting member of the BBWAA considered an Oriole to be the most valuable American Leaguer, it was 1991; 15 of them boosted Cal Ripken, Jr. to the top of the heap. I'd check and see how long it's been since a Baltimore pitcher was included on a Cy Young ballot, but I'd like to finish writing this post some time before Thanksgiving. Team success will breed more individual recognition, and I can't wait for the day when we don't have to drum up pride from obligatory All-Star selections and occasional Gold Gloves or Player of the Week nods. I long for a roster that even casual fans in other cities can identify by name and by face, and not just because they were good for another team a couple of years earlier.