Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hoyt Wilhelm, 2001 Upper Deck Hall of Famers #88

I'm making an executive decision here. There's a Giants logo on the back, so the TeamSets4U website lists it as a Giants card. But the keen-eyed among you will note that this is an action photo of Hoyt Wilhelm delivering a pitch for the Orioles. It's a great picture, and the first card I have of the ageless knuckleballer in action, so I'm claiming it for the O's.

As you can see, Hoyt retired in 1972 as the all-time leader in games pitched, but was deposed by another one-time Oriole, Jesse Orosco. Eventually he was also passed by Dennis Eckersley. One other Oriole makes the list - Lee Smith. If we were to update the list for the current day, John Franco and Mike Stanton would also place ahead of Wilhelm. Additionally, Dan Plesac, Mike Timlin (yet another former Baltimore pitcher), Mariano Rivera, and Trevor Hoffman would all be in the top ten, pushing Smith (among others) out. Considering the changes in pitcher usage in the modern era, it's unsurprising that the number of pitchers appearing in 1,000 or more games has nearly tripled in the last decade.


Rounding Thirty 3rd said...


I went to Baseball Reference to check the progression of this record. Pud Galvin took the lead in 1888 with 581 appearances. He finished with 705 appearances, holding the record until Cy Young passed him in 1905. Young upped his total to 906 appearances, holding the record until Wilhelm passed him in 1968. Wilhelm broke the 1000 barrier in 1970, and held the record until 1998, when Eckersley passed him. Eckersley only held the record for one year, with Orosco taking the lead in 1999 and holding.

So over the last 124 years, only 5 players have been the career leader, yet two of those 5 don't even appear on this card. Also interesting (and very indicative of the modern game, as you mentioned) is that the only one of those 5 who is not a Hall of Famer is the current leader.

Kevin said...

Tim, that is interesting! Thanks for the extra input.