Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Nick Markakis, 2011 Bowman Platinum #34

It's been a good couple of days for me personally and for the Orioles. The O's completed their first three-game home sweep of the Twins since 2002 thanks in large part to some outstanding starting pitching. Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, and Jason Hammel combined to allow three runs (one earned) on 10 hits in 22 innings. Hammel capped it with seven no-hit innings in his team debut this afternoon before allowing a pair of doubles to start the eighth. The Birds' hitters provided some timely support, which included a four-hit game from unlikely designated hitter Ronny Paulino and a trio of good efforts by Nick Markakis. The O's stalwart right fielder batted .556 (5-for-9) with a pair of home runs and 4 RBI, and also walked three times. It certainly looks like Nick is healthy after undergoing offseason surgery for an abdominal muscle tear. Now the O's are 3-0 for the second straight April, the Yankees and Red Sox are 0-3, and there's nothing to do but hope that this year the home team can do a better job of maintaining momentum.

As for me, I've spent my Easter weekend with friends and family. Yesterday was the annual pre-holiday breakfast at IHOP (only the best health food for us) with my mother's side of the family, followed by a visit to my grandparents' gravesite. Afterward, I went across the street to the hobby shop to pick up some one-dollar 1950s commons, and just happened to run into Ed. We stopped by a nearby flea market and found some dime boxes of cards to our liking. After a few hours back home to recharge, I did dinner and Easter vigil mass with my parents and sister and then spent the night at my sister's place. Today we did the holiday gathering at my aunt and uncle's house, complete with our unique spin on egg-picking, a tradition from my grandmother's childhood in the Baltimore neighborhood of Highlandtown.

Since 1991, we've turned that simple game into a single-elimination tournament, brackets and all (the initial pairings are chosen at random). You only get to use one egg for all five rounds, and if you're the last person standing, you get your name put on a wooden plaque that stays in your possession until the following Spring. Today, for the first time in my 22 years of participation, I won the tournament. So I've got a few weeks to figure out where I'll be displaying that egg-shaped plaque for the next year. Who knows? If I could break my skid, maybe the Orioles can finally reverse their fortunes as well.

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