Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Friday, May 11, 2012

Vintage Fridays: Milt Pappas, 1958 Topps #457

This is Milt Pappas' rookie card, depicting the righty as a skinny 18-year-old "bonus baby". Some 55 years and 209 career wins later, he celebrates his 73rd birthday today. Your humble blogger offers a tip of the cap to Milt.

Fun fact: Milt got a start at second base against the Athletics on September 11, 1958...in a manner of speaking. Two of the Orioles' weaker-hitting regulars were second baseman Billy Gardner (.225/.271/.298) and center fielder Jim Busby (.237/.320/.330). With the O's playing on the road, manager Paul Richards optimized his offense by writing pitcher Jack Harshman into the lineup as the center fielder batting fifth. Pappas was penciled in at second base batting seventh. If their spots came up in the first inning, Richards could pinch-hit with his preferred bench bats. If not, the pitchers could be pulled, and none of the bench players would be burned needlessly. With two runners on base and two out in the first inning, Gene Woodling indeed pinch-hit for Harshman and flied out to left to end the inning. Busby and Gardner took the field in the bottom of the first, so Pappas was subbed out without his spot in the order coming up. It was all for naught, as the Birds lost 7-1.


Jim from Downingtown said...

The A's did something similar in the early 1970s. For away games, weak-hitting 2nd baseman Dick Green was left out of the starting lineup, with a better bat (maybe Claudell Washington?) leading off the 1st inning (and technically in the lineup as the 2nd baseman). In the bottom of the 1st, Green was then inserted in the lineup at 2nd base.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the tragic disappearance of Pappas's wife Carole. She was missing for 5 years before her body was discovered when a pond near her home was drained.