Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Al Bumbry, 1981 Fleer #172

In my Orioles draft retrospective yesterday, I cut things off after the first ten rounds. I doubled back today out of curiosity, and noticed that they've actually had a pretty good track record in the eleventh round.

  • The second-ever amateur draft occurred in 1966. The O's selected Terry Crowley with pick number 216. "The Crow" never even had as many as 300 plate appearances in a big league season, but lasted 15 years as a valuable bench bat.
  • In 1968, Al Bumbry was the 238th overall pick out of Virginia State University (now Virginia Tech). Despite not becoming a regular until age 26, the Vietnam veteran earned 22.3 bWAR in a career spanning 14 seasons. He batted .281, stole 254 bases, won the 1973 American League Rookie of the Year Award, and was an All-Star in 1980.
  • Skip forward to 1982, and Billy Ripken was chosen 286th overall. His competent glovework at second base kept him around the majors for a dozen years, and he even batted .291 (.342 OBP) in 1990 for the Orioles.
  • Here's a tidbit that I've mentioned previously: in 1987, the O's used the 273rd pick on Mike Mussina, who had just completed his senior year at Montoursville High School in Pennsylvania. He chose to continue his studies at Stanford, and leapt 253 slots to become Baltimore's first-round choice in 1990. Smart man.
  • Jerry Hairston (Jr.) was another two-time draftee for the Orioles. In 1995, the team took a flier on the Illinois high schooler with their 42nd round pick (1,172nd overall!). He did not sign, but the O's gave it another go after his sophomore year at Southern Illinois University. After Round 42, being an 11th-round pick (345th overall) probably looks pretty good. Would you believe that 2012 is Jerry's 15th year in the big leagues? What's more, he's got a World Series ring from the 2009 Yankees and he's also contributed to this year's amazing start by the Dodgers.

When you consider that only six of their eleventh-round draft picks have signed and made it to the big leagues (the others are outfielder Bobby Brown and pitcher Kevin Hart, both of whom were dealt before debuting), it's pretty incredible that they found four quality major leaguers.


Jeff said...

Virginia State is still Virginia State. Its Division II, and has played in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association for 80 years.

Kevin said...

Jeff - Wow, that's a goofy mistake on my part. I think I got mixed up because Al's son Steven went to VT. Thanks for the correction!