Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wally Moon, 1990 Sportsprint Frederick Keys #1

When it comes to my Orioles-specific card collection, I'm usually unenthused about minor league cards. The designs are frequently dull, primitive, or just plain ugly. The players are often obscure, bordering on anonymous. In short, they're not true O's cards in my mind. There's a cognitive dissonance in seeing Suns, Keys, Baysox, or Red Wings logos and uniforms scattered throughout my team collection. It's like they got in on a technicality.

But there are exceptions to the rule. Until I put together a post on Wally Moon for my 1965 Topps blog, I never knew that the former Cardinals and Dodgers outfielder had managed in the Baltimore organization. I thought it was pretty cool that the two-time All-Star, Gold Glover, and National League Rookie of the Year had ties to my favorite team, and with this card, I have tangible proof. Checking back on my January 2009 summary of Wally's achievements, I can see that he steered the Keys to the Carolina League championship in the 1990 season during which this card was issued. So the card is also a reminder of past glory for some baby Birds, only a handful of whom went on to much major league success (Ricky Gutierrez, Arthur Rhodes, and Anthony Telford move to the head of the class).

As I look at this card, I only have one regret: Wally's distinctive unibrow has lightened with age and is also obscured by shadows. Rats!


night owl said...

And that's why minor league cards are great. ... you just got to wade through a whole bunch of "who's he?"

Commishbob said...

I didn't know Moon managed in the O's chain even AFTER I did a post on his '59 card. Live and learn.

FWIW I agree about minor league cards... they are generally just crap. I do have a few, the '81 Rochester set with Cal and a couple depicting guys I went to school with who played plus some of a friends son in the O's chain.

Kevin said...

Night owl - Occasionally even the "who's he?" guys will surprise you. I found Ted Wilborn in a batch of 1986 Hagerstown Suns (class A) cards, and looked him up, only to find that he'd briefly played for the Jays and Yankees in 1979-80.

Bob - He spent only that one season managing for them. There's something to be said for going out on top.