Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Harold Baines, 1993 Leaf #249

Today is the 92nd birthday of Waldon Thomas "Wally" Westlake, whose eight-game stint in Baltimore in 1955 qualifies him as the oldest living Orioles player. I already used my lone Wally Westlake card in a post last March, so I thought I'd consult Baseball Reference's Oracle of Baseball to link Wally to the youngest living Oriole, 19-year-old phenom Dylan Bundy. Incidentally, Bundy will turn 20 in a week. So we may as well wish the future 600-game winner a happy birthday while we're at it! There are five degrees of separation (and 72 years of age) between these two O's, and there are some fun names involved in this chain:
  • Wally Westlake played with Cal McLish for the 1948(!) Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • Cal McLish played with Minnie Minoso for the 1959 Cleveland Indians.
  • Minnie Minoso played with Harold Baines for the 1980 Chicago White Sox. (NOTE: Minoso, then age 54, went 0-for-2 as a pinch hitter in the last few games of the season.)
  • Harold Baines played with Jim Thome for the 1999 Cleveland Indians.
  • Jim Thome played with Dylan Bundy for the 2012 Baltimore Orioles.
There was one four-link chain between Wally and Dylan, but it comes with a catch: though Westlake and Brooks Robinson were each on the 1955 Orioles club, they were not teammates. Westlake joined the O's on 15 and was released on July 9. Brooksie made his big league debut on September 17. Just for giggles, here's that chain:
  • Wally Westlake and Brooks Robinson both played for the 1955 Baltimore Orioles.
  • Brooks Robinson played with Dennis Martinez for the 1976 Baltimore Orioles.
  • Dennis Martinez played with Jim Thome for the 1994 Cleveland Indians.
  • Jim Thome played with Dylan Bundy for the 2012 Baltimore Orioles.
There was also a cool chain that went Westlake-Joe Nuxhall-Pete Rose-Tim Raines, Sr.-Brian Roberts-Dylan Bundy, but I similarly tossed that one out since Roberts was back on the disabled list by the time the Birds' young phenom debuted with the team in September. Everything is connected if you look hard enough.

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