Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Friday, November 9, 2012

Vintage Fridays: Ray Barker, 1961 Topps #428

Ray Barker played five games for the Orioles in 1960 as a 24-year-old rookie. The Birds had signed him as a 19-year-old free agent in 1955, and he hit 102 home runs in those first half-dozen minor league seasons to earn his September cup of coffee. Poor Ray went 0-for-6 and struck out three times.

He returned to the majors at age 29, earning a bench job with the Indians at the start of the 1965 season (as immortalized on this four-player card)...and went 0-for-6, walked twice, and was traded to the Yankees in May. Surprisingly, he eked out a decent season as a part-timer in New York, putting up a .254/.316/.410 line, 7 home runs, 31 RBI, and a 109 OPS+ in 98 games.

Unfortunately, Barker couldn't replicate that modest success. In 1966, he batted .187 with 3 homers in 61 games for the Yanks. The following year, his last in baseball, he went just 2-for-26 in 17 games. But  he finished his career with cards in four separate Topps sets (also appearing as a Yankee in 1966 and 1967). Not a bad representation.

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