Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Monday, January 28, 2013

John Halama, 2006 Upper Deck Special F/X Red #531

I feel as though certain baseball cards can function as stand-ins for the state of the hobby at large. For instance, this is a shiny parallel insert, serial-numbered and limited to 50. The player featured is lefty John Halama, who was an Oriole for all of 29.1 innings in 2006. He walked 13, struck out 12, and allowed 38 hits, so you know that he came by his 6.14 ERA honestly. Somehow he also won three of his four decisions in what proved to be his big league swan song after a nine-season career that also included stints with the Astros, Mariners, Athletics, Devil Rays, Red Sox, and Nationals. Way back in 1998, he had been the infamous Player to Be Named Later in the deal that sent Randy Johnson to Houston, and that's pretty much the highlight for ol' John. I guess you could point to a 14-9 season in Seattle in 2000, but his 5.08 ERA (90 ERA+) indicates that the southpaw had a lot of help notching all of those W's.

So back to my original point. Upper Deck took a base card of an unexceptional veteran, stamped some foil and a plasticine veneer on it, and created some artificial scarcity. How did we get here?

1 comment:

Oriolephan said...

Halama Recently retired and became the Pitching coach for the York Revs