Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Friday, February 8, 2013

Vintage Fridays: Moe Drabowsky, 1968 Topps #242

Earlier this week, the Orioles became the fourth team to acquire Russ Canzler this offseason. The 26-year-old first baseman/corner outfielder has only 29 games of big-league experience, all coming with the Rays and Indians over the past two seasons. Though he's too old for prospect status, Russ is an attractive option for AAA depth. In 2011, he batted .314/.401/.530 with Tampa Bay's top farm club in Durham. But that "AAA depth" label seems to have cursed Canzler to become the ultimate fungible roster piece, a journeyman's journeyman.

On December 18, 2012, the Indians designated him for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot for our old pal Mark Reynolds. Three days later, the Blue Jays claimed Russ on waivers with the intention of stashing him in the minors. However, he needed to clear waivers first; Cleveland grabbed him back on January 2 of this year. Just two days later, the Tribe tried to pass Canzler through waivers when they signed Brett Myers, and this time the Yankees snatched him. He lasted nearly a full month on New York's 40-man before his ex-Indians teammate Travis Hafner signed with the Yanks, so Russ hit the waiver wire again last Friday. That brought him to the O's 40-man roster...for the time being. I'll be pulling for Russ Canzler, wherever he lands.

Like Russ Canzler, Moe Drabowsky got his start in the Cubs organization. Unlike Russ, Moe was a major leaguer from age 20 onward. But he did his share of moving in his own right, pitching for eight different teams in a 17-year career. After an initial five-year stint in Wrigley, the Polish native stopped briefly in Milwaukee and Cincinnati before a three-plus year engagement with the Kansas City Athletics. Then there was a greatly successful three-season tenure in Baltimore's bullpen (1966-1968), after which Moe was claimed in the expansion draft by the Royals. That gave him the rare and dubious distinction of pitching for both of K.C.'s big league teams. The Birds reacquired the righty in the summer of 1970, but before the champagne had been sopped up from the team's second World Series title, he was dealt once more, this time to St. Louis. Finally, in 1972, Moe finished his career in a White Sox uniform following an early August release from his Cardinals contract. I'm always fascinated by the various twists and turns a player's career can take, even when he's one of the very best at what he does.

1 comment:

Jim from Downingtown said...

There's Moe, fresh off mowing down 11 Dodgers!