Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Monday, March 11, 2013

Jim Palmer, 2005 Donruss Throwback Threads Century Stars #CS-17

On this date in Orioles history, one of the most entertaining Spring Training storylines reached its sad (though predictable) conclusion. On March 11, 1991, Jim Palmer pitched in a Grapefruit League game against the Red Sox. The righthander was 46 years old and was attempting a comeback seven seasons after the O's released him and prompted his retirement. Moreover, he had just been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame the previous summer. As exciting as all of this was, it just wasn't meant to be. "Cakes" was touched for five hits and two runs in two innings, and pulled a hamstring to boot. He officially re-retired the following day. Any Baltimore fans who might have been dreaming of a rotation that included Jim Palmer, Ben McDonald, and Mike Mussina had their hopes dashed.

Speaking of Mussina, I think it would be a real kick if he tried this sort of thing. He's only been retired for four years, going on five, and unlike Palmer, Moose went out on top with a 20-win season in 2008. Mike is only 44, so maybe he'd have a little more in the tank than Jim did in his last-gasp try. It's too late in the spring to whip a middle-aged pitcher into form by Opening Day, but maybe the Birds could count on him as a mid-season addition like the Yankees did with Andy Pettitte last year. After the Orioles won 93 games and narrowly missed the ALCS in 2012, I'm willing to believe in anything.


Ryan H said...

Wow, it would be great to see that Knuckle-Curve in Charm City again!

Kevin said...

Even better...he's probably smart enough to figure out a full-blown knuckler to save some wear and tear on the body. Might as well go all the way with the daydream.