Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Harold Baines, 2000 Upper Deck #331

Last night wizened veteran Jason Giambi became the oldest player in major league history to hit a walkoff home run when he took Jason Frasor of the White Sox deep to break a 2-2 tie in the ninth inning. The former American League MVP was 42 years and 202 days old...and now he's even older. Anyway, he broke Hank Aaron's 37-year-old record, and it got me to wondering: Just who was the oldest Oriole to ever hit a walkoff home run? I couldn't find an easy method for squeezing the answer out of Baseball Reference's Play Index, so I had to run two separate queries: one gave me all 128 walkoff home runs in O's history and the other gave me every home run hit by an Oriole aged 35 or older in home wins. It wasn't pretty, but I found the answer.


It was Harold Baines, on May 5, 1999, at 40 years and 50 days of age. I actually touched on this game a few months ago in the wake of Matt Wieters' walkoff grand slam vs. the Rays. As you may have surmised, Baines' blast was also a game-winning slam, the last one the Birds hit before Wieters' heroics. It was hit off of David Lundquist of the White Sox, and it might not have been the most improbable event in the game. To give you an idea, the 9-5 extra-inning affair featured an Albert Belle stolen base, a pinch RBI triple by Baines himself as part of Baltimore's two-run ninth-inning rally, a pinch running appearance by O's pitcher Ricky Bones, and to top it all off, Harold's grand slam was the team's only hit in the decisive tenth inning. Revisiting this completely bananas game for the second time in the past few months reminds me that I have got to find a recording of it somewhere.

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