Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Armando Benitez, 1996 Donruss #513

My mother is retiring next month, so she's been doing a lot of cleaning, organizing, and dumping. Yesterday afternoon she handed me a sealed (but not stamped) envelope that she'd found bearing my handwriting. It was addressed to Dr. Gene Budig, President of the American League from 1994 through 1999. I had no recollection of ever composing a letter to the good doctor, but I had a feeling that it couldn't be anything good. When I got back to my desk and opened it up, my suspicions were confirmed.

The letter, composed in Microsoft Word and printed neatly, is dated October 10, 1996. The day after Game 1 of the ALCS. THAT game. Armando Benitez. Derek Jeter. Tony Tarasco. Jeffrey Freaking Maier. It's a fascinating glimpse into the frustrated mind of a 14-year-old baseball fanatic, and there is contempt dripping off of each and every word. I'm not nearly shameless enough to share the letter in its entirety, but highlights include:

-Referring to myself as "a frustrated ex-baseball fan". 17 years later, I must note that I'm apparently not a man of my convictions. And yes, I underlined "ex" in the letter, just so he would get the point.

-Committing the cardinal sin of the overzealous sports fan and substituting "we" for the team name.

-Describing the umpires as "spiteful" (more on that in a moment) and "incompetent", and Yankee rooters as "nasty, immoral slobs". Gee, young Kevin, tell us what you really think.

-Suggesting that Richie Garcia and the rest of the umpiring crew may have had it in for the Orioles because Roberto Alomar had recently spit on John Hirschbeck.

-Noting that I had stripped my room of all baseball memorabilia. It's a good thing I didn't actually throw those cards out...I suppose.

-Appending a closing salutation of "Worst regards". Oh, BURN.

Obviously, this letter is something that I can laugh at now. Maybe time really does heal all wounds.

On the other hand, I still can't stand Armando Benitez.

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