Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cal Ripken, Jr. and Jerry Hairston, Jr., 2001 Fleer Platinum RC #472

Jerry Hairston retired this week, hanging up his spikes after a 16-year run in the major leagues. He never achieved the stardom that disingenuous prospect cards like this one insinuated by propping him up alongside Cal Ripken. But for a smallish (5'10"), injury-prone 11th-round pick out of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 1,442 regular-season games and another 17 postseason contests is a pretty decent legacy. He even got to team up briefly with his younger brother Scott in San Diego; the Hairstons were the third (of four to date) three-generation big league families. Hairston spent the first seven seasons of his MLB career in Baltimore, and I've always remembered him fondly despite the three strikes against his favor:

1. He delayed Brian Roberts' entrenchment in the O's everyday lineup.

2. He was part of the trade package that brought Sammy Sosa to Baltimore in 2005.

3. He won his World Series ring with the dag-blasted Yankees in 2009.

Jerry immediately landed on his feet, accepting a TV job with the Dodgers' broadcast team. Best of luck to him in his transition off of the diamond.

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