Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Joe Orsulak, 1989 Topps Big #181

Longtime reader and commenter Zach knows that I take his posting requests as a challenge, and I like to think that I'm up to the task. He took it easy on me yesterday by asking for a Topps Big card. The Orioles had a schizophrenic presence in that particular set, as all of the action photos used for the backdrops featured the players in 1988's tri-color headgear with the cartoon bird, and the foreground portraits had the O's clad in the brand-spankin'-new solid black caps with the more realistic bird. Joe Orsulak's card shows him batting in a chilly and sparsely-attended Old Comiskey Park, I believe. This is Topps Big, so I'd be remiss if I didn't scan the card back, too:
Unlike most of the players included in the Topps Big sets, Joe actually somewhat resembles the generic beefy white dude in the cartoons. The first panel, with "Orsulak" sporting an old-timey pirate hat and eye patch as he hoists a stack of pilfered bases, is especially choice. I do find it a bit odd that they couldn't pick out anything about his just-concluded 1988 season to highlight. Joe O was one of the few bright spots on that year's wretched Baltimore club, posting a team-high .288 batting average after a year's hiatus from the big leagues. His 113 OPS+ was a new career best, until he topped it in '89 with a mark of 121. But yeah, tell me all about his time in Pittsburgh in the middle of the decade.


Zach said...
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Zach said...

This is exactly what I had in mind! Those oversized cards were the Eisenhower dollar of baseball card collecting: They were too big to fit anywhere and they were unnecessary. But I loved them because they meant bigger pictures of Joe Orsulak and Rene Gonzales, and somehow that's exactly what the world needs.