An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?
Friday, January 29, 2016
Vintage Fridays: Royle Stillman, 1975 SSPC #393
It wasn't easy being a prospect in the O's farm system in the 1970s. Royle Stillman arrived from the Dodgers in the Frank Robinson trade prior to the 1972 season. At age 21, he batted .297/.404/.505 with 23 home runs at AA Asheville. The following year, the young outfielder couldn't replicate that power stroke in his first crack at AAA Rochester, but he did lead the league with a .354 average in 94 games, with a .441 on-base percentage to boot. That earned Stillman a return ticket to the Red Wings in 1974, with Rich Coggins, Paul Blair, Al Bumbry, and Don Baylor blocking his path to the major leagues. He had something of a sophomore slump that year, but still held his own with a .292 batting mark. The third time was the charm, as Royle batted .313/.382/.484 with 30 doubles, 14 homers, and 75 RBI with Rochester in 1975 and finally made his Orioles debut in September. He went 6-for-14 in that brief exposure, but saw action in only 20 games in Baltimore the following year and scratched out two singles and three walks in 25 trips to the plate. He signed with the White Sox as a free agent at the end of the 1976 season, but put up a .210/.307/.361 line in 56 games in what proved to be his final crack at the bigs. But he does hold the historical distinction of being MLB's only player named Royle.
I can remember playing with baseball cards as a toddler, but I actually started collecting them when I was ten. Now I'm an adult looking for an outlet to talk about my hobby without receiving blank stares in return. You can contact me thusly.