Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Friday, January 8, 2016

Vintage Fridays: Willie Tasby, 1960 Topps #322

For my latest act as the Willard Scott of the Orioles blogosphere, I'd like to wish a very happy 83rd birthday to former outfielder Willie Tasby. The native of Shreveport, LA attended McClymonds High School in Oakland, which also produced fellow big leaguers Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson, and Curt Flood. He had an impressive minor league record, including a .304 average and 27 home runs and 121 RBI for the York White Roses in 1954, but never found consistent success in the major leagues. Willie was the Birds' regular center fielder in 1959, when he batted .250/.303/.378 with 13 homers and 48 RBI as a rookie. His claim to fame was a July 19, 1959 game at Memorial Stadium against the Tigers. After a thunderstorm-induced rain delay, he found himself standing in a puddle of water in the outfield in the bottom of the ninth inning. Not willing to act as a lightning rod, Tasby removed his spikes, placed them in the bullpen, and manned center field in his socks. We'll never know whether he could have caught a screaming line drive while shoeless, because Lou Berberet hit a foul pop to Brooks Robinson at third base, sealing a 2-1 win for the O's. Oh, what could have been.

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