Stacey's "Bird Droppings" post this morning at Camden Chat. She also linked to this blog, which was a swell thing to do, and which gave me that little extra push to write something tonight. I guess reciprocity makes the world go 'round.
Andy was a five-time Gold Glove center fielder, a three-time All-Star, and a two-time Silver Slugger, and he did exactly zero of those things in Baltimore. It would've been hard to squeeze such accolades into his muddled 17-game swing through Charm City in early 1995. So it goes. You may feel like you've heard the Van Slyke name more recently; indeed, Andy's son Scott has been a part-time outfielder and first baseman for the Dodgers since 2012. He's batted .249/.331/.424 in 821 career plate appearances, with 27 home runs and 92 RBI.
The elder Van Slyke shares a birthday, birth year and all, with former righty reliever and storied prankster Roger McDowell, who also had a mid-30s sojourn with the Orioles in the mid-1990s. Roger finished his 12-year stint in the majors with 41 appearances out of the O's bullpen in 1996, running up a 4.25 ERA while walking 23 batters and striking out just 20. Two decades later, McDowell has returned to our city as Buck Showalter's new pitching coach after a lengthy tenure in that same role in Atlanta. He's got his work cut out for him, to say the least.