Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Chris Myers, 1990 Bowman #250

Ah, Chris Myers. All that I know about this lefty pitcher is that he was the Orioles' first round draft pick in 1987. Considering that he never made it to the majors, and that he was out of pro baseball by the age of 24, I might as well engage in a little second-guessing. Besides, with all the foaming at the mouth that surrounds this weekend's NFL draft, it's even somewhat timely.

Based on their crummy 1986 season (73 wins, 89 losses), the O's picked seventh overall in June 1987. Of course, the big prize in the draft was long gone by then; the Mariners took a high school outfielder named Ken Griffey, Jr. with the first pick. Though five of the six players taken before Chris Myers eventually made it to the big leagues, only Griffey and pitcher Jack McDowell turned out to be anything special. With Myers, the Birds took a gamble on that most enticing of amateur players - the phenom high school pitcher.

If Baltimore had kept their eyes open for a college pitcher, they might have grabbed a righthander named Kevin Appier. Appier was grabbed by the Royals with the ninth pick, and went on to win 169 games. Second baseman Delino DeShields, a talented but injury-prone second baseman, went to the Expos with the twelfth pick; he would join the O's late in his career and perform well for two years. The Birds had two more first-round picks to come; with the fifteenth overall selection they actually did nab a college pitcher, but whiffed again: Brad DuVall never sniffed the majors either. Between their second pick and their third (twenty-seventh overall), the player of most note was catcher Craig Biggio, who just retired in 2007 after collecting 3060 hits. The Orioles finally did well with their third shot, landing a righty hurler from Fordham University named Pete Harnisch.

Looking at the draft results from any given year just underscores what a crapshoot it can be. Of course, when you swing and miss with most of your picks over an extended period of time, that's when you really look bad.

As a fun side note, the Orioles drafted yet another pitcher you may have heard of in the seventh round in 1987, a high schooler from Pennsylvania named Mike Mussina. Of course, he turned them down and went to Stanford, but the O's persisted and got their man in the first round in 1991.

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