Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Miles Barnden, 1994 Orioles Magazine

This one actually came from an Orioles game-day program that I bought at this game. There was a perforated sheet of nine cards; I'd guess that the players featured were either on the forty-man roster or were present at Spring Training. For some reason I only have eight of these cards. Of the eight, only three ever suited up for the Birds in a major league game. Aussie infielder Miles Barnden was not so fortunate.

Barnden's name actually appears on baseball-reference.com as "Myles" Barnden. It would be a cruel twist if the Orioles' official magazine didn't even get his name right. The lefty hitter was signed as a nineteen-year-old undrafted free agent in 1992. In the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, he hit .240 in his pro debut. He showed some improvement the following year at higher rookie-level Bluefield (.288-6 HR-53 RBI), and looked even stronger in a brief 12-game promotion to A-level Albany (.362-2-11). His numbers dipped with a longer stint at Albany in 1994 (.256-0-26), but he was promoted to higher A-level Frederick anyway. He had only three hits in thirty-five at-bats there, and that appears to have been the end of his U.S. baseball career.

If Wikipedia is to be trusted, Myles found new life in the sport in his native Australia. Playing with the league champion Waverley/Melbourne Reds in 1998, his .343 batting average was ninth-best in team history. Having played in the third-most games in Reds history (315), he ranks in the top ten in several career offensive categories for the club, including home runs (29), RBI (134), and walks (117). The Australian Baseball League folded in 1999, ensuring that Myles Barnden's place in club history is secure.

You just never know what you're going to learn when you start researching a foreign-born infielder who never made it out of single-A baseball.

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