Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Jim Palmer, 2007 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts #4

On October 6, 1966, Jim Palmer served notice that he had truly arrived. The 20-year-old hurler was a 15-game winner in just his second season. Manager Hank Bauer handed him the ball for Game Two of the World Series against the defending champion Dodgers, winners of 95 regular season games. Though the young O's had won the first game, Palmer had to have felt the pressure: 55, 947 fans packed Dodger Stadium. Moreover, his opponent was Sandy Koufax, who had just had a ridiculously great season (27-9, 1.73 ERA, 317 K, 27 CG).

Then again, maybe the pressure didn't much matter to the blue-eyed kid from New York. "Cakes" allowed only four L.A. hits and three walks, and permitted multiple base runners in the second inning only. In that instance, he wriggled out of trouble by inducing Koufax to pop up. Jim struck out six batters and earned the first shutout of his career. Meanwhile, his much-revered counterpart seemed up to the challenge, taking his own whitewash into the fifth inning before being undone by back-to-back errors by center fielder Willie Davis that led to three Baltimore runs. Koufax allowed his only earned run in the sixth before walking off of the mound for what would be the final time in his Hall of Fame career. The Birds tacked on two more insurance runs in the eighth to arrive at the final tally of 6-0.

As stunning as it may have seemed for a 20-year-old to outduel Sandy Koufax in a World Series game, the headlines would get even bigger. After picking up two runs in the first three innings of the Fall Classic, Los Angeles would not score again that October. The Oriole arms blanked the Dodger bats for the final 33 and 1/3 innings of the Series, with Moe Drabowsky, Palmer, Wally Bunker, and Dave McNally doing the honors.

Sure, tonight's 12-inning Twins vs. Tigers 163rd game tiebreaker was exciting, but I can think of a few games I'd rather watch.


FreeTheBirds said...

For Christmas last year I got the Orioles' 66/70/83 World Series films DVD. I'd seen the 83 one countless times but had never seen the 66 & 70 ones. Great stuff and you never hear the Palmer/Koufax game talked about much. Palmer the rookie facing Koufax in his last game, in the WS no less and both were magnificent.

Kevin said...

FTB - That sounds like the kind of thing I'd go for. I only heard rebroadcasts of the 1966 games on WBAL...I think they did it during the 1994 strike.

Rounding Thirty 3rd said...

Last winter (or maybe 2 ago) MASN played a rebroadcast of the '66 series of sorts. I think it was two hours long and covered the highlights from all 4 games, so each game got about a half hour. It also included some nice interviews with the stars. Maybe they will play it again soon!!

Kevin said...

Tim - I would like to see that run again. I only caught some of it the first time.