Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fernando Tatis, 2006 Upper Deck Gold #1009

Yep, Fernando Tatis was an Oriole. I'm all about celebrating the guys on the fringes of the major leagues: the quadruple-A types, the formerly solid performers fighting against the tide of injuries and age, the career minor leaguers who get a taste of the good life when a team catches itself short-handed. Naturally, being a fan of a team that seems to be perpetually adrift, I get exposed to plenty of fringy baseballers.

If you remember Fernando Tatis at all, you remember him as he was with the 1999 Cardinals, when he put up a .298/.404/.553 line with 34 home runs and 107 RBI. He also had a ridiculous game on April 23 of that year in which he became the only player to hit two grand slams in the same inning...off of the same pitcher. (Why, yes, it was Chan Ho Park. Go figure.) Injuries sapped him of his effectiveness and playing time thereafter, and he seemed to be finished after hitting .194/.281/.263 in 53 games with the Expos in 2003. He was only 28 at that time.

Fernando didn't play at all in 2004 or 2005. But he got involved with the building of a church in his native Dominican Republic, and decided to attempt a comeback in 2006 to raise money for the project. The Orioles signed him to a minor league deal, and he started the season at AAA Ottawa. He hit .298 with a .372 on-base percentage in 90 games with the Lynx, and the O's promoted him to the big leagues in July. In his first start in over three years, he went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a pair of runs scored. A week later, he singled and homered against Randy Johnson. Though he played sparingly, he spent the rest of the season in Baltimore, and did well enough, hitting .250/.313/.500 with 2 homers and 8 RBI in 64 plate appearances. 9 of his 14 hits went for extra bases.

Tatis caught on with the Mets in 2007 and spent the entire year at AAA New Orleans, where he totaled 57 extra-base hits, including 21 home runs. He spent the next three seasons as an important role player in New York, with cumulative stats of .279/.343/.447, 21 home runs, and 101 RBI in 258 games. Now he appears to be retired for good, and there's a good chance that his church was built; in 2010, he earned $1.7 million from the Mets.


night owl said...

If pitchers were allowed to return to a game after being relieved, and Chan Ho Park was replaced after giving up the first grand slam to Tatis, and the Dodgers used up all of their pitchers in the inning before bringing back Park to pitch and him consequently giving up the second Tatis grand slam, THAT would make more sense than what actually happened. What the hell was Park still doing on the mound? I will never figure that out.

Rounding Thirty 3rd said...

Night Owl,

Looking at the play-by-play, it doesn't appear that Park was being rocked. Sure, he didn't help himself with 2 walks and a HBP, but the pitcher's sacrifice bunt where the Dodgers got noone out, followed by the error on the next batter means that Park got 4 outs that inning but was still having to pitch. In the end, he was only charged with 6 ERs (out of the 11 that scored that inning) - and if the Dodgers can make a play on that sacrifice (and the error), they only actually give up 5 runs.

Kevin said...

night owl - Maybe Davey Johnson was asleep. Or, what Tim (Thirty 3rd) said.