Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Monday, June 6, 2011

Joe Coleman, 1991 Crown/Coca-Cola All-Time Orioles #80

Joe Coleman
A recent Baseball-Reference Blog post brought an odd old Orioles game to my attention. On July 6, 1954, the brand-new Birds traveled to Cleveland to face a juggernaut Indians team. Future Hall of Famer Early Wynn got the start for the Tribe, and began the proceedings with a scoreless first inning. O's starter Joe Coleman did not do the same.

Bill Glynn led off with a homer. Bobby Avila and Larry Doby singled, and each moved up a base on a wild throw by left fielder Cal Abrams. Baltimore manager Jimmy Dykes ordered an intentional walk for Al Rosen, who would win the A.L. MVP that year. Wally Westlake cleared the bases with a triple. Dave Philley walked. George Strickland singled to drive Westlake home.

Coleman was yanked, having given up five hits and two walks to the first seven batters of the game. The O's were in a 5-0 hole and things were about to get worse.

Reliever Mike Blyzka was greeted rudely by Jim Hegan, who singled in run number six. Wynn bunted to third for a single(!). Glynn, batting for the second time in the inning, had a two-RBI single. That closed the book on poor Coleman, who gave up seven earned runs without retiring a batter. In the process, his ERA jumped from 2.58 to 3.07. Finally, Avila flied out to Abrams for the Indians' first out after ten batters reached safely and eight runs scored. Still, Cleveland wasn't done abusing the Birds.

Doby singled in Wynn, Rosen walked, Westlake popped out, and Philley singled in a pair. To add insult to injury, future Oriole Philley stole second. Blyzka finally stopped the bleeding, inducing a groundout to short from Strickland. 11 runs on 10 hits, 1 error, and 3 walks. If you're wondering how rare this explosion was, only 10 teams since 1950 have batted around in a game before recording an out. But this game was rarer still.

After allowing two inherited runs plus four of his own in that ugly first inning, Mike Blyzka shut down the Indians. He gave the O's another six innings of emergency relief, scattering four hits and three walks. Howie Fox relieved him in the eighth and retired the side in order. Alas, the Oriole offense couldn't touch Wynn until the eighth inning. They got on the board with a Jim Brideweser RBI triple, and tacked on a couple more runs in the ninth with four straight singles. But Wynn stranded two Baltimore runners to wrap up the complete game victory. Indians 11, Orioles 3 in 2:00. Can you imagine a 14-run, 28-baserunner game finishing in 2 hours flat?

Of the 10 post-World War II games on record in which a team batted around before making an out, this was the only one in which the offense was shut out for the rest of the game. Baseball is delightfully weird.

1 comment:

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Blog shows an intersection of two of my passions. This is a Joe Coleman, 1991 Crown with Coca-Cola All-Time Orioles. Coleman was yanked, having given up five hits and two walks to the first seven batters of the game.