Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Friday, April 14, 2017

Vintage Fridays: Ken Singleton, 1979 Topps #615

Time flies, and it flies, and it flies. Adam Jones is in the midst of his tenth season in Baltimore, and it seems like every day he's leapfrogging notable names from Birdland's past on the franchise leader boards. Just nine games into the 2017 season, he's attained the following ranks:

-11th in games played (1330), passing Brian Roberts (1327)

-7th in base hits (1458), passing Roberts (1452) and Ken Singleton (1455)

-9th in doubles (245), passing Boog Powell (243)

-5th in home runs (224), passing Rafael Palmeiro (223)

Oh, and by the by, the O's are a league-best 7-2, which includes a perfect 4-0 mark against the 1-9 Blue Jays. I can live with that.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Dylan Bundy, 2016 Orioles Postcards #NNO

One of the best developments of last season was Dylan Bundy's long-awaited emergence as a starter for the Orioles. After injuries limited the fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft to a total of 65.1 minor league innings from 2013 through 2015, he appeared in 36 games for the O's in 2016. He started out the year in the bullpen and was gradually stretched out before being slotted into the starting rotation in midseason. Considering that it was his first prolonged big league exposure and his first full-length pro season, Bundy held his own. He went 8-5 with a 4.52 ERA in 14 starts, allowing 63 hits and 30 walks in 71.2 innings while striking out 72. When you factor in his relief work, his overall stats were 10-6 with a 4.02 ERA; he actually allowed fewer base runners per inning as a starter (1.30) than he did as a reliever (1.53). It didn't happen the way we expected, but Dylan Bundy finally contributed to a contending Baltimore team.

As we kick off the 2017 season, the O's fortunes are expected to hinge on the performance of their two talented young starters, Bundy and Kevin Gausman. Two games in, and we're trending upward. Gausman, starting the opener in place of the injured Chris Tillman, allowed two runs in five and a third innings against a Toronto team that has hit him hard in the past. Tonight, Bundy was masterful in a 3-1 victory to sew up a two-game series sweep of the Jays. Pounding the strike zone with a fastball-curveball-slider mix, the Oklahoma native held the opposition to one run on four hits and no walks in seven innings. He struck out eight batters, and had five 1-2-3 innings out of seven. No sweat.

Friday night, the Yankees roll into town, and Dylan Bundy passes the baton to...Ubaldo Jimenez. Gulp.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Todd Frohwirth, 1994 Topps #242

As long as we're on the topic of 1990s Oriole relievers, there was some sad news in Birdland last week. Todd Frohwirth, who pitched out of the O's pen from 1991 through 1993, and had been a scout for the organization since 2003, died at age 54 after battling cancer. The Milwaukee native was known for his unconventional sidewinder delivery, and he appeared in 186 games for the Orioles in three seasons, compiling a record of 17-13 with 10 saves and a 2.71 ERA. In recent years, he was also active back home as a youth and high school basketball coach for a number of different boys' and girls' teams. You'll be missed, Todd. Rest in peace.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Alan Mills, 1992 Stadium Club #871

We're not even with the Blue Jays by a long shot, but I was able to appreciate the parallels between today's 2017 season opener and 2016's Wild Card game. A 2-2 game into extra innings, ending on a walkoff home run in the 11th. (Of course this time, Buck went to Zach Britton in the ninth inning...) Happily, today I was there to see Mark Trumbo launch a hanger from Jason Grilli into the left field seats, beyond the reach of our old friend Steve Pearce. The Orioles are now a flawless 7-0 on Opening Day in the Buck Showalter Era, and Trumbo's walkoff shot was the first ever in an O's opener.

So what does all of this have to do with Alan Mills? Well, today was his first game as Baltimore's bullpen coach, marking his return after having pitched in 346 games for the Birds from 1992 to 1998 and 2000 to 2001. So far so good, as his charges kept things moving with five and two-thirds innings of shutout relief. Although Mychal Givens allowed an inherited runner to score, the O's relievers held the line from there, with Tyler Wilson earning the win thanks to a scoreless 11th inning of work. The O's have never lost a game with Alan Mills as bullpen coach.