Tag Archives: Baltimore Orioles

Things I Read on the Back of Cards – 1992 Donruss Triple Play – Ben McDonald

28 Aug

1992 Triple Play – Ben McDonald (Front)

1992 Triple Play – Ben McDonald (Back)

“Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer won the Cy Young Award three times.  Did you know that he never gave up a grand slam home run in his career?”

That certainly is impressive, especially since Palmer pitched over 300 innings in a season several times – so there must have been some bases loaded opportunities in there somewhere.  He also routinely gave up over 20 home runs a season.  Maybe he was super intense with the bases loaded.  Or maybe he was just lucky.  Of course, all of this would have been during the times when Palmer wasn’t busy modeling underwear.  Seriously, look it up.  The photos now look like someone who’s trying to make fun of a 1970’s underwear model.

However, there is another perfectly good fact to learn here, but on the front of the card – Donruss has no idea how to fit an entire baseball player on a baseball card.  Sure, Ben McDonald is 6’7”, but really, that photo is kind of terrible.  It makes him look like a flamingo with bad stirrups.

I hope you’ve learned as much today as I have.

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Brothers from Another Mother – Greg(g) Olson

26 Oct

1991 Donruss - Gregg Olson

1991 Donruss - Greg Olson

Back in the early 1990’s, and on 1991 Donruss, there were two Greg Olsons in the Major Leagues.  One was named Greg Olson.  He was a catcher.  The other was named Gregg Olson, and he was a pitcher.

How we know they’re different people:

Gregg Olson, after growing up in Scribner, Nebraska, pitched for 10 teams between 1988 and 2001, recording 217 career saves, including a few prolific years in Baltimore between 1989 and 1993.

Greg Olson grew up in Minnesota, went to High School in Minnesota, went to University in Minnesota, and then debuted in the Major Leagues with Minnesota, even after having been drafted by the New York Mets seven years earlier.  He stlll might not know where Nebraska is.

Also, one is named Greg and one is named Gregg.  Pay attention.

How we’re not sure they’re different people because we’ve never seen them in the same room together:

Greg Olson caught 81 games for the 1993 Atlanta Braves.  Seamlessly, Gregg Olson pitched in 16 games for the 1994 Atlanta Braves.  They were never on the Atlanta Braves roster at the same time, but somehow they ended up in Atlanta in back to back seasons.  Hmmmm…

Hope this is clear for you and you won’t be wondering which of your 1991 Greg(g) Olson cards is more valuable.  HINT: neither one is.

Newsworthy – Mike Flanagan

24 Aug

1990 Topps - Mike Flanagan

So, Mike Flanagan died today. Pretty sad news.

Mike Flanagan was left-handed.  I am left-handed.  Mike Flanagan had a great mustache.  I am an appreciator of fine mustaches.  Mike Flanagan helped the Blue Jays to the 1989 AL East title.  I enjoyed watching the Blue Jays win the 1989 AL East title.  I liked Mike Flanagan.

Even though you really belonged to Baltimore all along, thanks for the great years in Toronto too, Mike.

Brothers From Another Mother – Jose Bautista

27 Jul

1989 Fleer - Jose Bautista

2011 Topps - Jose Bautista

Sometimes, there are multiple professional athletes with the same name.  I have started this category to help alleviate some of the confusion surrounding this, and to help the masses know who is who.  It is one of my gifts to the world.

There have been two Jose Bautistas in the Major Leagues.  The first was Jose Joaquin (Arias) Bautista, who played for the Orioles, Cubs, Giants, Tigers and Cardinals between 1988 and 1997.

The second (Jose Antonio Bautista) is still active today, and currently plays in Toronto.  His career started in 2004.  He is also very good at baseball.

How we know they’re different people:

Jose Antonio Bautista hit 54 home runs in 2010, leading the Major Leagues, and in 2011 is hitting .329 on July 27.  Jose Joaquin Bautista, meanwhile, hit .100 with zero home runs and one RBI in his Major League Career, spread over nine seasons and 50 at-bats… he was also a pitcher.

How we’re not sure they’re different people because we’ve never seen them in the same room together:

Both were selected in the Rule 5 draft by the Baltimore Orioles, and both are from the Dominican Republic.

Clear?  You’re welcome.

Manly, Magical Mustaches – Eddie Murray

18 Jul

1989 Donruss - Eddie Murray

There’s a lot happening on this card:

-Helmet over ball cap over Afro
-Orange jersey and wrist bands
-Bright green and yellow borders screaming “1989!” at the top of their lungs
-Old school Baltimore Orioles logo
-AN UNBELIEVABLE SWITCH-HITTING HALL OF FAME MUSTACHE

A tip of the cap to you, Mr. Murray.  And your mustache.

Fantastic Fashions – Chris Sabo

30 May

1994 O-Pee-Chee - Chris Sabo

Chris Sabo isn’t known for winning a World Series in 1990 with the Cincinnati Reds (where he hit .563 for the Series), nor is he known for hitting 25 home runs and stealing 25 bases that same season.  He is also not known for being the 1988 National League Rookie of the Year.

He is definitely not known for being originally drafted by the Montreal Expos… but really, who would be?

Chris Sabo is known for his goggles.

Featured after signing with Baltimore before the 1994 season, the pair that Sabo sports on this 1994 O-Pee-Chee card are particularly fashion-forward.  Look at that tint colour… is that pink?  The bright white nose bridge… the transparent frames.  There is so much to take in here.

Interestingly, this vision-friendly fashion trend is also the name of a pretty funny Cincinnati Reds blog – Chris Sabo’s Goggles.  Check it out, if you’re a Reds fan.  There must be some of you out there.

Out of Place – Fernando Valenzuela

8 May

1994 Topps - Fernando Valenzuela

I know he also pitched for the better part of three seasons in San Diego, and also for a short time for the Angels, Philadelphia, and St. Louis, but there is something that just doesn’t look right with Fernando Valenzuela pitching for the Orioles.

Also, how did that body type withstand 424 big league starts?

Manly, Magical Mustaches – Don Aase

1 Nov

1986 Donruss Highlights - Don Aase

In honour of the start of Movember, let’s check out a great mustache from the past, from an era when mustaches were not grown for special occasions or fundraising, but were merely a reflection of the purest form of masculinity.

This is what happens when a mustache is allowed to run wild.  It’s long, it’s scraggly, it matches his hair, and it’s been left to grow so long that it even obscures his teeth.  It’s not manicured like Rollie Fingers or full and thick like Lanny McDonald.  It probably got a lot of food stuck in it during its life, and it is something that Don Aase wore with pride.

Names I Can’t Believe Aren’t Famous – Danny Boone

3 Oct

1982 Fleer - Danny Boone

1991 Score - Dan Boone

There are two reasons that Danny Boone’s name should be famous:

1. He is a descendant of Daniel Boone, famous American pioneer and folk hero.

2. He pitched in the majors in 1981, 1982, and then after a lengthy absence from any level of the game, again in 1990.

Boone looked pretty happy on his 1982 Fleer card.  He was coming off his rookie season in 1981, posting a 2.84 ERA and 1-0 record in 37 relief appearances with San Diego.  Things looked good.  By 1983, however, he was out of the majors, and out of baseball altogether by the end of the 1984 season.

While away from the game, he learned how to throw a knuckleball, and by 1990 he got back to the big leagues with Baltimore.  Known by Dan by that time, he was featured in 1991 Score as a “Rookie Prospect,” ten years after his Major League debut.

Unfortunately, he never made it back to the big leagues, but it’s a great story.  What I’d like to know is whether there has ever been another prospect card released so long after a rookie card?

WTF – Dave Schmidt, Diamond King?

28 Sep

1989 Donruss Diamond King - Dave Schmidt

I am sure Dave Schmidt is a fine person, and he had a decent career in the major leagues, kicking around five different teams between 1981 and 1992.  However, what in the world is he doing as a Diamond King with Donruss in 1989?

In 1988, Schmidt appeared in 41 games, starting nine, and finished with a record of 8-5.  Sure, that led a terrible 54-107 team in wins, but the Diamond King is supposed to be an echelon of awesomeness that only a select few (well, one per team every year for well over a decade) achieve.  I mean, they get Dick Perez to do a fucking painting of you when you’re a Diamond King.  That’s a big deal.

Obviously Cal Ripken and Eddie Murray did something to piss Donruss off that year.

Seriously, Donruss, WTF?

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