Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More TTMs

Bobby "the Staten Island Scot" Thomson 1960

Bobby is best known for hitting the "Shot Heard 'Round the World"; a game-winning HR for the New York Giants that defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers for the 1951 National League pennant. It definitely ranks up there as one of the most famous, highly publicized homers of all-time. There's much more information about it online but it's too much for me to write about here. This is a link to a detailed description if you want to learn more about it.

"The Staten Island Scot" (he was Scottish and from Staten Island, get it?) only played 3 games for the Orioles at the tail end of his career. He had 6 ABs for the Birds and went 0-6 with 3 strikeouts and 1 GIDP, and played his last game on July 17, 1960.

His stats for the Orioles do not really give you a good idea of how productive Thomson was earlier in his career. As a 3 time All-Star who batted .270 with 264 HRs over 15 seasons, Bobby was very successful at the big league level. He also received MVP votes in 1949, '51 & '52.

Fred Valentine 1959, 1963, 1968

Fred made his Major League debut for the Orioles in 1959 at age 24 but was then sent back to AAA for the next few seasons until once again cracking the O's roster in 1963. It's kind of strange that he was sent back to the minors for that long since he hit .316 in the 12 games he played in 1959. I'm sure there was some good reason why it happened.

After a few good seasons with the Washington Senators, including his '66 season for which he got 4 MVP votes, Fred wrapped up his playing days with the Birds in 1968.

It's kind of funny that I sent this card to be signed TTM as Fred has since been one of the former players at the O's Alumni tent on Eutaw St. Hey, I'm not complaining, I'm happy with my autograph, it's just an interesting coincidence, that's all.

Ernie Whitt 1991

Ernie spent the first half of the '91 season with the O's and appeared in 35 games for the Birds before he was released on July 5. That was the end of the road for Ernie's Major League career.

Prior to coming to the Orioles, Ernie is best known for his long tenure with the Blue Jays. He caught over 1200 games for them over 12 seasons and is regarded as as the franchise's all-time best catcher. When he left the team after the 1989 season, he was the last player from the 1977 inaugural team who was still with the organization. Whitt has written an autobiography about his playing days called "Catch: A Major League Life". The book title is linked to if you have any interest in buying the book.

Ernie is currently the manager of the Clearwater Threshers, the Phillies FSL affiliate, and signed from the team address. He also has had success managing Team Canada in the Olympics and WBC.

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