Friday, November 6, 2009

A Friday Post About Ken Huckaby

Ken Huckaby 2004

Orioles Legend, Ken Huckaby was a major contributor to the 2004 Orioles World Series Championship team. He hit .509 in the Orioles four game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Or not. I'm mildly bitter after another playoff-less season in Baltimore, especially with the Yankees winning their 80th World Series. Oh well, the current Orioles team seems to be heading in the right direction, so hopefully I will get to see at least a .500 team in the next few seasons.

Anyway, back to Ken Huckaby; I got this card in a SCN trade. Ken was an Oriole for all of 8 games between July and August in 2004, after the O's picked him off waivers from the Rangers. He was a solid back-up catcher but had a hard time hitting at the Major League level. In his 6 year career from 2001-06, he appeared in 161 games for five teams and hit only .222 in 427 ABs.

I have a semi-evil tie-in as to why I'm showcasing Ken today. Here it is, from his entry:

Derek Jeter Collision

Arguably, Huckaby's most significant on field moment came in the 2003 season opener against the New York Yankees. With Derek Jeter on first base and Jason Giambi at bat, Toronto used an extreme shift that left third base uncovered. Giambi hit a soft grounder to the pitcher, Roy Halladay, who threw to first baseman Carlos Delgado for an out. Jeter, seeing Toronto out of position, rounded second and ran to third. Huckaby ran up the line to cover third and fielded Delgado's throw. Jeter dived headfirst into the bag, while Huckaby attempted to catch the baseball and block Jeter from reaching third. In do so, Huckaby fell onto Jeter; his shin guard driving into his shoulder.

Jeter's shoulder popped out the front of the socket, and Yankee trainers and Blue Jay doctors tried to pop it back. After unsuccessfully attempting to reset his shoulder in the socket, Jeter was taken to the Yankees' clubhouse, where his shoulder was put back in place. Jeter, who had never played fewer than 148 games in the prior seven full seasons, was subsequently on the disabled list for six weeks, missing 36 games.

So there, Derek Jeter and all you Yankees fans. It looks like at least one former Oriole knew how to beat you. The key is apparently physical damage. Just something for the 2010 Orioles team to remember...

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