I can honestly say that this is the most hyped Orioles prospect premiere of all time. The crowd expected tonight is at least 10-20,000 more than normal and I think the scene will be amazing. Every Orioles fan I know in Baltimore has or is trying to get tickets to this game. It will be the largest crowd at an Orioles game in recent years, not counting Opening Day, or Skankees/Red Sux games. This is all my speculative opinion but I would venture a guess to say that tonight's attendance will exceed the total for the past 3 games (not too tough since it will only need to be about 35,000).
Matt was Baseball America's top prospect of 2008 and he has absolutely torn up the minor leagues for the last year and a half. Kalina and I have been lucky enough to see him play about 15 times, mostly in Frederick and Bowie last season along with our one game in Norfolk this season. Most of the pitchers in the minors were afraid to pitch to him and he seemed to walk every other at-bat.
My Matt Wieters collection includes two different bobbleheads, a signed picture of him & me, 2 signed cards, about 20 different unsigned cards, and countless pictures.
Here is one of the cards
Now about last night's game,
But the biggest story was David Hernandez's largely successful debut. He pitched 5 2/3 innings (Trembley pulled him mid-inning to get the standing ovation) and only gave up one run while striking out 3. His fastball was hitting 95-96 all night and he also used a curveball, slider and changeup.
It was also an Alumni autograph day so I added Calvin Maduro to my collection and got autos from Joe Orsulak & Ken Dixon as well. Since I have had Orsulak on here recently, I won't add more scans from him.
Justin Verlander, Bobby Seay, Brandon Lyon & Fernando Rodney
One additional note: the O's have had 4 pitchers win their Major League debut this season, Koji Uehara, Brad Bergesen, Jason Berken and now Hernandez. I think that has to be some sort of record and I was luckily at 3 of the 4, only missing Koji's debut W.
Happy Wieters Day everyone! My prediction for tonight-Wieters goes 5-4 with 8 HRs.