Thursday, December 31, 2009

One of Those Orioles Crown Cards That Doesn't Picture the Player Wearing an Orioles Uniform or TTM Success: Phil Huffman

Phil Huffman 1985

I've brought this up before and I try not to complain too much on my blog, but I really don't like how some of the cards in this Crown set show a guy wearing something other than an Orioles uniform. Phil was only an Oriole for a short amount of time but I feel like someone with the club would have taken a picture of him in the O's uniform either during a game, on a picture day or in spring training. He was in the organization for three seasons! And that's all I have to say about that.

Moving along; Phil had a very interesting career arc. He was drafted in 1977 by the Giants and was traded to the A's along with others for Vida Blue prior to the '78 season. Later in 1978, he was traded to the Blue Jays, with whom he made his MLB debut in 1979. He pitched the entire season for Toronto and unfortunately led the league with 18 losses in his only complete season in the Bigs. He made 31 starts that year and had a 5.77 ERA, going 6-18 with 2 complete games including a shutout. He wouldn't make it back to the Majors for another 6 years.

After his disappointing 1979, he toiled in the Jays minor league system for 2 seasons before being traded to the Royals prior to the '82 season. The Royals eventually released him and he signed with the Mets but he didn't see any Big League action for either of those teams.

On July 13, 1984, the Orioles purchased him from the Mets. He finally made it back to the Majors in 1985 with the Birds and appeared in only two games but earned a decision in both games (a win and a loss). I doubt that many pitchers earn a decision in their only two appearances of a season. He earned the loss in his relief appearance but got the W for his one start.

Phil continued to pitch in the Minors for the O's and then Twins organizations until retiring after the 1987 season. I think that's quite an interesting path in the baseball world and I'm sure he earned some frequent flier miles over his 10 years around the show.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Marty Brown Wednesday

Marty Brown 1990

This is another card that I was forced to find through eBay. Brown is a tough autograph to track down and doesn't have any confirmed TTM signings since 2006 so this card works for my collection. This card features him as the manager for the 2005 Buffalo Bisons who were then the AAA affiliate of the Indians. I also found a picture of his bobblehead online; I'm pretty sure this would be commemorating his 2004 International League title.

Currently, Marty is the manager for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in the Japanese Central League so I might try to send him a TTM request there next season since he has an Orioles Crown card. Has anyone ever tried to sent a TTM request to Japan? I'm not really sure how to do it so any suggestions will be appreciated.

The O's drafted him in the '89 Rule V draft from the Reds after he had appeared in 26 games for the Reds over the '88-'89 seasons. Marty played in only 9 games for the Orioles in April and May of the 1990 season but he appeared as a pinch runner and hitter, DH, and at 2B and 3B over those games. That's some pretty solid diversity for having played in that few games. However, he didn't make it into another Major League game after his time with the Orioles.

After he retired from playing in 1995, he stayed involved with baseball by becoming a manager in the Pirates and Indians organizations. As I mentioned earlier, he is currently managing in the Japanese Central league and has been there since 2006. And now, we know more about Mr. Brown than you ever thought you could!

PS-Happy Birthday to my excellent girlfriend Kalina!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Major Award

If you understand the title of this post, I am referring to a line from the classic holiday film "A Christmas Story" in which the family dad wins a newspaper contest's "major award" which turns out to be a risque leg lamp. Fra-gil-e. Must be Italian.

You're probably laughing if you know what I'm talking about. If not, I apologize, but it's a hilarious movie, please do yourself a favor and watch it.

Alex Cintron 2008

My major award to you today is Alex Cintron. You got all excited to win a prize and it just turned out to be Cintron, and you tried to love it and show it off anyway. But things didn't work out in the end.

Alex signed as a Minor League free agent with the O's on April 3, 2008 and started the season by playing 16 games for the Tides before being recalled to Baltimore by April 28th. He played in 61 games for the Orioles from then until the end of the season, mainly at shortstop, but was used as a super utility player and also appeared at 1B, 2B, 3B and as a pinch runner and hitter. He hit .286 in 133 ABs and had 10 RBI and 12 runs scored. Not too bad but nothing great.

I think that I have a little bit of a negative attitude towards Alex due to my numerous failures at obtaining his autograph on my own. I ended up buying this card off of eBay since it's the only signed Orioles card of his that I have ever seen.

I tried to get him to sign when he was on a rehab assignment in Frederick & Bowie, but couldn't make it to any of those games. I sent him a TTM when he was with the Syracuse Chiefs last season but he go promoted to the Nats before he would have received it. I tried to get him to sign at a Nats game but he never got close enough to yell out and he got cut before I made it to another game in DC. So it's been an Odyssey. But now I have my Alex Cintron autograph.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Trying to Shake Off the Holiday Lethargy

It was my intent to get up a few posts over the past four days but I just didn't have it in me. I was relaxing at my parent's house in my hometown and never came across the proper motivation to do much other than say Merry Christmas to everyone. But now I'm back, for at least a halfass attempt at a post. I hope to get my Christmas presents scanned and posted later this week but for now...

Here are some autographs and pictures of Brett Jacobson, the prospect the Orioles received for Aubrey Huff from the Tigers earlier this year. I saw him pitch in Frederick at the end of the season and he seemed like a nice guy.

I don't know how well you can tell from this picture, but he's tall (listed at 6'6'')

He signed three cards for me, the only three I could find shortly after the trade.

I hope to see Brett pitch in Baltimore eventually

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to All

I hope that everyone's stockings are full of baseball cards and that you all have a great day with your friends and family. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Trade with John

OK, I'm switching the format up a little today to showcase a trade that I recently made with a reader named John. He hooked me up with a few autographs of guys who I did not have at all, and a few autos from guys that I already had but needed their signature on Orioles cards. I'm just going to write a little blurb about each of these guys, not get all up in their business like I normally do. Are you excited about this yet? Well I think you should be!

Jackie Gutierrez 1986-87

Jackie doesn't have a great signature does he? Well, who am I to talk because neither do I!
He wasn't much of a hitter over his career but was known for his exceptionally strong throwing arm.

Greg Myers 2000-01

Hold onto the bat Greg! Haha, this is probably my favorite card of the bunch and since Greg doesn't have any Orioles cards, this is perfect for my collection.
He hung around the Bigs from 1987-2005, much longer than I thought, and caught almost 900 games for seven teams over that time. He was also Nolan Ryan's 5,714th and last strikeout victim in 1993. I wonder if he held onto his bat that time?

Mike Johnson 1997

Mike was a 1996 Rule V draftee from the Expos who eventually was returned to Montreal, thus supporting my Steve Johnson argument that he will come back to the O's. He pitched for Team Canada in the Olympics in 2004 & 2008 and in the World Baseball Classic in 2009. He has literally pitched around the world since his time in Birdland and was still active in 2009, pitching somewhere in Korea.

Rich Amaral 1999-2000

Rich spent the final two years of his career with the Orioles after playing in Seattle for his first 8 seasons. He spent 10 years in the Minor Leagues before his big league debut for the Mariners in 1993 and played at least 40 games at every position except for pitcher and catcher over his 10 years in the Majors. Quite a resume!

Eddy Rodriguez 2004, 2006 & Dave Borkowski 2004

Eddy went 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA over 38 games spanning two seasons in Baltimore but Dave is the reason I am featuring this card. It's his only Orioles card, and he only got half of one! He did only pitch for one season in Baltimore but I got the chance to meet him at one of the O's FanFests and he seemed like a nice guy.

Jimmy Haynes 1995-96

Jimmy is another guy who stayed in the Majors longer than I remember. He debuted for the O's in '95 and pitched into the 2004 season with the Reds. Also, I thought he was a reliever but he started 203 of his 227 career games.

And I've already blogged about and established that I don't like Jason Grimsley, but he is now a part of my collection now.

Thanks for the awesome trade John!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

TTM Success-John O'Donoghue (SR)

John O'Donoghue 1968

The first John O'Donoghue to pitch for the Orioles (his son, also John, pitched for the O's in 1993) spent only one season in Baltimore. He was traded to the Orioles from the Indians on 11/28/67 for Eddie Fisher and two Minor Leaguers and was sent to the Seattle Pilots with Tom Fisher and a Minor Leaguer on 4/30/69 for Mike Ferraro and Gerry Schoen, neither of whom ever played in a single game for the O's. It's funny how two different, unrelated guys named Fisher were involved on either side of the trades of John. Strange, silly coincidence I guess. It also seems as though Fisher was a more common surname back then.

John pitched in relief in 16 games for the O's in 1968; saving two games and holding two others, but he accumulated a 6.14 ERA, the highest of any year during his career, so it wasn't a great season for him.

Over his career, he pitched for six different teams over nine seasons in the Bigs and amassed a 39-55 record with a 4.07 ERA. He made the '65 All-Star team while with the KC A's even though he ended up losing 18 games that year.

He signed these cards TTM for me in just one week, so that was very cool of him.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Elusive Don Welchel

Don Welchel 1982-83

I received this card in a trade from fellow Orioles collector, Tim, and I was very pleased to add Don to my collection. I know the card is personalized to Steve, and I'm no Steve, but Welchel is such a tough autograph to track down that I don't even care. My dad has been searching for a Welchel auto on one of his cards from between '82-'84 for much longer than I, and he hasn't had any luck so far. It's like his autographs almost don't exist. He is a good example of a player who had a short time with the Orioles but is now a tough signature to track down. I've never seen an autograph of his on eBay and Tim had the only autograph for trade on SCN. He doesn't seem to sign TTM any more either. If anyone out there has an extra autograph of Don, please let me know so I can try to help my dad out. Thanks!

Don was drafted by the Orioles in 1978 and steadily rose through the Minor League system until he made his Major League debut on September 15, 1982 against the Yankees; picking up his first, and only, big league win. He ended up appearing in relief in 13 games over the '82-'83 seasons. Although he continued to pitch until the 1988 season, Don did not make it back to the Bigs after 1983. His Orioles stat line is a 1-2 W-L record with a 5.88 ERA in 31 innings. He only gave up one HR and also finished three games, so he had a decent run.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Unpossible Autograph- Jim Dyck

Jim Dyck 1955-56 (died 1999)

Jim played 72 games for the Orioles over two seasons and played mostly left field but also appeared at third base for 17 games in 1955. Overall, he played 6 seasons in the Majors for the St. Louis Browns, Orioles, Cincinnati Redlegs, and Indians. He was really only an everyday player in 1952 & 53 for the Browns.

He retired from baseball in 1960 and opened a bowling alley. He died on January 11, 1999 in Washington state. Rest in Peace Jim.

Friday, December 18, 2009

2010 Orioles FanFest!!!

Picture From website

OK, the FanFest announcement was made on Wednesday afternoon and was going to be the topic of yesterday's blog entry. But then the O's signed Mike "The Cobra" Gonzalez and Garrett (nickname pending) Atkins. I figured that those signings were bigger news, but in terms of my autograph collecting, FanFest is one of the best days of the year for it.

If you're not familiar with the setup, the highlight is that they have a bunch of current and former players sign autographs and take pictures with fans. There are also a bunch of stadium giveaways that are handed out, various O's memorabilia that isn't available anywhere else, ballpark food, and some vendor tables. There are also kids areas with various fun activities but I normally skip over all that.

The past few years FanFest was held at Camden Yards on the weekend before the season started, but since the O's open the season at Tampa Bay, they moved the event back to January. When I first went to FanFest as a kid, it was held at Camden Yards, then moved to the Convention Center, then back to the Yard, and now back to the convention center. Try to keep up with the bouncing FanFest!

It is the best event of the year to gain access to some of the players that don't sign much around the Yard. Nick Markakis comes to mind, but since he is one of the most popular players on the team, his line will be really long, and inevitably filled with some adolescent girls that want to meet the "hottest" Oriole. Meh, not really what I'm trying to do and since I do have his autograph, I will likely avoid his station.

My goal is to get Koji Uehara, Kevin Millwood, Garrett Atkins and Alfredo Simon to add to my collection. I don't know if they will all be in attendance but I will add whoever I can. I'm really excited about this and will have to work on getting my cards ready after Christmas. Winter graphing, I love it!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Orioles are Makin' Moves

So the O's really stepped up their offseason spending last night by signing both Mike Gonzalez and Garrett Atkins.

The Gonzalez signing excited me because I was able to get his autograph when the Braves were in Baltimore this past season, so I already have his autograph. That works out well for my project! This also highlights why I don't like to trade away autographs I get from current players on other teams; they could become an Oriole at any time. Gonzalez signed at two of the three Braves games in Baltimore last year and is a 62% signer on SCN.

As far as I understand his contract, he signed for 2 years for between $12-16 million to become the O's closer.

He has a pretty sweet nickname too. He earned the moniker "The Cobra" because he rocks back in forth in his pitching motion, like he is putting the hitters into a trance before he gets them out. He seems to prefer being called "Gonzo" but I feel like the Cobra is a pretty awesome nickname for a closer. And I was a huge G.I. Joe growing up.

Atkins doesn't excite me quite as much since his numbers have declined for the past 3-4 seasons but his deal will reflect how well he plays. He is guaranteed $4 million in 2010 with a $8.5 million club option for 2011 with a $500k buyout. Hopefully Josh Bell will be ready in 2011 but I would like Atkins to have a great season to make it a tough call on the option year.

He can play 1B or 3B which frees the front office to sign another player who plays at either of those positions. And since we technically didn't have a first or third baseman before his signing, it's a major upgrade.

This isn't my card but I borrowed the image from the photobucket site. I am looking for an Atkins autograph if anyone has one. He's a 58% signed on SCN so I might try to have him sign TTM for me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

TTM Success-Charlie Maxwell

Charlie Maxwell 1955

I want to kick off this post by commenting on two things about Charlie's autograph and this card. First, I like how Charlie did something that most players try to avoid; he signed across his face. Many times, especially with these Crown cards which are smaller than normal cards, players will try to squeeze their autograph into a corner or a small lighter portion of the card, or will occasionally sign them on the back. I like how Charlie was bold and/or smart enough to just sign across his face so he had plenty of room for the personalization and his signature without compromising his autograph.

Also, I love this Crown set; without it, I wouldn't have cards to get signed of hundreds of short-term Orioles players between 1954-91. But it makes me mad that they use some pictures of guys wearing other teams' uniforms. OK, I know Charlie was only an Oriole for four games in 1955, but I don't believe that there isn't a picture of him wearing Orioles gear somewhere. Even a blurry, crappy shot would be better than this one of him in a stupid Red Sox hat. And even if I concede that it's possible no one has a picture of Charlie from those four games 50+ years ago, this set has some much more recent players in other team's uniforms too. The good about the set far outweighs the bad, but I'm just trying to make my point.

And now moving on to some information about Charlie's career. As I mentioned above, he only appeared in four games for the Orioles at the beginning of the '55 season, all as a pinch hitter, and he went 0-4. There's not too much else to say about Charlie's time with the O's, but he had a good MLB career with some other teams and he is mostly remembered for his time with the Detroit Tigers between 1955-1962. Over those seasons, he made two All-Star teams ('56 & '57) and received MVP votes ('56, '57 & '60) three times.

Another interesting thing about Charlie is his abundance of cool nicknames. My favorites are "Sunday Charlie" and the "Sabbath Smasher" which both came about from his tendency to hit home runs on Sundays. He also was called "Paw Paw" or "Ol' Paw Paw" after his hometown of Paw Paw, Michigan and "Smokey" for reasons that I was unable to confirm. I can guess that he smoked a lot, but don't want to accuse Charlie without being sure of that.

And I just wrote a lot more than I ever thought that I would or could about Charlie Maxwell but hey, I was in the zone today. It happens sometimes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Baseball Pariah

Jason Grimsley 2004-05

If you know much about baseball, you know that Grimsley was a main reason the Mitchell Report was done. He made the sport look bad and ratted out a few Orioles players. So I don't want to say anything about him. You can look him up on your own if you feel like it!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Unpossible Autograph: Steve Barber

Steve Barber 1960-67 (d. 2007)

First off, I owe an apology to my awesome girlfriend who got this for me as a birthday present. You see, the thing is that my birthday is in September and was more than three months ago at this point. I had intended on posting this right away but since the baseball season was still in full swing, this card got filed away. She's not mad that I didn't post it immediately but I feel that I owed it to her to have it up within a month or so. But since I can't change the past, without further ado, I present to you my autograph of Steve Barber.

Steve pitched in the Major Leagues for 15 seasons for seven different teams and is mostly remembered for his seven and a half seasons with the Orioles' "Baby-Birds" at the beginning of his career.

He grew up in Takoma Park, MD which probably assisted in the Orioles' decision to sign him as an amateur free agent in 1957. He made his first Birdland appearance during the 1960 season, and things looked promising from the start, as he received MVP votes after the '60 & '61 seasons. He had a number of notable accomplishments over his Orioles career which included becoming the first O's pitcher in modern history to win 20 games in 1963, taking part in a combined no-hitter (along with Stu Miller) in a losing effort in 1967, making two All-Star teams in '63 & '66, leading the Orioles in wins in '61, '63 & '66, and carrying the team to it's first World Series title in 1966. Unfortunately for Steve, elbow tendinitis kept him from pitching in the Series but he was a main reason that the team made it there. Overall with the Orioles, he went 95-75 with a 3.12 ERA.

After his playing days were over, Steve moved to the Las Vegas area and worked driving children with disabilities for the Clark County School District. Steve died from complications of pneumonia on February 4, 2007.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Adios Senor Bass

A lot of good-byes these past few days...which generally means we will be saying hello to some new faces soon enough.

Brian Bass today became the most recent former Oriole when the O's declined to offer him a contract for 2010. He was acquired from the Twins on September 5, 2008 for cash and went 6-3 with a 4.85 ERA in 53 games for the O's since then. Those are decent numbers but he seemed to have some issues last season keeping his head on straight in tight game situations, so you could only rely on him when the game was out of hand which didn't increase his value.

I listed him as a "I don't-think-he's-a-good-signer" in my autograph year in review since I only got his signature twice over his season plus with the Birds and only saw him sign one additional time that I missed out on him. As far as I know, he never had an Orioles card produced so these Twins autographed cards will stay in the collection.

Good luck with your next organization Brian.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Goodbye Chris Ray, Hello Kevin Millwood

I know that I'm like two days late with this post but I wanted to scan a few new autographs that I got from Chris at the O's last homestand of the season. And yes, I realize those games were over two months ago, but that's pretty much how far behind I am with my scanning.

I most recently wrote about Chris in one of my "Autograph Year in Review" posts and I labeled him as a "good signer". That was second place in my classification scheme so Chris was someone I could count on to sign frequently throughout the season.

But he's not and Oriole anymore. As I'm sure that you have all heard by now, Chris was traded to the Rangers on Wednesday for Kevin Millwood. I really like the trade for the Orioles. Chris could bring the heat but didn't seem to have his head on straight the past few seasons and was wildly inconsistent.

Millwood immediately becomes the team's #1 starter. He is 155-121 over his 13 year MLB career, leading his league in ERA & WHIP once, games started twice, and averaged 208 Innings Pitched. I'm not expecting a Cy Young type performance from Kevin but he is definitely an upgrade over pretty much anyone on the current staff. He is regarded as a good staff leader and teacher so he also fills that role that has been vacant recently.

I also read today in the Sun that Brian Matusz looked up to Millwood while growing up. So that's another positive about this trade.

This is my favorite Chris Ray autograph and by positing it, I say farewell to #37.
Good luck in Texas, just not against the Orioles!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Goodbye Steve!

The Giants took Steve Johnson in the Major League part of today's Rule V draft, so for now he is out of the Orioles system. I'm sure that his dad, former Orioles pitcher and current 105.7 broadcaster, Dave is pretty upset today. I remember listening to the radio when the Sherrill trade was anounced and Dave found out that Steve was coming to the Orioles organization. The way I recall it, Dave broke down in tears on-air, so I can only assume that he is even more upset this morning.

Steve pitched the final two months of the '09 season for the Baysox and went 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA in 7 starts. That's pretty good but the one start of his that I got to see didn't go so well.

It's likely that Steve will eventually make his way back to the Orioles since the Giants have to keep him on their 25 man roster all season or offer him back to the O's for $25k, or half of what it cost to draft him. If you want to learn more about the Rule V draft you can check out this link. It's kind of confusing and would take forever for me to try to type up. Also, I get mixed up about all of the situations that come up so I would probably just confuse everyone anyway. But I do know that a majority of the players taken are eventually offered back to their old teams because they just aren't ready to play at the Major League level.

Either way, good luck in the future Steve. You seem like a great guy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Wake Up Call From the Rooster

Rick "Rooster" Burleson 1987

Rick played for the Orioles in the last season of his professional career and appeared in 62 games over the '87 season for the Birds. 55 of those games he played second base and the other 7 he was the DH. His time with the O's was not remarkable but earlier in his career he was a very highly regarded player.

Between 1974-80 while with the Red Sox, Rick was one of the premier shortstop's in baseball. He came in fourth in the '74 ROY race, received MVP votes after four seasons, was voted onto the All-Star team three times and won a Gold Glove. Now that's a pretty sweet run.

He injured his arm sometime around 1981 after being traded to the Angels and was never the same player after that. But he did have some very good years and is in the record books for helping to turn a record setting 147 double plays in 1980.

After his playing days were over, Rick spent a few years as a Major League base coach and then managed for a number of Minor League teams between 1997-2007. He is currently the batting coach of the Reno Aces, which is interesting because another former Oriole, Mike Parrott is the pitching coach for the Aces. Mike signed a TTM request for me earlier this summer.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

TTM Success- Joe Gaines

Joe Gaines 1963-64

Joe was traded by the Reds to the Orioles for Dick Luebke and minor leaguer Williard Oplinger on December 15, 1962 and was a fourth oufielder for his one and a half seasons in Baltimore. He played all three outfield positions but spent most of his time in left. He appeared in 82 games and hit .263 over his time in the orange and black. On June 15, 1964, the Orioles traded him to the Colt .45's for Johnny Weekly, who never appeared in a game for the O's and was returned to the Colt .45's a few weeks later. So it seems that the O's traded Gaines to Houston for nothing. I guess that some money must have changed hands for this to make sense.

Overall, Joe played in 362 Major League games over seven seasons for three different teams. It looks like he spent most of his career as a backup outfielder but it's still cool that he made it to the Bigs.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Congrats to the White Rat

I did a post about Whitey Herzog a few weeks ago and mentioned that he was up for induction to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.

Well this morning he was officially elected to the Hall and will be inducted on July 25, 2010.

AP photo

Congratulations Whitey! I hope that you will continue to sign TTM now that you will be among baseball's all-time elite class.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Hector Carrasco

Hector Carrasco 2003

I had a lot of "fun" trying to track down Hector this season as he bounced around the Atlantic League. Paul of Paul's Random Stuff tried to help me keep track of which team Hector was on but I missed out on getting him to sign TTM with both the Newark Bears and Long Island Ducks. As you can see from the picture in this card, Hector is a good signer, both in the mid 90's when this card came out and still is to this day. The only problem is that he lives in the Dominican Republic in the offseason and doesn't have a listed address there.

So after my failed TTM attempts, I traded a SCN user for this card. There's quite a bit going on with the card and it's not one that I would've chosen to get signed, but beggars can't be choosers. He doesn't have an Orioles card so I'm just happy to have the autograph on any card at this point.

Hector pitched for the O's in 2003 and went 2-6 with a 4.93 ERA over 40 relief appearances. He has been in the Major or Minor League systems of fifteen different franchises over the past 20 years, and that doesn't include Independent League teams. So to say he has been all over the place might be an understatement.

I hope Hector pitches somewhere in the US again next season so I can try one more time to get a personalized autograph from him.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dyar Miller

Dyar Miller 1975-77

I picked up this autograph in another SCN trade. That site continues to help me out in my quest for every O's autograph and I have probably been able to trade for about 75 autographs on the site. I've said it before and will say it again but the site's worth checking out if you enjoy trading.

Dyar was blocked from getting to the Majors by the Orioles solid starting pitching staff and so when he finally made his debut in 1975 it was as a reliever. In fact, in his 251 MLB pitching appearances, he made only one start after having been a starter for most of his minor league career. He pitched in 91 games for the O's over his 2.5 seasons with the team and went 10-9 with 16 saves, 57 games finished and a 3.26 ERA. The Orioles traded him to the California Angels for Dick Drago in the middle of the '77 season. All told, Dyar pitched for four teams over seven seasons in the Bigs.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Other Jose Bautista

Jose "Utility Bomb" Bautista 2004

I list this Jose Bautista as "the other" and "Jose Bautista 2" because he is the second Jose Bautista to play for the Orioles. The first Jose was a pitcher who was an Oriole from 1988 through 1991.

This Jose Bautista's time on the Orioles was very short. He played 16 games for them at the beginning of the 2004 season, mainly appearing as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner. He got 3 hits in 11 at-bats and also scored 3 runs for the O's. He spent the 2009 with the Blue Jays where he earned the nickname "Utility Bomb" for his strong throwing arm and the pop in his bat.

The most interesting thing about Jose is the number of transactions that he was involved in between December 2003-2004. Try to follow this mess...

December 15, 2003- the Orioles drafted him in the Rule V draft from the Pirates (the team who originally drafted him)

June 3, 2004- after the Orioles put him on waivers, the Devil Rays selected him

June 28, 2004- the Royals purchased him from the Devil Rays

July 30, 2004- the Royals trade him to the Mets for Justin Huber

July 30, 2004- traded by the Mets with Ty Wigginton and Matt Peterson to the Pirates for Kris Benson and Jeff Keppinger

August 4, 2004- Jose completely forgets what team he plays for and what city he lives in, reports to Team USA

OK, I made that last one up, but have you ever heard of one player being bounced around like that in a single season?

To recap, he appeared in games for four different Major League teams during the 2004 season, the Pirates must have really wanted him to lose him in the Rule V and trade for him in the same season, and Jose, along with Wigginton and Benson, was one of three all-time Orioles involved in the 7/30 trade with the Pirates and Mets. Amazing.

Oh and did I mention that he was the first player EVER to have been on the Major League rosters of 5 different teams in one season? I kind of feel bad for the guy.