Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oriole # 884- Rick Vanden Hurk

Rick Vanden Hurk made his Orioles debut this past Sunday against the Rangers, and pitched a scoreless 7th inning, striking out two straight batters after walking leadoff hitter Julio Borbon.  He managed to pick off Borbon after the walk, so it was a fairly impressive debut.  Rick had been called up to the Orioles from the AAA Norfolk Tides on August 16th, so he had to wait 6 days before appearing in a game for the O's.  I asked him before the game how the waiting game was going and he said "I just go with the flow", so it doesn't seem like it bothered him very much. 

Getting a ball to warm-up with, maybe an extra to toss to the fans too?
I got to Sunday's game early to try to get some autographs.  If you don't know, Sunday's are the best day to get the Orioles relievers' autographs since there isn't any batting practice and the pitchers warm up on the field.   Most weekdays, the relievers walk straight from the dugout to the bullpen and rarely sign.

Thanks for signing Rick!
The Orioles acquired Rick in a trade deadline move with the Marlins this past July that sent Will Ohman to Miami.  Rick has been a starter most of his Major and Minor League career until this season, when he has come out of the bullpen in his three big league games.  He pitched for the Marlins during every season from 2007-10 but bounced back and forth between the Major & Minor Leagues over that time.  He was only 22 years old when he made his MLB debut in 2007, and was the youngest player in the National League when he debuted. 

Rick was born in Eindhoven, Netherlands and is the only current and one of only 7 all-time Dutch born players in the Majors.  He didn't appear to have any sort of accent when I briefly spoke to him prior to Sunday's game.  It was EXTREMELY hot on the field, so nobody was saying much, but he seemed like a nice guy and signed probably 100-200 autographs. 


Paul said...

I always like to see baseball players making time for fans.

Ryan aka Orioles Magic said...

Yeah, I agree with that both as an autograph collector and a person. It's nice to see the guys interacting with the fans.