Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Oriole #900- Mitch Atkins

If you had asked me at the beginning of the season who I thought the 900th Oriole would be, Mitch's name wouldn't have even entered the discussion. He was a Spring Training invite who never appeared in a game in the Grapefruit League due to an oblique injury. Since the season started, he has pitched at three levels of the O's farm system, hi-A Frederick, AA Bowie, and AAA Norfolk. He cracked the O's starting rotation last night in Texas to become the 900th player to appear in a game for the Orioles since they moved to Baltimore in 1954.

To be completely honest, I'm not a fan of Mitch's. Although, he has signed cards for me twice, once at the Orioles Minor League complex in Sarasota and again during his stint in Frederick, he doesn't seem like a very nice guy either time. Both times he signed for me, I was the only person around and attempted to make small talk, really just wishing him luck or whatever, and he never said a word. I don't even think he looked at me, it was a strange experience. I would almost describe it as the type of reception you might expect if you were asking a player for his autograph while he was out to dinner with his family (not like I would do that), rather than in uniform at a ballpark. It's not like he turned down my request or anything, so I'm not trying to trash the guy, but it was one of the most uncomfortable minor league autographing situations that I've been involved in. So for that reason, I had been hoping that Mitch wasn't going to be the milestone 900th Oriole.

But he is Oriole #900, and the his debut actually went quite well. He held the powerful Rangers lineup in the Ballpark at Arlington bandbox to only one run over six innings, scattering eight hits and striking out four before the O's bullpen blew the game to prevent Mitch from earning his first MLB victory. 

No, this isn't the same card as the one up top. Mitch just doesn't have many cards, so I this one is up for trade
While this was Mitch's first start in the Majors, he had appeared in seven games out of the bullpen for the Cubs in 2009 & '10, so it wasn't his MLB debut. With the current depleted state of the Orioles rotation, I think that Mitch has earned himself at least one more start, and I do hope that his success continues. He might not be one of my favorite Orioles, but I will root for him in the hope that he makes my favorite team better moving forward.


Paul said...

I can't believe the Orioles are just hitting 900 players now. They've been around for eight more seasons than the Mets, yet Scott Hairston became the Mets 900th player on Opening Day & they're up to 910 now. :)

Ryan aka Orioles Magic said...

Wow, I kind of thought the O's had a lot of players for the time they had been around. Would be kind of interesting to see what the total player numbers are for all of the teams.

Kirk Jacobson said...

900 seems a bit low. But if this crappy play continues we may see 1000 by the end of next year.

Ryan, wanna swap Mitch for the Bergesen Orange Jersey I have set aside for you?