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.