Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Request Week- B.J. Surhoff

B.J. Surhoff is probably the second best Oriole player that I've never profiled, behind only Mike Mussina. So I'll do my best to make this a good write-up. Fellow Orioles blogger, Ryan H, requested that I post about him so here we go.

For starters, this card is always the image that pops into my head when I think or talk about B.J. I guess this card made an impression on me in my younger collecting years and that it's just stuck with me all these years later. It's very strange, because most of the time, I identify former Orioles players with the O's, even if they are more widely known for having played with a different team. I am guilty of reversing that with B.J. and that's probably why it has taken me so long to write about him.

B.J. played in the Majors from 1987-2005, spending his first nine seasons with the Brewers before signing with the Orioles as a free agent in December 1995. He would go on to sign four additional free agent contracts with the O's and spent a total of eight seasons with them, so it's pretty obvious that he enjoyed playing in Baltimore. In a very controversial and questionable move, the Orioles traded B.J. to the Braves for a few prospects (who never amounted to anything) at the 2000 trade deadline. I remember that both he and his many fans in Baltimore, were torn up about the transaction.

The best season of B.J.'s career came with the O's in 1999 when he smashed 28 home runs, scored 104 runs, drove in 107 and hit .308. He made the only All-Star team of his career that year and also participated in the HR Derby. He retired at the end of the 2005 season at the age of 40 and wrapped up his career with 2326 hits (including 440 doubles and 188 homers) and a life-time .282 batting average. He was elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame in 2007 and has served as a special instructor with the O's in recent years.

I got this card signed at an Orioles FanFest in probably 2004 or 2005. B.J. is known his his dry, scathing sense of humor and I remember him joking about not many people being in his line.

The requests continue to come in and here's what I have lined up for request week so far:
Jake Fox for Justin
Charles Johnson for Sharon
Rafael Palmeiro & Bruce Chen for Zach

It appears that I have room for one more request if anyone out there is itching to hear my take on any other former Orioles players.


Reivax said...

How about Don Buford?

Ryan aka Orioles Magic said...

Don Buford sounds good.