Thursday, May 31, 2012

Why Not...Again?

Since the 2012 Orioles are in a bit of a slump right now after starting out the year at such a torrid pace, I'm hoping that showcasing a few autographs of key players on the 1989 Why Not Orioles team might bring the current Birds some luck during their weekend series in Tampa. (I know that my actions on the blog have nothing to do with the team, but maybe this will make me feel better at least!)

I've limited this post to just players who I would consider "full-time" type players for the '89 squad, because when I went to pick out autographs for this post, I quickly realized that I haven't covered this era of Orioles baseball very well at all.

Starting catcher Mickey Tettleton (Oriole #453) made a huge contribution during his second season in Baltimore and led the team with 26 home runs. 

Second baseman Billy Ripken (Oriole #436) continued to prove solid defense in the middle of the diamond alongside his brother Cal, who you might have heard of before. And somehow, this is the first mention of Billy (F&#* Face) Ripken in the history of my blog. That ain't right.

Rookie Craig Worthington (Oriole #449) manned the hot corner with authority and held his own at the plate too. He came in fourth in the A.L. Rookie of the Year voting, losing to a teammate, whom we will soon cover, and finishing directly behind some kid named "Griffey". 

Center-fielder Mike Devereaux (Oriole #469) provided some highlight reel caliber catches during his first season in Birdland and became a fixture in Baltimore over the following six seasons. 

I'm using this 2010 Shorebirds coach card for this post since I've never used it on the blog before, but I'm sure this card is a much better representation of how we all remember Devo. 

Mark Williamson (Oriole #426) was the team's primary set-up guy out of the bullpen and won an insane 10 games without having made a single start. 

Brian Holton (Oriole #465) was another one of the team's primary relief pitchers but also spot-started 12 games.

His name came up recently in a collecting conversation about players who don't seem to sign TTM requests and his signature seems to be relatively tough to come by, at least on Orioles cards.

Wrapping up this post is likely one of my most egregious blogging omissions from the past four years. It seems as though this is my very first mention of the Orioles' lock-down Rookie of the Year closer, Gregg Olson (Oriole #457). It's pitiful really, how could I have never mentioned this guy before today? It is what it is, I suppose.

Anyway, Gregg was lights out during his first full season in Baltimore; he pitched in 64 games, finishing 52 of them, and amassed 27 saves while maintaining a tidy 1.69 ERA. He ran away with the 1989 A.L. Rookie of the Year award (receiving 26 of 28 first place votes) and also came in 6th in Cy Young voting while also receiving some MVP consideration.

Gregg was an All-Star in 1990 and went on to compile 160 saves over his five plus seasons with the O's. It also appears that Gregg is nearly a 100% TTM signer, so I might need to send out a request for a personalized card sometime soon. And I'm just writing about him for the first time today. Shameful.


JT ..:.. said...

Have you read Olson's book? "We Got To Play Baseball" is the name of it...a collection of stories from former major leaguers. I enjoyed it.

JT, The Writer's Journey

Orioles Magic said...

JT- No, I've actually never heard of it, but will have to look into it, thanks much for the heads up!