Thursday, October 3, 2013

Oriole #966- Mike Belfiore

After spending the entire 2013 season on the Orioles 40 man roster, and having joined the team at least two previous times throughout the season without having appeared in a game, Mike Belfiore finally had the opportunity to make his O's and MLB debut on the last Friday night of the season against the Red Sox, and he will forever be the 966th player to wear the Orioles uniform. 

Two previous times this season, I had speculated that Mike was going to make his Orioles debut, once during Spring Training, and again in May when he was called up to join the team. Obviously, my timing was off, but I'm sure that Mike is pleased either way to have gotten his Major League debut under his belt. Unfortunately, it didn't go the way I'm sure that he would have preferred as he gave up three hits, including two homers, and walked a batter over an inning and a third. Better luck next season Mike!

I've been fortunate enough to have gotten Mike's autograph a number of times during the 2012 season when he arrived at AA Bowie, having come to the organization from the D-Backs in return for the ultimately disappointing Josh Bell in a May 2012 trade. And thanks again to my dad's OMC production, I already have a signed, personalized Orioles card of Mike in my collection, so I will never need to worry about an upgrade.

The Orioles ended the 2013 season with 24 new players having made their black and orange debuts, from Alexi Casilla near Opening Day, to Belfiore near the end of the season. The Birds didn't quite have it in them to make the playoffs this season, but I'm happy they remained in contention through the final week of the year.

Hopefully next week I will have time to do a quick rundown on all the players who made it into a game for the O's this season.

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