Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Oriole #993- The Mike is Wright

Now THAT'S how you make an MLB debut! 

Mike Wright was recalled from AAA Norfolk last Wednesday and announced his presence to the baseball world on Sunday. Due to an illness and an injury to Bud Norris and Chris Tillman respectively, Mike was called upon Sunday to make the start against the Angels, and a lineup that included MVP winners Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. 

How did he respond? Only by shutting down the Halos on just four hits over 7.1 innings and striking out six, including Trout. His Orioles debut, which was also his MLB debut, was among the best ever for Orioles starters, and I can say that I had the pleasure to be there with my family. It was a game that we won't soon forget, and I'm sure that it must have been one of the best days of Mike's life. 

Mike was drafted by the Orioles in the third round of the 2011 draft out of East Carolina University, and Bowman was cool enough to mess up his first, and one of the only current, cards of him by somehow photoshopping him into a Nationals uniform. I remember when Mike signed this card for me during his time as a Frederick Key in 2012, and I asked him how he felt about being pictured with the wrong team. At this point, I forget what he said but he seemed to take it and stride and didn't react too strongly.

I can also tell by the Old Man Card that Mike signed and personalized for me that I found that photo a few years back. I'm pretty confident it was taken on a back field during Spring Training (probably 2012 or '13) and at that point was one of the only shots of him in an Orioles uniform. Looking at the picture now, you can barely tell that it's him, but trust me that it is!

On one of my family's spring training trips, we happened to stay at the same hotel as some of the O's smaller name players and minor leaguers who were in big league camp and Mike was one of those players. I don't remember specifically interacting with him around the hotel, but you could pretty obviously tell that he was a player by his size (he's 6' 6", 215).

And I would be remiss not to mention that I read an account by how Mike preps for his games by reading a book in the stands prior to his starts. The book he was reading on Sunday was one of the Harry Potter books, which my wife and I both enjoy, so it makes him even easier to root for!

Good luck Mike! I hope you have many more starts for the Orioles like the one on Sunday. But even if you don't, no one can ever take away the fact that you are the 993rd player to appear in a game for the O's!

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