Continuing my series in which I've recounted the debuts of new Orioles during certain seasons (2001
) today I am going to cover the 1996 team. Where's the 1997 team you might ask? Well, the Orioles were
kind of really good
that year, so I've already displayed every single autograph I have from the players who made their Baltimore debuts that season, and I'm not going to re-show all of those cards or do a post without scans, so I'm just moving along to 1996. My blog, my rules, ya know?
The 1996 team was pretty good too, but still had enough short-term type of players that I never have written about before to put together enough scans for a decent post. So here we go.
#574, 4/2/96 (1996-98)
#575, 4/2/96 (1996-2000, 2003-05)
Tony Tarasco #576, 4/2/96 (1996-97)
#577, 4/2/96 (1996-97)
David Wells #578, 4/3/96 (1996)
I don't feel like I can say much about David that everyone doesn't already know. He pitched in the majors for 20 years with nine different teams, made three All-Star teams, and pitched a perfect game in 1998 during his time with the Yankees. He won two World Series titles ('92 with the Blue Jays, and '98 with the Yankees) and shares the MLB record by having appeared in the playoffs with six different franchises.
One thing that many of you might not know about David is the he only will sign baseball cards that feature him as a Blue Jay. I don't think I've ever heard why exactly, and occasionally the odd Yankees or Padres signed card has turned up, but 99% of his autographs that I've seen picture him as a Jay. Which is a problem for me as an Orioles autograph collector since David has numerous cards that picture him as an Oriole which I need to upgrade to for my collection. So far, David has turned my card down at a few signings and public events, but I will keep trying for as long as it takes.
#579, 4/3/96 (1996)
Kent Mercker #580, 4/5/96 (1996)
Kent also had quite a long MLB career, having pitched in the Majors for 18 seasons between 1989-2008 with nine different teams, and is best remembered for the time he spent with the Braves and Reds. Kent was a part of two no-hitters during his years with the Braves, including a reliever assisted effort in 1991 and a solo job in 1994. Kent didn't have much success during his single season in Baltimore, going 3-6 with a 7.76 ERA over 14 games in 1996.
#581, 4/6/96 (1996)
Brian Sackinsky #582, 4/20/96 (1996)
Brian was the Orioles second round pick in the 1992 draft, but went on to appear in just three games with the O's during a five day period in 1996.
Keith Shepherd #583, 4/26/96 (1996)
Keith pitched for four different big league teams over the four seasons he spent in the Majors. The Orioles were his final stop and he appeared in 13 games and amassed a 8.71 ERA.
#584, 5/12/96 (1996)
#585, 5/20/96 (1996-97)
#586, 5/21/96 (1996)
#587, 6/11/96 (1996-99)
Garrett Stephenson #588, 7/25/96 (1996)
Garrett made his big league debut with the Orioles in 1996 and struggled over his three games with the O's. He went on to have more success with the Phillies and then Cardinals.
#589, 8/11/96 (1996)
Brent Bowers #590, 8/16/96 (1996)
#591, 8/16/96 (1996-98)
#592, 8/22/96 (1996-98)
Todd Zeile #593, 8/30/96 (1996)
I'm surprised that I never have written about Todd during the history of my blog but in reviewing his stats, I tend to forget that he was a member of the O's for just 29 games at the end of the '96 season. Interestingly enough, Garrett Stephenson was one of the players the Orioles sent to the Phillies for Zeile.
Over his sixteen season career Todd played for eleven different teams, and homered for each and every one of them, which is a MLB record.
#594, 8/30/96 (1996-97)
Eugene Kingsale #595, 9/3/96 (1996, 98-2001)
When Eugene debuted for the Orioles in 1996, he became the first Aruban-born player to play in the Major Leagues. He was followed by three of his countrymen, all of whom also played for the Orioles. "Sir Eugene" was knighted by his homeland for his achievement.