Saturday, September 28, 2019

Orioles Victory Card Number 53: Still on vacation

Baltimore Orioles Victory Number 53: 4-1 over the Boston Red Sox

1997 Fleer Ultra Roberto Alomar Fame Game

Give me a break, I'm still on vacation. Of course, you would think I would have stockpiled some posts knowing that I was going to be in North Carolina for six days. Then again, I really didn't think the Orioles were going to win that many games while I was gone (it worked during my New York trip), but these O's are playing out the string, and doing it well.

I don't care if they're thirty games behind the Red Sox in the standings, beating them. And yes, we still got some shit from the scattering of Red Sox fans that were playing in the tournament down here (the Old Man and myself were wearing O's hats) we had fun pointing out that both teams would be playing the same amount of playoff games in October - 0.

As for as the card for Roberto Alomar - he is the best defensive second baseman I've ever seen play in my life. Not only that, he could hit as well. His career in Baltimore was brief, but it was fun and represented the reintroduction of the Orioles to the elite of baseball world. After a decade and a half of mediocrity the Orioles fought for the division lead for two of the three years Alomar was in Baltimore.

The second baseman was an all-star all three years slashed .312/.382/.480 hit 50 home runs and stole 44 bases. He picked up two gold gloves (Chuck Knoblauch of all people won in 1997, interrupting Alomar's streak of 10 gold gloves in 11 years) and a handful of MVP votes in 1996 and 1997.

Most of his time in Baltimore was overshadowed by an unfortunate situation in the playoffs that ended with Alomar spitting at umpire John Hirschbeck. That incident had an unraveling effect on the ball club. First and foremost it led to the resignation of Davey Johnson.

Despite leading the ball club to playoff appearances in each of the first two years of his three year contract their was some speculation he may not be back for the third season. Owner Peter Angelos was further irked when Johnson directed Alomar to pay his $10,500 fine for the spitting incident to a charity run by Johnson's wife. That escalated the tension and ended with Johnson resigning hours before being named the AL Manager of the year.

Alomar played his final season in Baltimore the next year before signing with Cleveland and teaming with Omar Vizquel to form one of the most dynamic double play combinations ever to grace the field. He played for another six seasons and solidified his Hall of Fame career.

No comments: