Thursday, May 29, 2008

Classic card of the week


Orioles Leaders, 1986 Topps

When I go to sleep at night, I dream of Orioles’ leaders. This is strange, considering I’m a Yankees fan. Nevertheless, back in 1986, I was having a rather pleasant dream about the leaders of the Orioles, and the manner in which they lead, and their leaderiffic tendencies. When I awoke, this very card was under my pillow -- obviously left by the Baseball Card Fairy -- and it depicted the very dream I was just enjoying. It was the fourth best day of my life!

But which Orioles’ leader was I dreaming of? The Caucasian mustachioed fellow popping out to shallow right on the front of this card did not look familiar to me. So, I immediately checked the back of the card so that I could match this fine gentleman with the specific statistical categories that he so boldly led the Orioles in:



Well, I was pretty sure this man was not Cal Ripken, who led the O’s in hits, runs, and triples the previous season. I was a little more certain this man was not Eddie Murray. And I was positive this was not Alan Wiggins, who I distinctly remembered from my dream as the smooth-talking base stealer who led the Orioles in not looking like this guy. And since American League pitchers do not hit, I was at a loss. Who could it be, this leader of the Orioles who did not lead the Orioles in any significant statistical category? I looked further down, and saw this:

Depicted on Front: Rick Dempsey, Co-Dean of the Orioles Continuous Service Since: June 15, 1976

Now my dreams were starting to make sense. I was too scared to admit it at the time, but mixed amongst my strange dreams of Orioles’ leaders were images of a Caucasian mustachioed fellow passing out turkeys on Thanksgiving, and visiting the local retirement home and performing ventriloquist acts for senior citizens. Silly me, as I had forgotten that Rick Dempsey’s contributions to the 1985 Baltimore Orioles transcended mere statistics! He was the (co-)leader in continuous service! Duh. But maybe you are asking yourself questions like, “’Co-Dean?’ Were the Orioles a school?” and “Who was the other dean?” and of course, “Wtf?” Well, slow down there, champ -- that’s a lot of questions. Maybe this will help:

Note: Rick Dempsey shares seniority with Tippy Martinez

I hope that answers all of your questions about the 1985 Orioles’ leaders. If anybody needs me, I’ll be upstairs taking a nap, and dreaming of Caucasian mustachioed fellows.

Wait, that didn’t come out right…

Did you know?
Peter Angelos famously disbanded the Orioles Continuous Service program in order to pay for Albert Belle’s legal fees.

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