Around the Horn: The O’s Are Smoking, Have Been For a Long Time

What do Earl Weaver, George Lopez, and Tike Redman have in common? They’re all in this post.

by Matthew Taylor

“I remember one guy came in with jeans and a Baltimore Orioles jersey. He was an African-American and he was playing Double-A. I’d never seen a professional jersey. He came and said we should stay in school and be true to ourselves and dream we could be anything we wanted to be. I’ve never forgotten that somebody did that.”

The Birds ended the Rays’ six-game win streak on Tuesday night, beating Tampa Bay 7-4, which was a fine way to mark the anniversary of the O’s ending their record-setting 21-game losing streak in 1988.

(Be forewarned if you click on the “winning 7-4” link : The Sun has gotten out of control with its pop-up-over-and-around ads, which manage to elude even the trustiest pop-up blocker.)

Camden Chat notes that Wednesday’s O’s game offers the Birds an unexpected opportunity to perch at the top of the division after a month of baseball.

“If the Birds win tonight and Boston loses, then we’ll have finished April in sole possession of first place in the AL East. For a team that was supposed to lose 95-100 games, that’s pretty good. And it’s been a lot of fun to watch this team play hard and win some ballgames.”

Oriole Post drums up some business for Luke Scott’s visit to the ESPN Zone on Wednesday and rightly mentions that “Luke Scott has become a fan favorite amongst hardcore fans of the Orioles.” I’ll say. A female friend who follows the Birds is happy that she shares Luke’s last name because she hopes to marry him.

From the unexpected file, I’m mentioning Tike Redman in the same sentence as Brooks Robinson. Their common bond is the York White Roses/Revolution. The York Daily News offers the scoop on the minor league team’s extensive history.

“June 3, 1955: Second baseman Brooks Robinson made his professional baseball debut for the York White Roses in front of 939 fans at Memorial Stadium. Robinson went 0-for-1.

Aug. 9, 2007: Tike Redman reaches the major leagues with the Baltimore Orioles after starting the season with York. He is the only player who started the season in the Atlantic League to reach the majors in 2007. He finishes the season batting .318 in 40 games for the Orioles.”

There’s no smoking in baseball! Or is there? Paul Lukas singles out O’s managers, from Weaver to Mazzilli, in his piece about sports-related smoking. Be sure to check out the picture of Earl’s jersey.

“Managers/Coaches: Bobby Cox is hardly the only smoking skipper out there. The undisputed champions in this category are the Baltimore Orioles, who for years have taken the extraordinary step of equipping their managers with a custom-tailored inner jersey pocket for stashing a pack of smokes. The most famous of these smokers was Earl Weaver (who nicknamed erratic 1970s closer Don Stanhouse “Full Pack” because that’s how many cigs Weaver supposedly went through during one of Stanhouse’s tight-wire appearances) — you can see the secret compartment sewn into one of his jerseys here, and his not-so-hidden cigarette pack is clearly visible in this shot. Cal Ripken Sr.’s jerseys were similarly accessorized (which, unfortunately, might help explain why he died of lung cancer at the age of 63), and a game-worn Lee Mazzilli jersey that recently showed up for sale on eBay shows that Baltimore managers were still pulling the hidden Pall Mall trick just a few years ago. It’s not clear whether current O’s skipper Dave Trembley also has the inner pocket but, if so, he’s part of a very long tradition: According to the next-to-last paragraph on this page, the practice might have originated with Jimmy Dykes, who managed the O’s way back in 1954.”

George Lopez was once inspired by an Orioles minor leaguer.

“I remember one guy came in with jeans and a Baltimore Orioles jersey. He was an African-American and he was playing Double-A. I’d never seen a professional jersey. He came and said we should stay in school and be true to ourselves and dream we could be anything we wanted to be. I’ve never forgotten that somebody did that.”

The O’s have a connection to the “Amherst baseball network.” In fact, the Birds got it all started.

“The Amherst baseball network began when Harry Dalton ’50 joined the Baltimore Orioles organization in 1954. Dalton in turn offered Dan Duquette ’80 his first job in baseball, and Duquette subsequently hired Huntington as an intern right out of college. “The network perpetuates itself,” said Duquette, who served as the General Manager of both the Montreal Expos and the Boston Red Sox, among other positions in Major League Baseball. As a direct result of the work Head Coach Bill Thurston has done, “Amherst is well-respected in the baseball world.””

[George Lopez image source: chicanonews.net; link provided by clicking on picture]

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About mptaylor11

Roar from 34, a Baltimore Orioles Blog. Humor. History. Homerism. Since 2006.
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