The Royals have former Orioles John Bale (2001) , Ryan Freel (2009), Bruce Chen (2005-2006), Luis Hernandez (2007-2008), and Sidney Ponson (1998-2005). You can even throw in utility man Tug Hulett, son of former Orioles infielder Tim Hulett (1989 – 1994), for good measure.
But what about the less obvious connections? Six degrees of Orioles Separation seeks to connect a current player from an opposing team to a past Orioles player through trades in six moves or less.
Using those guidelines we can connect 34-year-old Royals pitcher Jamey Wright to Orioles great Eddie Murray in four moves.
1 – On Aug. 29, 2002, Wright was traded by the Milwaukee Brewers with cash to the St. Louis Cardinals for Chris Morris. The St. Louis Cardinals sent Mike Matthews to the Milwaukee Brewers to complete the trade.
2 – How did the Cardinals acquire Matthews in order to make that deal? On Aug. 24, 1999, the Cardinals traded Kent Merker to the Red Sox for Matthews and David Benham.
3 – Kent Merker played part of the 1996 season with the Orioles.
4 – On July 21, 1996, Merker was traded by the Orioles to the Cleveland Indians in order to bring Eddie Murray back home for his 500th home run.
So if you happen to be out at Camden Yards this week for the Royals series, tip your cap to Jamey Wright for “helping” bring Eddie Murray back to Baltimore.