Happy Opening Day, O’s fans.
The Birds begin the 2010 campaign on the road, which brings to mind one of my favorite Opening Day memories: Sam Horn’s two-homer, six RBI day in Kansas City in 1990 to lead the O’s to a 7-6, 11 inning victory against the Royals.
[Check out the Lawrence Journal-World for a photo of Horn’s second home run and Joe Orsulak sliding into home with the winning run.]
Every O’s starter had a hit, and Jay Aldrich tossed three shutout innings to pick up his only win as an Oriole. Meanwhile, Gregg Olson, fresh off winning Rookie of the Year, earned the first of a career high 37 saves in what would be his only All Star season.
But Sam Horn ruled the day.
As I’ve noted before on this blog, Sam Horn is one of my all-time favorite Orioles. His 6’5″, 240 pound stature made him larger than most men; his first game as an Oriole made him larger than life.
Around this time last season, The Sun’s Mike Klingaman caught up with Horn to reminisce about his big day.
In the second inning, with two aboard, Horn poled a fast ball off KC ace Brett Saberhagen, the Cy Young winner, deep into the waterfalls at Royals Stadium. In the eighth, with the Orioles down, 6-3, Horn tagged a curveball off reliever Steve Farr into the bullpen to tie the game.His six RBIs set an club record for Opening Day and drew ooohs from his skipper.“He (Horn) has spoiled us,” manager Frank Robinson said. “I’ll tell you, he’s so big and strong, you expect him to hit them that way. If he doesn’t drive in five or six runs every game, we’re going to tell him to hit the road.”The next day, Horn got two more hits, eliciting praise from Royals star George Brett.
“If the season ended today,” Brett said, “Horn would win the Triple Crown.”
Image Source: The Sun