Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Donation from Bob, Part Two: McNally and Powell

As promised, we resume with the second pair of 1965 Topps cards I received in a bundle of vintage Orioles from reader Bob. They're good ones too, bringing some real star power to my collection!

#249 Dave McNally

First up is a talented young lefty by the name of Dave McNally. He'd just finished his second full season in the major leagues, and was already showing signs of greatness. He'd dropped his ERA nearly a full run from 1963 to 1964 (4.58 to 3.67), and although he had yet to post a winning record, his three shutouts were third on the team in 1964 behind Milt Pappas and Robin Roberts; pretty good company, if you ask me. Better times were on the horizon for Dave, as he'd break out in 1965 with an 11-6 record and a 2.85 ERA for the Birds. In another year's time, he'd be on the mound for the team's first World Championship, slamming the door on the Dodgers with a 1-0 masterpiece in the clinching Game Four.

From 1968-1971, McNally won 87 games and lost only 31. He excelled in the postseason to the tune of a 2.49 ERA and 6 complete games in 14 starts. His grand slam in Game Three of the 1970 World Series remains the only granny hit by a pitcher in the history of the Fall Classic. Dave's place in Orioles lore is secure; his 181 wins rank him second in team history, as do his 33 shutouts. He places second in career strikeouts and complete games. He also made baseball history by winning a grievance against the Montreal Expos in 1975; he and Dodgers pitcher Andy Messersmith became baseball's first free agents.

#560 Boog Powell

This is a gem of a card featuring one of the most popular players in O's history. You might notice that it lists Boog's position as "Outfield". Indeed, he came to the Orioles as a slightly trimmer left fielder. In 1965, he would split his time between the infield and the outfield before settling at first base in 1966 and staying there. I also love this card because it showcases the classic road jersey with "Baltimore" emblazoned in orange script. The disappearance of this design in the 1970s, and the decision to stay away from it in recent years, is a major bone of contention for the majority of the Charm City faithful. The cartoonish bird head logo on the left sleeve is a precursor to the Woody Woodpeckerish emblem that would make its appearance the following year.
You might have also noticed the #8 on Boog's jersey, which another great player would make famous in the coming decades. Orioles uniform numbers are sort of my thing, but this one has escaped me so far. I've found records indicating that he wore #30 as a rookie in 1961, #16 for his sophomore season in 1962, and switched to his familiar #26 from 1963 onward. That would seem to indicate that this is a Spring Training photo, and may even be a few years old. Baseball-Alamanac.com suggests that he wore #8 and #26 in 1964, but why would he have switched back and forth, having already worn #26 the previous year? If anyone has more info, let me know.
I've also written about my Dad's recent encounter with Boog over at my Orioles Card O' the Day blog.

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