Wednesday, July 14, 2010

#303 Johnny Orsino

#303 Johnny Orsino
Okay, patient readers, I'm back from my own All-Star Break of sorts, a week well-spent at the beach. Here to welcome me back is the "Horse", Johnny Orsino. I'm a fan of the batting cage in the background, as well as the close-up of the old Orioles road jersey. The placket piping and the classic bird on the sleeve really do tie it all together.

Fun facts about Johnny Orsino:

-A native of Teaneck, NJ, Johnny signed with the Giants as a teenager in 1957.

-He showed prodigious power in the minors, reaching 40 extra-base hits in each of his first four seasons.

-Played only 43 games over two seasons (1961-1962) for San Francisco, hitting .275 with four homers.

-Traded to the Orioles in the six-player deal that also landed Stu Miller for the Birds. Announced his presence with home runs in each of his first five at-bats in Spring Training.

-Playing a career-high 116 games in 1963, Orsino cranked out 19 homers and 18 doubles, drove in 56 runs, and batted .272. His 133 OPS+ was third among American League catchers, trailing only All-Stars Earl Battey and Elston Howard.

-Lost playing time over the next two seasons as he slumped to .227 with 17 home runs in 158 contests.

-Was dealt to the Senators after the 1965 season and ended his career with a whimper, collecting just four hits in 15 games over the following two years. Continued playing out the string in the minor leagues through the 1969 campaign.

-In parts of seven big league seasons, he hit .249 with 40 homers and 123 RBI.

-Managed briefly and unsuccessfully in the Indians' farm system, winning 103 games and losing 177 between AA Jersey City and AA Chattanooga in 1977 and 1978. Later in life, he became a golf pro and coached golf at Florida Atlantic University.

-On July 26, 1963, he hit a three-run homer off of a fellow two-sport athlete: White Sox pitcher (and future NBA Hall of Famer) Dave DeBusschere.
#303 Johnny Orsino (back)

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