Despite the dispiriting sweep we just endured at the hands of the Red Sox, the Orioles are for the first time in recent memory a team whose future seems kind of interesting — so it’s an opportune time for Tom’s reminiscence, via Joe Posnanski, of the Orioles’ last Turn Ahead The Clock Day. At the time, the future of the franchise was supposed to include a lot of Albert Belle:
I saw Albert Belle try to turn down a HBP once. It was Turn Ahead the Clock day, and the Orioles were wearing billowing trash-bag “futuristic” uniforms. Belle was 4-for-4 with a walk and 3 home runs already, including a two-out game-tying shot in the bottom of the ninth. And he had driven in 6 of the O’s 7 runs. So when the ball ran in on his floppy outfit in the bottom of the 11th, with a man aboard, he waved off the ump and tried to stay in the box.
My friend and I at the game had absolutely no doubt that had he gotten away with it, he would have hit his fourth homer. Belle felt the same, evidently. But eventually they ordered him along to first base, and Cal Ripken singled in the winning run three batters later.
I, the “friend” above, recounted the same game in my list of Underappreciated Orioles, on which Belle appears at #5. Only I forgot the two most interesting details, the future jerseys and Belle’s attemped snub of the free base! Which is why Tom is a professional sportswriter and I’m just a guy who complains about the Orioles on the Internet.