Tag Archives: albert belle

Turn ahead the clock

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.

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Orioles numerology

It’s still ice pellet season in Madison, but in Florida it’s baseball time — the Orioles open their spring training schedule next Thursday against the Marlins. So it seems a good time to advertise the most awe-inspiring Orioles completism project I’ve ever encountered: Orioles Numerology, which provides capsule summaries of every Oriole, ordered by uniform number. At #1 we have, of course, the great Al Bumbry and current star Brian Roberts — but I’d forgotten that in between there was Tony Tarasco, fixed forever in memory on the warning track, staring straight upward, disbelieving, as fan Jeffrey Maier hauled a “home run” over the fence for the Yankees in the 1996 ALCS. And at the end, #88, Albert Belle, who’d worn #8 before moving to a team where that number meant Ripken and Ripken only. I hadn’t remembered that the number was first worn by banjo-hitting infielder Rene Gonzales. The proprietors of the site have some bad things to say about Belle, but if not for an unexpected injury he’d have been the best Oriole of the 21st century. More Albert Belle and less Rene Gonzales would look pretty good right now.

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