The Quest

The Baltimore Orioles have been in town since '54 and have had over 900 men don their uniform. My goal is to obtain a signed card of each player. If you have something I need, or see something you want, don't be shy, we can make a deal.

Collection Statistics

Total Players 877/977 = 89.25%
1991 Orioles Crown Set
Total Players 309/465 = 66.45%
Alive Players 274/369 = 74.25

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Longest Season

My brother gave me a children's book for Christmas, not just because it is in line with my reading ability but because it is Orioles related. The book titled "The Longest Season" chronicles the Orioles of 1988, who hold the dubious distinction of starting a season 0 and 21.

It's a good read and teaches children the lesson of perseverance and I am sure to pass it along to my future children. The book inspired me to take a closer look at the team and what they went through that season. I am chronicling the 1988 team in autographs I have collected. I tried to stay true to the 1988 season, using a card from that year, but it was not always possible.

The season started with little fanfare due to the lackluster finish to the 1987 season. Cal Ripken Sr. started the season as manager with sons Billy and Cal Jr. starting up the middle. The first game was at home versus the Milwaukee Brewers and set the tone for the next 20 games with the Orioles losing 12-0.

Orioles Staring Lineup on April 4, 1988 vs the Milwaukee Brewers:

Leading off and playing left field, #1, Jeff Stone. 0 for 4

Hitting second and playing second, #3, Billy Ripken. 0 for 3
Billy Ripken 1989 Donruss TTM Autograph

Batting third and starting at short, #8, Cal Ripken Jr. 1 for 4
Cal Ripken 2003 Fleer Splendid Splinters Home Run Club auto/bat/blue #'d 215/300

Hitting clean-up and playing first base, #33, Eddie Murray. 0 for 4

Playing center field and hitting fifth, #19, Fred Lynn. 1 for 4

Hitting sixth and DHing, #18, Larry Sheets. 0 for 3
Larry Sheets 1989 Fleer TTM Autograph

Batting seventh, rookie third baseman, #13, Rick Schu. 0 for 3
Rick Schu 1989 Score TTM Autograph

Doing the catching and batting eighth, #15, Terry Kennedy. 1 for 3

And, hitting ninth, your right fielder, #6, Joe Orsulak. 2 for 3
Joe Orsulak 1989 Donruss TTM Autograph

Tonight's starting pitcher, #52, Mike Boddicker. 5.1 Innings, 4ER
Mike Boddicker 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Autograph

Relievers on Opening Day

#23 Oswaldo Peraza 1.2 Innings, 3ER

#24 Dave Schmidt .1 Innings, 4ER
Dave Schmidt 1988 Donruss IP Autograph

#39 Doug Sisk 1.2 Innings, 0ER
Doug Sisk 1989 Fleer TTM Autograph

Searching for a change, upper management let Cal Ripken Sr. go on April 12, replacing him with Hall of Famer Frank Robinson. Frank fared even worse, prompting speculation to why he was kept around longer, but he finished out "The Streak" and the season as manager.

Starters During "The Streak"

Position Players

#3 Craig Worthington

#11 Wade Rowdon

#26 Carl Nichols

#28 Jim Traber

#30 Tito Landrum

#35 Keith Hughes

#38 Ken Gerhart

#88 Rene Gonzales

Pinch Hitter

#9 Jim Dwyer
Jim Dwyer 1983 Fleer TTM Autograph

Starting Pitchers
#12 Mike Morgan

#16 Scott McGregor
Scott McGregor 1986 O-Pee-Chee TTM Autograph

#21 Mark Thurmond
Mark Thurmond 1989 Topps TTM Autograph

#23 Oswaldo Peraza

Relief Pitchers

#32 Mark Williamson

#37 Bill Scherrer

#48 Jose Bautista
Jose Bautista 1989 Donruss TTM Autograph

#49 Tom Niedenfuer

Mercifully the losing streak was ended on April 29th as the Orioles shut-out the Chicage White Sox 9-0. Murray and Ripken Jr. both went yard for the Birds to put an end to the second worst losing streak in baseball history. Winning did not catch on as they went and dropped their next game to finish April 1-22.

Other Players Appearing in a Game During the 1988 Season

#14 Mickey Tettleton

#16 Brady Anderson
Brady Anderson 1996 Bowman IP Autograph

#17 Pete Stanicek
Pete Stanicek 1989 Topps TTM Autograph

#25 Butch Davis
Butch Davis 1991 Orioles Crown TTM Autograph

#27 John Habyan

#29 Jeff Ballard

#30 Gregg Olson

#37 Dickie Noles

#41 Don Aase
Don Aase 1987 Topps TTM Autograph

#42 Pete Harnisch
Pete Harnisch 1991 Orioles Crown (TTM Autograph)

#43 Gordon Dillard
#43 Curt Schilling

#52 Bob Milacki
Bob Milacki 1989 Donruss TTM Autograph

#53 Jay Tibbs

The 1988 season finished much like it started with the Orioles losing four straight and eight of nine. For the season they totaled 54 wins and 107 losses without having a single winning month. 1988 marked the second time the Orioles eclipsed 100 losses, the first since their first year in Baltimore ('54), and most losses in team history.

Thanks for the memories guys.


  1. I still can't believe anybody could lose that many games in a row.

    You might want to check your photos - Dave Schmidt and Mark Thurmond are displaying oddly for me.

  2. I got you the book because I figure one day you'll have kids. And thus, they'll be appreciative of losers.