Free Baseball: All About The O

I know, I know, there’s still a bit of baseball left … a World Series (yawn). With some teams … playing somewhere. Oh, I don’t know.

I guess I’ll watch. But, secretly, I’ll be counting down the days until Opening Day 2014.

163.

But, before we close the book on 2013, here are some extra innings to honor my sweet Baltimore Orioles and their second consecutive winning season.

(Hey, did you know that the Orioles broke a major league record this year, by committing the fewest errors – 54 – ever in a single season? I just love a tough and graceful defense!)

Free Baseball: All About the O(rioles): Offense, Defense, Pitching & Pumpkins!

10th Inning: “Crush” Davis, Home Run King.

Orioles First Baseman Chris Davis hit 53 home runs this season. The most anyone hit this year and an Orioles’ record.

Wanna see the first 50? Of course you do. And, it will only take a minute.

crush6

Click here.

(Chris Davis also led all of baseball with 138 runs batted in and tied for third in the American League with 42 doubles. And, in the field he led baseball with 153 double plays turned.)

11th Inning: Hakuna Machado!

The Orioles’ Manny Machado makes beautiful baseball over on third.

Magical.

Manny is one of the best defensive players in the game today. Gold Glove worthy. (Oh, and he led the AL with 51 doubles, too.)

“Hakuna Machado” – a takeoff on The Lion King song – is a Birdland cheer for Manny. Here’s a great song and video some folks over at MLB.com put together for Manny this season.

Just 90 seconds. Plus, Orioles’ reliever Tommy Hunter sings. Worth it just for that.

hakuna5

Click here.

(Manny had surgery on his knee earlier this week. He’ll be on the mend for six months or so. May Hakuna Magic heal Manny up and bring him back to Birdland in the Spring!)

12th Inning: Jim Palmer, Pitcher. Jim Palmer, Pitchman.

Jim Palmer is not only the greatest pitcher in Orioles’ history … he is one of the greatest pitchers. Period. (Please do not argue with me. This is neither the time nor the place.)

Here are some career numbers over Palmer’s 19 seasons (1965-1984):

20-Game Winner: 8 Times

Cy Young Awards: 3

Gold Gloves: 4

Win Percentage: .638

Win Percentage in Post-Season Games: .727

Grand Slams hit off of him: 0

Today, Jim Palmer does color for Orioles’ television broadcasts. He’s quite good – interesting, informative, entertaining, without being arrogant or a windbag. (Although he will happily remind you about that grand slam stat from time to time.)

He taught me one of the most important rules of baseball: “Never be the first or third out at third.”

In addition to pitching, Jim Palmer sold a lot of Brylcreem and Jockey shorts back in the day. A few of his commercials were gathered by the cool blog “30-Year Old Cardboard” to recognize Palmer’s 68th birthday earlier this week. Click here.

brylcreem2

13th Inning: Pumpkins!

One of the most popular posts on this blog is from last October when I wrote about the Oriole pumpkin I carved. The pumpkin is pretty miserable (in a “you let a 3-year-old hold a knife and slash up your pumpkin?” sort of way) and the photo is blurry (“and he took the photo, too?”).

This blurry photo is from October 2011. To give the Baltimore Orioles' bird something to do in October, I attempted to carve my very first pumpkin. If the Orioles go into the post-season this year, I will carve a much finer bird. Oscar the cat, by the way, is 20. He was 5 when the Orioles last made it into the post-season.

Oriole Pumpkin. Oscar.

It was a sloppy Oriole pumpkin honoring a team that, in 2011, was pretty sloppy, too – they lost nearly 100 games. In all of baseball, only Seattle, Minnesota, and Houston played worse.

But, the photo includes Oscar – who lived to be nearly 20 and was a mighty good cat. He always smelled like sunshine. He’s gone now, but I always smile when I see this picture.

For the post, Oriole pumpkin stencils, and all things pumpkiny, click here.

(Psst! Giants fans, I’ve got you covered, too … click here.)

About That Oriole Pumpkin

Oscar has an Oriole pumpkin. Do you?

[UPDATED: October 2013 and October 2014]

Yes, I have the Oriole Bird stencils for your pumpkin. Smiley Bird. Angry Bird. The new “We Won’t Stop” stencil. Read on! 

Back in 2012, I was very excited when people started coming to my blog … Someone out there really cares what I think about the Orioles? What I think about Nick Markakis? Manny Machado? Darren O’Day? They want to read what I know about the history of the world’s most perfect game? (I’m blushing.)

It didn’t take long to discover that you’re not coming to read my insights about baseball after all.

You want the elusive Oriole pumpkin stencils, don’t you?

OK, I’m bummed that you didn’t stop by to see what I have to say. These words don’t write themselves, you know. (And, I write a lot of them … just click here to read my latest post. And, if you’re an Orioles fan … sign up to get my posts, we’ll have fun!)

But then …

Yay for my 20-year-old super-cool cat Oscar who gets attention whenever his pumpkin photo pops up on Google. And, yay for for the Orioles … in the post-season!

That pumpkin I carved back in 2011 was a mess. (But then, so were the 2011 Orioles.) I didn’t know what I was doing, and really, put sharp objects and me in the same room and there’s bound to be blood.

Yours will be better. The Orioles were too busy making their way to the World Series to update the stencils in a timely fashion, so I’m doing my part … here they are.  (Just click on the stencil you want, then right click to save it on your computer.)

OrioleBird Stencil

 

Here’s Angry “Buckle Up” Bird.

And, new “We Won’t Stop” for 2014:

We Wont Stop 2014 Stencil

 

It’s hard to find the stencils online. But, here’s the link to these Oriole stencils if you prefer the PDF format. Click here.

But, those are awfully fancy pants for a pumpkin.

So, here’s the more primitive stencil I used back in 2011. I think it’s much easier to carve.

This easier Oriole stencil should be here: http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com/bal/downloads/y2009/retrohatbird.pdf

This simpler Oriole bird stencil is also in PDF form.  Click here.

Tape the stencil to a pumpkin. Poke a nail along the stencil’s lines and onto your pumpkin. There you go … carve away!

Have fun. Don’t cut yourself. And, I hope you find a cool cat to pose with your Oriole pumpkin.

Go O’s!

(Extra credit if you carve an Oriole pumpkin and post the photo in the comments.  Or email it to me at jackie@thebaseballbloggess.com and I’ll post it for you!)