Saturday, September 20, 2008

Al Pardo Trivia

Former O's catcher is one of only three MLB players born in Spain

by Matthew Taylor

It was a true Flashback Friday for me this week as a friend - a Red Sox fan, no less (note: they're not all bad) - gave me some old Oriole baseball cards that he found while moving to a new house. Many of the names were familiar - Dwyer, Ford, Aase, Shelby, Sakata, Lowenstein - but some were not, including that of former O's catcher Al Pardo. So I decided to figure out who this guy was.

Al Pardo - not to be confused with the voice of "Saturday Night Live," Don Pardo - played two seasons with the Birds (50 games over the course of '85 & '86) and two seasons with the Phillies (three games over the course of '88 & '89). He is one of only three Major League Baseball players to be born in Spain. The others are Bryan Oelkers and Danny Rios.

Pardo played his college ball at Hillsborough Community College where Wade Boggs attended classes in the off-season as a minor leaguer. Pardo also holds the distinction of being an Oriole with only one career home run for the team. (At some point I'm going to compile a list of O's who have matched that feat.) A message board poster on Orioles Hangout honors the accomplishment by using the handle "Al Pardo."




Random O's fact of the day: As of Saturday, the 2008 Baltimore Orioles had hit 171 home runs on the season. How does that stack up against the Birds' World Series-winning teams? It's three more than the 1983 team (168), four fewer than the 1966 team (175), and eight fewer than the 1970 team (179).


Random link of the day: Bad Jerseys of the 90's - Baltimore Edition.

2 comments:

Josh Beckett Baseball Card Monthly said...

Cool research and cool card. See--we Sox fans (at least the ones who remember a time before pink hats) aren't all bad. Certainly not as bad as the faux-classy Yankee Clan (the ones who, gloriously, are looking at plenty of free time this October). I think we can find common ground in Yankee hatred and Brady Anderson jokes.

Anyway, the most remarkable thing about the Al Pardo card is the awesome helmet. Clearly, the O's need to shake things up a bit. How many pennants have the they won with the realistic oriole hats? Right. So how about a return to the infinitely cooler happy bird.

I think the message fits, too. Smile, Baltimore...it's Charm City.

Matthew Taylor said...

Well stated.