Monday, November 09, 2009

Happy Randy Milligan Day

It's Randy Andre "Moose" Milligan day in Baltimore.

Twenty one years ago today, on Nov. 9, 1988, the Orioles acquired Milligan from the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named later, who turned out to be Peter Blohm.

Milligan played four seasons in Baltimore. He hit for a .258 average, with 59 home runs, and 228 RBI. More impressive, he maintained a .388 on-base percentage. Milligan slugged a career high 20 home runs in 1990. Blohm, meanwhile, never advanced beyond the Triple-A level.

Milligan emerged as a central figure in the Birds' Why Not? season. His game-tying three-run homer at Fenway Park on Aug. 2, 1989 is a key highlight from that magical year. The clout helped the Orioles avoid a four-game sweep in Boston and extended the team's lead over the then-second place Red Sox to two games.

Like many O's fans, I have a soft spot for the Moose. Among other factors that made him so likable to me, Milligan hit a batting practice home run that landed in my teenage hands at Memorial Stadium. It's one of only two baseballs I caught as a kid. The other came off the bat of the Milwaukee Brewers' Dante Bichette.

Here are some appreciations for Milligan from the blog-O's-phere: Camden Chat, Orioles Card "O" the Day, Birds in the Belfry (an outstanding chronicle of the '89 season).

Image Source: Baseball Almanac.

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