Orioles reliever Wes Stock got more wins in one day than the 2010 team does in a week.
Stock set the club record for wins in a day on May 26, 1963, during a doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians. Meanwhile, he earned his first big league save against New York back when the Orioles could actually beat the Yankees. Seems this guy was my kind of Oriole.
On his record-setting day, Stock entered the early game at Cleveland Stadium in the fourth inning and provide two innings of quality mound work. He struck out two, walked none, allowed no hits, and was the pitcher of record when the Orioles surged ahead of the Indians with three runs in the top of the seventh. Charlie Lau pinch hit for Stock during the rally, and the O's won 10-6.
Stock was again the good luck charm for the O's offense in the nightcap. The team scored three in the eighth inning and two more in the ninth to turn a 1-1 tie into a 6-1 victory. The right-handed reliever tossed three shutout innings, struck out one, walked one, and allowed one hit to earn his fifth win of the season.
Overall, Stock pitched five innings of one-hit, no-run baseball with three strikeouts, one walk, and two - count 'em, two - wins. His effort helped the Orioles win their seventh and eighth consecutive games in what ended up being a nine-game win streak. (Insert heavy sigh here.)
86-76, 18.5 games behind the 104-win New York Yankees.
Not that the Yankees phased Stock. He earned his first big league save against the Bronx Bombers on April 25, 1959, by holding a 2-1 lead in the 11th inning at Yankee Stadium. The Birds took the lead on an RBI single by one of the coolest-named players of all-time: Chico Carrasquel. Stock then replaced the pinch-hitting Carrasquel on the lineup card and recorded three Yankee outs after a leadoff single by Mickey Mantle.
Stock played six seasons in Baltimore and compiled a 27-10 record in a relief role. The O's traded him to the Kansas City Athletics on June 15, 1964, for Charlie Lau, the same guy who replaced him in the lineup during the first game of his record-setting doubleheader. Lau's contract had since been purchased by Kansas City.
Stock was saddened by the move.
"It was tough on me because we were all raised together, and we had had parties together, cookouts together," he said. "Hoyt Wilhelm and his wife were like Mom and Dad to us. Gene Woodling and Walt Dropo had kept us all in line, telling us that, 'You dress like this in the big leagues.'"
A reliever who wins ballgames, shuts down the Yankees, and loves playing in Baltimore. Yup, Wes Stock was my kind of Oriole.
[Note: This story appeared on Camden Chat on Thursday.]