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Saturday’s Bird Droppings: Where it’s Brooks Robinson’s birthday

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MLB: Chicago White Sox at Baltimore Orioles Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

There have been a lot of surprises, both good and bad, surrounding this Orioles team. But one that it feels safe to say no one saw coming was that Stevie Wilkerson would, at any point this season, be their regular center fielder.

Wilkerson has been an infielder for most of his time in professional baseball. Playing in the outfield, especially center, requires quite a different skill set than fielding grounders on the dirt.

Defensively, it’s been a rough go of it at times for Wilkerson. He’s taken odd routes, misread the ball off the bat and lost his bearings in relation to the outfield wall. But that’s all part of the learning process. He’s athletic enough to figure it out eventually, but there will be growing pains.

At the plate, it’s another story. The 27-year-old looks like a natural, hitting .292/.311/.528 with four home runs and five doubles in 21 games. Will that pace continue? Ya never know, but it’s been a lot of fun to watch happen.

Links

Bundy halts losing streak, leading the Orioles past the Indians, 5-1 - Camden Chat
The Orioles finally nabbed their first Friday win of the season. For those of you in the know, that’s important business in this corner of the Orioles internet.

Should DJ Stewart Get a Call-Up? - Eutaw Street Report
I’m gonna do with a hard “yes” on this one. We probably already know what D.J. Stewart brings to the table. If you are waiting for him to turn into a superstar, you might wanna grab a book, because it’s gonna be a while. But he’s better than Joey Rickard, so why not give him an extended look in Baltimore?

Dylan Bundy throws strong game as O’s top Indians (quotes added) - MASN Sports
All aboard the quote train!

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

Gil Coan, an outfielder with the O’s from 1954-55, is 97. Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, an outfielder in Birdland for one season (1976), celebrates his 73rd birthday. And Luis Terrero, an Oriole for 27 games in 2006, turns 39 years old today.

With all due respect to the other former Orioles born on this day, we have to admit that this day belongs to the now-82-year-old Brooks Robinson. The Human Vacuum Cleaner spent parts of 23 seasons with the O’s, won two World Series, an MVP award (1964) and a ridiculous 16 Gold Gloves at the hot corner. He was known for both his outstanding work on the diamond and for being one of the nicest people away from the game. Happy birthday, Brooks!

1892 - Baltimore Orioles pitcher Sadie McMahon gives up just one hit, but loses 1-0 to the New York Giants.

1957 - Orioles first baseman Dick Williams ties a game against the White Sox with a ninth inning home run moments before the clock strikes 10:20 p.m., ending the game in a tie. This game had a 10:20 curfew so that the White Sox could catch a train leaving Baltimore.

1983 - The O’s manage just one hit, but beat the White Sox 1-0 thanks to a Dan Ford home run in the eighth inning.

1990 - The O’s tie an A.L. record with eight straight singles in the first inning against Rangers pitcher Bobby Witt.