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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles have their catcher of the future

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The Orioles drafted stud catcher Adley Rutschman, the consensus top amateur, with the No. 1 pick last night. The future is suddenly looking a whole lot brighter in Baltimore.

College World Series - Arkansas v Oregon State - Game Three
Welcome, Adley Rutschman. Here’s to many years in Baltimore.
Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

How did everyone celebrate draft night yesterday? Did you gather with fellow Orioles fans to watch the Birds make their first No. 1 pick in 30 years? Did you stay home and scour the interwebs for every morsel of information on the newest O’s prospects?

The MLB draft hasn’t always been a must-watch, but this time, it was practically a holiday in Birdland. Orioles fans have been looking forward to this day for over a year, when it became painfully clear that the O’s were going to hold the first overall pick. And the Mike Elias regime took full advantage of their primo slot, selecting Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman, the consensus top draft prospect.

After weeks of media speculation and idle chatter, including recent rumors that the O’s might go in a different direction with their pick, the club did what it needed to and chose the best player available. And now the Adley Rutschman era begins.

Well, technically, the Adley Rutschman era begins when he signs with the Orioles, but that’s considered a formality. It’s only a matter of time, perhaps mere weeks, before Rutschman reports to an O’s affiliate to start his professional career. And then the numbers will tick off on the countdown clock to Baltimore.

Am I getting ahead of myself? Maybe. But it’s hard not to be excited about the Orioles’ newest prospect, who received rave reviews from pretty much every draft pundit and publication. Could Rutschman evolve into the “Mauer with power” that the Orioles’ previous first-round catcher, Matt Wieters, never became? Will he usher in the next great era of Baltimore baseball?

I can’t wait to find out. The next few years of Orioles baseball have just gotten a lot more interesting.

Links

Elias on Rutschman: “It’s a total package” (plus Rutschman’s comments) - Steve Melewski
Mike Elias and Adley Rutschman talk about their big day. Rutschman seems like a man of few words. Fine with me — he can do his talking on the field.

10 things to know about Adley Rutschman - MLB.com
Matt Kelly runs down 10 fast facts about the man, the myth, the legend, Adley Rutschman, including the time he tackled a now All-Pro NFL running back.

What they are saying about Orioles No. 1 draft pick Adley Rutschman - Baltimore Sun
The Sun compiles reviews on the Rutschman pick from around the baseball mediascape. Spoiler alert: they’re overwhelmingly positive.

Orioles recall Sisco from Triple-A Norfolk - School of Roch
Poor Chance Sisco. On the same day he gets his first call-up of the season, the Orioles draft a guy who will probably make him irrelevant to the Birds’ future. Such is life.

As the Orioles prepare to draft first, how have No. 1 picks fared in MLB history? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Before the draft, I researched the history of No. 1 picks. Some of them ended up being Hall of Famers! And some of them were...not so much.

See the Baltimore Orioles Dress Like ... Texans? – Texas Monthly
In non-draft news, the Orioles broke out the full cowboy regalia for their road trip to Texas. Quick, how many players in the photo can you identify?

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Join me in wishing a wonderful 91st birthday to former O’s player and coach Billy Hunter. Hunter is one of only three surviving members of the inaugural 1954 Orioles, along with 97-year-old Gil Coan and 89-year-old Don Larsen. Hunter still shows up at Orioles Alumni events from time to time.

You have four other O’s birthday buddies, none of whom had particularly memorable stints in Baltimore: catcher Terry Kennedy (63), infielder Ricky Jones (61), lefty J.C. Romero (43), and righty Cla Meredith (36).

On this date in 1967, the Orioles played the longest game (by innings) in club history, a 19-inning marathon against the Washington Senators. It at least had a happy ending, as Andy Etchebarren walked it off with a two-run homer, snapping a 12-inning scoreless streak by the two teams. Poor Luis Aparicio went 0-for-8 from the leadoff spot.

In 2010, the Orioles fired manager Dave Trembley after the club’s disastrous 15-39 start. Trembley was a well-respected baseball guy who, like so many before him, couldn’t find any success with the shoddy O’s clubs of that era. He was replaced by interim skipper Juan Samuel before the Orioles made the excellent decision to hire Buck Showalter that August.