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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Where it is the 20th anniversary of Cal Ripken Jr.’s 3,000th hit

In other news: Steve Pearce retired, and the O’s are upgrade their analytical databases.

BBA-ORIOLES-RIPKEN-MURRY Photo credit should read CRAIG LASSIG/AFP via Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

In sticking with the spirit of most sports coverage these days, today is a momentous date in Orioles history.

Today marks the date that Cal Ripken Jr. pushed his surefire Hall of Fame career into the “no doubt” realm. With a base hit against the Minnesota Twins, it gave Ripken 3,000 hits for his career. The only Hall of Fame-eligible players who have achieved 3,000 hits in their careers and are not in the Hall of Fame are Pete Rose and Rafael Palmeiro. It seems to be the single most important statistic in the minds of sportswriters who vote on such things.

While I do personally recall watching Ripken play games as a child, I am part of the generation that missed his prime. My only real memories of Ripken as a player involve him near the end of his career on some pretty bad Orioles teams. I do remember his final season, especially the All-Star Game in Seattle, where he begrudgingly switched positions with Alex Rodriguez and hit that home run. So, things like this 3,000th hit celebrate encapsulate most of my experience in watching Ripken. Other players clearly respected him, and he was often passing some sort of career milestone, which result in back slaps and handshakes from said players.

Links & Notes

Steve Pearce Announces Retirement - MLB Trade Rumors
There may be no better recent example of a “late bloomer” in recent MLB history. Steve Pearce broke into the big leagues as a 24-year-old with the 2007 Pittsburgh Pirates. But he wouldn’t establish himself in the league until a 31-year-old with the 2014 Orioles. It was a season which he posted 5.8 bWAR and helped the team win a division title. He bounced between the AL East and even won World Series MVP with the 2018 Red Sox. Not bad for a guy who never played more than 102 games in a single season.

Camden Yards on display in new MLB YouTube series - Steve Melewski
Although baseball may not be back for a while that won’t stop everyone from fawning over Camden Yards nearly 30 years after it opened.

Omar comin’: Orioles’ uniquely named analytics database is a rare beneficiary of baseball’s shutdown - The Baltimore Sun
Leave it to Meoli to come up with a legitimately interesting story in the midst of absolutely nothing happening on the field.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

Longtime Orioles starter Chris Tillman is 32. The right-hander came to the organization as part of the Adam Jones/Erik Bedard trade in 2008. He debuted with the O’s in 2009 and then spent the next decade with the club. Over 10 season, Tillman compiled a 4.57 ERA, earned an All-Star selection (2013) and started three straight Opening Days from 2014 to 2016.

Also celebrating a birthday is 38-year-old Michael Aubrey. The first baseman appeared in 31 games for the 2009 Orioles. During his time in Charm City, Aubrey hit .289/.326/.500 with four home runs in 95 plate appearances.

1954 - The first game at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium is played. The Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox 3-1 in the franchise’s debut contest following an off-season move from St. Louis.

1987 - The Orioles fall victim to history. Milwaukee Brewers hurler Juan Nieves throws the first no-hitter in club history, beating the O’s 7-0.

2000 - Cal Ripken Jr. becomes the 24th major league hitter with 3,000 career hits. The historic hit was a single against Minnesota Twins righty Hector Carrasco. Additionally, the base knock makes Ripken only the seventh MLB player with 3,000 hits and 400 home runs.