Urban Shocker’s Weblog
Dominican Beisbol & Baltimore Orioles Baseball News

Archive for September 2007

ALFREDO EDMEAD – Dominican Diamond Death

September 27, 2007

  Alfredo Edmead came to the United States from the Dominican Republic as a 17-year-old in 1974 to play his first -and only- season of professional baseball.  He left behind ten brothers and sisters to become almost an overnight success, then -even more quickly- the victim of a shocking tragedy.  Edmead turned pro when Pittsburgh Pirates scout […]


September 26, 2007

John Lowenstein will always remain one of my all-time baseball favorites.  Not only was he the most entertaining announcer I ever listened to, he was also a key role player on some of the best Baltimore Orioles teams of my childhood. In 1979, Brother Lo’ supplied some “Orioles Magic” with a pinch-hit, three-run, walk-off home […]

BILLY GARDNER – Most Valuable Oriole 1957

September 24, 2007

For the first time, in 1957, Most Valuable Oriole honors went to a player that was not in his first season with the club.  Billy Gardner came to Baltimore for about $25,000 in a waiver wire purchase less than a week into the 1956 season, a transaction that benefited both the player and his new […]

Ozzie Virgil – first Dominican big leaguer – 51 years ago today – 9/23/56

September 23, 2007

Fifty-one years ago today, New York Giants third baseman Ozzie Virgil became the first man born in the Dominican Republic to play Major League Baseball.  In celebration of the golden anniversary of his rookie season, let’s look back at this baseball pioneer. Virgil’s debut in 1956 took place in part because his family made a […]

DUANE PILLETTE earns the first win in modern Baltimore Orioles history

September 21, 2007

“It’s a bum’s game.  I should know.”  That’s what Herman Pillette, a professional pitcher for more than three decades, told his son to discourage him from pursuing a baseball career.  The elder Pillette won nineteen games for Ty Cobb’s Detroit Tigers the year his son Duane was born, and over 200 more in the Pacific Coast League, but he […]

JULIO FRANCO – The Dominican Hit King Nears the End

September 17, 2007

Julio Franco’s 2,585th career hit -an opposite field single off Houston’s Matt Albers- on July 31 at Turner Field is starting to look like it may be his last.  (EDIT – Julio lined an RBI single to right off the Marlins Lee Gardner on September 17…finally!)  The Braves sent Franco to be a role model […]

Revisiting The Bill James Guide To Baseball Managers

September 16, 2007

A decade ago, Bill James published an excellent study of the history of baseball managers, which I happened to re-read recently.  It’s a decade-by-decade breakdown of the evolution of baseball, focused sharply on the leading managerial figures along the way.  In it, James ranks managers in a variety of ways, including one point-based system he […]

Ejection Frequency for BALTIMORE ORIOLES Managers

September 14, 2007

Some of these blog entries practically write themselves.  I mean, in the last few days, two things happened that seemed naturally linked together in my mind.  First, Orioles manager Dave Trembley threw a Weaver-esque fit at an umpire (see photo), climaxing with the Baltimore skipper giving the man in blue the heave ho.  Then, I […]

King GEORGE BELL – Baseball’s Most Frequently Ejected Dominican Player

September 13, 2007

There’s an old Reggae song that says “You can tell a bad man by the way he wears his hat”.  If you don’t believe it, check out the guy in the Blue Jays cap in the photo above.  More on him later. First, I feel the need to begin with a disclaimer.  The last thing […]

TOM CHENEY Strikes Out 21 Orioles – 9/12/62

September 12, 2007

On September 12, 1962, a balding, red-headed peanut farmer from a small town in Georgia did something that had never been done before, and has never been done since.  That Wednesday evening at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Washington Senators pitcher Tom Cheney struck out 21 Orioles batters to set the major league record.  Cheney was a 27-year-old […]