|AS TEAM CARDS GO, THIS ONE'S PRETTY NICE.|
|BARBER HAD SOME SUCCESS AGAINST THE DYNASTIC YANKS.|
THE FRONT PAGE
- Funny how the most trivial things can be missed when they're taken away. Like team cards. Sure, the photos are hokey, and the cards often served as nothing more than team checklists, but when they're done like these from 1962, they can be much more than set-filler. This year's again featured how each pitcher fared against the league in '61. The Orioles had an outstanding young staff, The Baby Birds, leading the American League in seven categories, including ERA and shutouts. Those arms were responsible for Baltimore winning the most games in franchise history (95-67), finishing third in the American League but a whopping 14 games behind the 109-win Yankees.
THE BACK PAGE
- Far superior to a checklist of cards.
- It's always fun to try and pick out your favorite players. Let's see, there's Brooks Robinson ... or is that Gus Triandos? I found Steve Barber ... or is that Hal Brown? Oh, never mind.
- It also looks like one player and team official didn't make the cut.
- In addition to ERA (3.22) and shutouts (20), the Baby Birds led the AL in innings, fewest hits, runs and home runs allowed.
- All that pitching couldn't overcome an offense that had trouble scoring, ranking eighth out of 10 teams in runs and seventh in slugging, and offered no real complement to Jim Gentile, third in AL MVP voting, and Brooksie, 19th.
- The staff was led by 23-year-old Barber (18-12, 3.33 ERA, 150 strikeouts), 23-year-old Chuck Estrada (15-9, 3.69, 160), 22-year-old Jack Fisher (10-13, 3.90) and 22-year-old Milt Pappas (13-9, 3.04).
- Despite adding Robin Roberts for '62, the staff backslid some, and the Birds dropped to 77-85, seventh in the AL. Baltimore would finish below .500 only twice more ('67 and '86) in the next 24 years. The Oriole Way was underway.