Saturday, August 9, 2014
Orioles Team (#334)
Here is the Orioles team card. Topps did away with the superimposed yellow or red background for their team cards in 1968, but only issued cards for 13 of the 20 teams.
What a difference 1 year makes! The Orioles went from World Champions in 1966 to tied for 6th place in 1967. Why? Frank Robinson missed every game from 6/28 to 7/28 after a collision caused him to suffer from double vision.
Also, almost all their starting pitchers came down with arm injuries. The most severe was Jim Palmer, who spent most of '67 and all of '68 recuperating in the minors. Dave McNally, Wally Bunker, and Steve Barber were also ineffective, with Barber traded to the Yankees in July.
In place of Palmer and the others, rookie Tom Phoebus stepped up to lead the staff with 14 wins, 179 strikeouts, and a 3.33 ERA.
Not to worry, the Orioles would be back in 1969 (and 1970... and 1971).