In this ongoing series, in which I name the all-time starting lineup of players born in Virginia, we turn to the 3rd OF spot. Joining Chesapeake’s Michael Cuddyer and Covington’s Jim Lemon is a speedster player who stole over 200 bases in his career.
The 3rd OF spot goes to……Fredericksburg’s Al Bumbry.
Bumbry was called up the Orioles at the tail end of the 1972 season and from 1973-1984, he shined in Charm City. As an Oriole he batted .283 with 252 SB and 1403 career hits. In his first full season, Bumbry batted .337 with 34 SB and an AL-leading 11 triples to take home the AL Rookie of the Year award. From then on, he took off. He would be in the Top 10 in Stolen Bases 5 times and batting twice. In 1980 he batted .318 with a career high 44 SB and 205 hits (the only 200+ hit season of his career) and was elected to the AL all-star team starting lineup. In 1983, he won a World Series with the Orioles.
He left Baltimore after the 1984 season and played one year with the San Diego Padres before retiring.
On the Orioles franchise all-time lists, his 252 SB are 4th place, 1081 singles are 6th, and 772 runs are 9th.
Al Bumbry was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
For years, even decades, the University of Virginia has been known as a hotbed of talent for the sport of football. (Every NFL draft since the early 1980s has seen at least one NFL player get drafted out of UVA.) But make way, football, Major League Baseball is gaining steam.
As of Tuesday, September 15th, when the Orioles recalled P Tyler Wilson (Midlothian) from Triple-A Norfolk, a record 10 Wahoos appear on major league rosters. Here is the rundown of the UVA-to-MLB pipeline:
San Francisco Giants reliever Javier Lopez (Fairfax) played at Virginia from 1996-1998. He currently leads all active major league players with 4 World Series rings. (2007 with the Red Sox and the three SF titles of the 2010s.)
St Louis Cardinals IF Mark Reynolds (Va Beach) played at Virginia from 2001-2004. His 236 career homers are 23rd among active major league players.
Washington Nationals IF Ryan Zimmerman (Va Beach) played at Virginia from 2003-2005. In the 2005 draft, he was selected in the first round by Washington, the very first draft choice in the history of the Washington Nationals, who had just moved to DC from Montreal. Zimmerman is the last player left from the team’s inaugural season in Washington, and has clearly become the face of the franchise. His 10 career Walk-off homers are 2 short of the NL record). On March 30th, 2008, he christened the new Nationals Park with a walk-off HR to beat the Braves. In the summer of 2015, he cracked the 200 HR milestone. In his time as a National, his resume also includes an all-star game, a Gold Glove, and 2 Silver Sluggers.
Oakland Athletics P Sean Dolittle played at Virginia from 2005-2007. In 2014 he was 10th in the AL with 22 saves, and made his first all-star game.
Also currently on Major League rosters: Cleveland Indians P Kyle Crockett (Poquoson), Arizona Diamondbacks IF Phil Gosselin, Tampa Bay Rays OF Brandon Guyer (Herndon), Seattle Mariners C John Hicks (Richmond), San Francisco Giants OF Jarrett Parker (Stafford), and Wilson.
Major League Baseball, Wahoo strong!!!!!!!!
Here is an interesting article from the Virginian Pilot looking back at the great 2015 Tides season, the first playoffs in Norfolk in 10 years.
Norfolk was hitless through 7 innings and only managed two hits total. Columbus eliminates the Tides and moves on to the Governors Cup finals.
Andy Wilkins, on his 27th birthday, delivered a 2-run double in the ninth inning to complete a miracle comeback from a 5-2 deficit and tie the series at 2-2.
Norfolk will play Columbus tomorrow in a fifth and deciding game for a spot in the Governors Cup finals against Indianapolis.
Norfolk notched 11 hits, but only two were for extra bases. Columbus scored all its runs in the first and third innings and Columbus pitcher Will Lamb (Salem/UVA) pitched 5 dominating innings to put Norfolk on the brink of elimination.
In the resumption of Game 2, suspended last night, Tyler Wilson (Midlothian/UVA) took over the pitching and threw 5 solid innings and Henry Urrutia and Christian Walker each homered and combined to drive in 5 runs.
Norfolk salvages the split and the series will now shift to and finish up in Columbus, as it now turns into a best-of-3.
The Tides got 10 hits tonight in Game 1 of the IL playoffs at Harbor Park, but none were for extra base hits, and 2 runs in the ninth avoided a shutout, but the Tides fall.
Sean Halton had 3 hits for the Tides, Audry Perez and Christian Walker (18 HR, 74 RBI in reg season) each had 2 hits. Again, all singles.
The Tides will go back at it tomorrow at Harbor Park before the series shifts to Columbus for its remainder. Chris Jones will be on the mound for Norfolk
As we are now in the final weeks of the minor league’s 2015 season, the “dog days” of summer for the minors, we take a look at how Virginia’s teams are doing in their push for a spot in their respective league’s playoffs. Such a discussion has to start, or course, with the Triple-A Norfolk Tides (Orioles) club.
The Tides have won 7 of their last 10, have a record of 64-44. stand 6 games ahead in the IL’s South Division, and have the best record in the entire IL.
What has boosted the Tides this year? Probably their pitching. Despite the active shuttle between Hampton Roads and Charm City, there have been some amazing performances by Tides players to put them among IL leaders. Three of the top 8 ERAs in the IL are Tides pitchers-Zach Davies (5th-2.84-since traded to Brewers), Chris Jones (7th-3.00), UVA alum and Midlothian-native Tyler Wilson (8th-3.05). Mike Wright, who has gotten 7 starts in Baltimore this year, has posted an 8-0 record with the Tides and a 2.41 ERA (not enough innings to qualify for league leadership status). 30-yr old career minor leaguer Eddie Gamboa, a 2008 Orioles draft choice, has struggled to an ERA north of 4, but has still won 8 games for Norfolk this year. Led by these guys, the Tides have an IL-best 2.93 ERA, which includes 13 SHO wins. In a testament to how they are doing as a team, only one of their shutouts this year has been a CG. And speaking of their team effort, Naval Academy grad Oliver Drake is third in the league with 17 saves for the Tides.
While you and I both know that minor league baseball is about player development, the Tides are winning right now and have a shot at their first division title since 2005 and their first as an Orioles affiliate. That being said, Norfolk’s run right now means the future is bright in Baltimore.
Stay tuned, Tides and Orioles fans, this will be a fun stretch run.