Joey Rickard is an Unlikely Hero. Who Comes to Mind from the Past as an Unlikely Hero for the Orioles?

Joey Rickard has been an unlikely hero for the Orioles at the outset of the 2016 season.  Consider what we’ve seen for him so far.

The surprising emergence of Rickard, the Rule 5 hero, got me to thinking about past unlikely stars in Baltimore. The name that came to mind most immediately was Jeff Manto.

Jeff Manto.jpgJeff “Mickey” Manto was a flash in the pan in Baltimore, but boy was he sizzling when he started his lone season as an Oriole in 1995.

The journeyman appeared in his first game for the O’s on May 4, 1995, as a pinch hitter for Sherman Obando. He struck out. However, by the end of action on June 9, Manto had a .315/.344/.629 slash line with eight home runs and 20 RBI in 93 plate appearances. He had  consecutive two-homer games on June 8 and June 9. The Orioles promoted him as a write-in candidate for the All-Star Game on the ballpark Jumbotron that summer.

None of this is to say that Rickard has a similar makeup as Manto or that he’s going to be a flash in the pan. Manto is simply the guy who comes to mind for me when I think of unlikely Orioles heroes. Who comes to mind for you?



About Matthew Taylor

Roar from 34, a Baltimore Orioles Blog. Humor. History. Homerism. Since 2006.
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2 Responses to Joey Rickard is an Unlikely Hero. Who Comes to Mind from the Past as an Unlikely Hero for the Orioles?

  1. chris says:

    I got three that come to mind off the top of my head: Glenn Gulliver, from the 82-83 Orioles, who knew how to take a walk but had no power; Chito Martinez, from 91-92; and the immortal Jim Traber, who had a great half season in 1986. Unfortunately, all those guys washed out of MLB after just a couple seasons, so let’s hope Joey sticks around longer. Maybe I’m confusing “flash in the pan” with “unlikely hero.”

    • Roar from 34 says:

      That’s a great list. Thanks for sharing. I can remember cheering for Chitoooooo from the right-field bleachers at Memorial Stadium. He was a local hero in Baltimore for a while, and a national hero in his native Belize. He was the first native of that country to play in MLB.

      I think “flash in the pan” and “unlikely hero” are somewhat synonymous. Like you, I’m hoping Joey Rickard is an exception to that correlation.

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