Flashback Friday: Danny Valencia Wasn’t the First Orioles Position Player to Pitch Against the Texas Rangers

The Orioles lost 17-8 to the Texas Rangers on Thursday night and a position player pitched. It harkens back to another lopsided O’s loss against Texas, but I’m not talking about 30-3.

Manny Alexander Baseball CardThis week’s Flashback Friday looks at the O’s game versus Texas on April 19, 1996, a 26-7 loss that saw Manny Alexander take the mound.

Alexander was no Danny Valencia, who struck out Joey Gallo in Thursday’s brief mound appearance. Instead, Alexander issued four walks, allowed five runs, and gave up one hit – a Kevin Elster grand slam – in two-thirds of an inning of work.

Alexander’s efforts were part of a 16-run eighth inning in which the Rangers totaled eight hits and eight walks versus him, Armando Benitez, and Jesse Orosco.

Alexander reportedly stated “I hate this” when asked about his cameo on the mound, and with good reason.

Here’s a sampling of headlines from the game coverage:

“Rangers Devastate Orioles” (The Washington Times)

“There’s No Mercy Rule as Texas Wins 26-7” (The New York Times)

“All Texas Needed Was a Placekicker” (The Fresno Bee)

“It’s Sweet 16 in One Inning” (Daily News – Los Angeles)

Said Rangers slugger Juan Gonzalez, who homered, doubled, and drove in six runs: “It was funny. A walk, a walk, a base hit, a home run. It was great for us.”

But not so great for the Orioles.

Historical Note:

Danny Valencia became the eighth position player to take to the mound for the Orioles. According to a 2016 Pressbox story by Paul Folkemer, the list of prior position players to pitch for the O’s is as follows: Larry Harlow and Elrod Hendricks (1978); Todd Cruz (1984); Jeff Tackett (1993); Manny Alexander (1996); Chris Davis (2012); and Ryan Flaherty (2016).


About Matthew Taylor

Roar from 34, a Baltimore Orioles Blog. Humor. History. Homerism. Since 2006.
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