Monday, November 18, 2013

#109 Sam Horn

About the Front: This has long been one of my favorite cards in this set. How often do you see a player captured in a moment of deep reflection? Or maybe he's just thinking about what he'll have for dinner that night. I never claimed to be a mind reader. Anyway, two thoughts: 1) Dig the girl in the plastic neon sunglasses in the first row. 2) Sam Horn is a big, big, big dude.

About the Back: Sam didn't have enough plate appearances to qualify for any batting rate stats in 1991. But as a point of comparison, Jose Canseco was the official American League leader with one home run per 13.0 at-bats.

Triple Play:

1. Horn still has a cult following in Boston because of his hot start in a 46-game trial in 1987, when he set a record for the most home runs by a player appearing in less than 50 games. He also homered in each of his first two career games. A popular Red Sox fan site and message board is named "Sons of Sam Horn".

2. Sam had a knack for first impressions. On Opening Day of the 1990 season, he made his Orioles debut and went 4-for-5 with a pair of three-run homers to spur Baltimore to a 7-6 win over the Royals in 11 innings.

3. Horn also achieved a more dubious feat on July 17, 1991, striking out six times in a 15-inning loss to Kansas City. Former O's pitcher Mike Flanagan was credited with dubbing the feat as a "horn", a la the "hat trick" (3 K's) or "golden sombrero" (5 K's).

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: Sam Horn was one of the few Orioles whose name pierced the bubble of my personal baseball ignorance in the early 1990s. That probably has something to do with his considerable power (a rarity on those O's clubs) and the lyricality of his name. "Sam Horn" just sounds like a heroic athlete.

Bill James Said: "I know I've said this before, but Horn is pretty much the same player as Cecil Fielder; he's just lefthanded and can't catch a break."

On This Date in 1993: November 18. In South Africa, 21 political parties approve a new constitution, expanding voting rights and ending white minority rule.

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