The Orioles kicked the tires on Arthur Rhodes this weekend. The Forty-three
year old makes recent NY Mets signing LaTroy Hawkins seem sprite. We all
know that lefties do not burn out, they fade away. Jamie Moyer may even
rise again, though he did not make it to the Orioles roster during his record
setting 2012 season at age 49. So who exactly did wear the Orange and Black latest in life?
There have been a number of graybeards spend their late days in the big
leagues with the O's. Certainly Jim Thome (42 years plus 45 days), as
recently as last year, comes to mind. Harold Baines (41 + 136) stayed on
here until a ripe age, and Tim Raines Sr. (42 + 16) spent some time in Baltimore near the end of
his career. Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun reminds us that Dizzy Trout
pitched for 1957 Birds (42 +74). Ah, a long lasting lefty you say.
Well then, one would think that career appearance leader Jesse Orosco, who
first ARRIVED in Baltimore
at age 40, must be the man. Sorry, Orosco toiled for the Birds until he
was 42 years and 160 days old. He would go on to pitch three more seasons,
finishing his storied career at age 46.
So who is the oldest man ever to appear in an Orioles game? It is 1983
World Series MVP Rick Dempsey. Dempsey was an absolute fan favorite in Crab
land from the time he was acquired from the New York Yankees in 1976 until he
left as a free agent for Cleveland
eleven years later. Rick was not only a member of the 1979 AL Champion
O's and, as mentioned, hero of the 1983 World Championship club, he won another
World Series ring in 1988 with the Kirk Gibson led Dodgers. Forgotten
from the memory of most, however, is that Dempsey returned to Baltimore for a September 1992 stint that
lasted only eight games. That was long enough to make the then 43-year
and 14-day old the oldest O when he played his final game.
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