Tread Thin on Rhodes, But Would He Be the Oldest O?

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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One Response to Tread Thin on Rhodes, But Would He Be the Oldest O?

  1. Fantastic work Len! I really enjoy these historical pieces.


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