I remember really enjoying my time with Brady Anderson in the visiting dugout in Anaheim and being amazed at all of the fans yelling loudly (and rudely) for his autograph while we hung out and talked. Brady was classy, gracious and patient. Brady arrived in the big leagues in 1988 with the Boston Red Sox but his career really didn’t take off until after his trade to the Baltimore Orioles along with Curt Schilling for Mike Boddicker—a very very good trade for the Orioles. Actually, his career did not take off until 1992, his first year as a full time player, and from 1992-2001 he was one of the game’s most well rounded and consistent players hitting for average, power, scoring runs and stealing bases. He stole a career high 53 bases in 1992 and hit a career high 50 home runs in 1996 (which was approximately one quarter of his career total of 210). The only other player to steal more than 50 bases and homer more than 50 times in a season is Barry Bonds. Brady was a very good fielding center fielder, a very good leadoff hitter, and a three time A.L. All-Star (1992, 1996 and 1997). He homered twice in the game where Cal Ripken, Jr. tied Lou Gehrig’s consecutive game streak (September 5, 1995) and it was Cal who introduced Brady when he was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 2004 as the Orioles best ever leadoff hitter and the best athlete Cal ever played with. In addition to still being in the top 10 of many of the Orioles hitting categories, Brady was a .300 post season hitter in the Orioles’ 1996 and 1997 ALDS and ALCS series. Brady closed out his playing career with the Cleveland Indians in 2002 and he currently is an Orioles executive. Here is his Opening Day memory.
“Well, I think every player probably remembers their first day in the big leagues vividly. My first happened to be on Opening Day, and I’ve actually had some good success on Opening Day. On that day, I was playing for the Red Sox. It was in 1988. Jack Morris was pitching. I think it was a Monday or Sunday day game. He was one of the nastiest pitchers in the league. The first at bat, I was out of there. The first pitch was a high slider. The next pitch was a forkball. I hadn’t really seen a fork ball. Not many players in the big leagues have ever seen a fork ball like Jack Morris had and that is what I saw my first day in the big leagues. And his support pitches. Well, I struck out and it is weird what that does to you. It’s almost like you go into some kind of survival mode which actually converts to your benefit. It did that day for me, because I just remember anything he threw up there that I thought that I could put wood on, I was going to do it and I got three hits in a row off him after that. I lined out in my last at bat off of Mike Henneman. I remember we lost, Clemens pitched and Matt Nokes hit two homers off of him.”
Brady was a little off—Nokes only hit one and Alan Trammell hit the other, but everything else was dead on. See you in two. Richie