Examining The One-and-done Pitchers In Orioles History

Posted on April 09, 2014 by Paul Folkemer

Welcome back to our look at the One-and-Done club: players who appeared in exactly one game with the Orioles. In Part I, we reviewed the position players. Now, let's take a look at the 11 Orioles pitchers who each appeared in one game with the club during their careers.

RHP VERN BICKFORD, 1954

Bickford had a decent career for the Braves (both in Boston and Milwaukee) before joining the Orioles during their inaugural year of 1954. He was an All-Star in 1949, and in 1950, he led the majors with 39 starts, 27 complete games and 311.2 innings pitched for the Braves, including a no-hitter. For the O's, he threw four innings, making a single start April 24, 1954, and taking the loss. He never pitched in the majors again, suffering arm troubles.

RHP RYNE DUREN, 1954

Duren made his major league debut with the Orioles in 1954, pitching two innings during his only O's appearance, Sept. 25. On paper, Duren's career doesn't stand out -- he pitched 10 years for seven teams with a lifetime 3.83 ERA. But Duren was well known at the time for his quirky personality, thick glasses and a fastball he couldn't control -- and he was the inspiration for Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn, Charlie Sheen's character in the Major League movies. That's not a bad legacy.

RHP GORDIE SUNDIN, 1956

Sundin's entire major league career consisted of one game, which he pitched for the Orioles Sept. 19, 1956, in Detroit. It didn't go well. He walked both batters he faced, and one of them scored -- thus leaving him with a career major league ERA of infinity. Sundin was 18 years old at the time, and he later retired from baseball at age 23.

RHP GEORGE WERLEY, 1956

Werley was in many ways a clone of Sundin. Like Sundin, he made a grand total of one major league appearance, and -- like Sundin -- it came with the Orioles in 1956. Also, like Sundin, Werley was 18 years old when he took the mound. The difference is that Werley actually got some batters out -- including future Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew -- during his one inning pitched Sept. 29, 1956.

RHP ED FARMER, 1977

Farmer belongs to the Gordie Sundin Club -- his career ERA with the Orioles is infinity. During his lone appearance with the Birds Sept. 7, 1977, he faced two batters, allowing a single, walking in a run and allowing a run of his own. The O's had seen enough. Farmer, though, had more success elsewhere, pitching 11 years in the majors. He later became an Orioles scout, filling that role from 1988-90, and is currently a White Sox radio broadcaster.

RHP RANDY MILLER, 1977

Miller, the Orioles' fifth-round draft pick in 1974, didn't provide much use to the Birds on his own, allowing four of six batters to reach base during his lone appearance Sept. 7, 1977. But the O's squeezed some value out of Miller by packaging him with pitchers Rudy May and Bryn Smith as part of a trade to the Expos, obtaining outfielder Gary Roenicke and closer Don Stanhouse.

LHP JEFF RINEER, 1979

Rineer's one appearance with the Orioles -- Sept. 30, 1979, the last game of regular season -- represented the entirety of his major league career. At least he made it count. He faced two batters and got three outs, thanks to a fly ball and a double play to erase an inherited runner. He went into baseball's record books with a career 0.00 ERA. It's hard to beat that.

LHP RADHAMES DYKHOFF, 1998

Dykhoff was a cousin of Orioles pitcher Sidney Ponson and became the fourth Aruban-born player to appear in the majors (following pitcher Calvin Maduro, outfielder Eugene Kingsale and Ponson, all of whom came up in the Orioles' system). Dykhoff made his major league debut -- and, as it turned out, his major league finale -- June 7, 1998, giving up two runs in one inning against the Braves. Fun fact: There have been two players in the history of MLB named Radhames, and both have played only for the Orioles (the other was right-hander Radhames Liz, who pitched for the O's from 2007-09).

RHP LUIS RIVERA, 2000

Rivera's story is one that Orioles fans might not want to remember. When the Orioles infamously traded popular outfielder B.J. Surhoff to the Braves in 2000 -- leading to Surhoff's teary press conference -- Rivera was the prized arm the Birds got as part of the return package. Baseball America ranked Rivera as a top 100 prospect in baseball three years in a row, including No. 44 in 2000, but his Orioles career ended almost immediately after it began. He made one appearance Sept. 20, 2000, getting two outs and allowing two base runners. And that's it. Rivera soon got hurt, underwent shoulder surgery in 2001, and never made it back to the bigs. That 2000 fire sale didn't turn out well for then-general manager Syd Thrift and the Orioles.

RHP ZACH CLARK, 2013

Clark provided a feel-good story for the Orioles last year; he's a UMBC alum who made his big league debut at age 29 after spending eight seasons in the Birds' minor league system. Clark made a relief appearance against the Mariners May 1, 2013, giving up three runs in 1.2 innings. The O's then sent him back to the minors to reinvent himself as a knuckleballer. Clark remains in the organization, so it's possible he could work his way back to the Birds' major league roster and eliminate himself from the One-and-Done club. But it's a long shot.

LHP MIKE BELFIORE, 2013

Now we've come full circle to the player who inspired this article in the first place. The Orioles acquired Belfiore from the Diamondbacks May 12, 2012, in exchange for third base prospect Josh Bell. Belfiore pitched adequately at Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk and earned a couple of emergency call-ups to the majors in 2013, but manager Buck Showalter seemed reluctant to use him. Belfiore made his debut against the Red Sox Sept. 27, 2013, and he gave up home runs to David Ortiz and Jonny Gomes. He was an early cut from O's spring training in 2014 and now has a new home with Detroit's Triple-A affiliate, Toledo, after the Tigers claimed him on waivers April 3.

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