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Examining The One-and-done Players In Orioles History

April 8, 2014

The Orioles lost left-handed pitcher Mike Belfiore on waivers to the Tigers April 3, which by itself isn't that notable of a transaction. Belfiore's Orioles career consisted of one game, which occurred in September 2013.

Orioles 2014: Mike Belfiore

But that got me thinking. What other players in Orioles history have appeared in exactly one game with the club -- no more, no fewer? Since the Orioles' inception in 1954, there have been 18 players who fit that description.

What are the stories behind these players? Why did the Orioles deem them good enough to bring them aboard the club, but then gave up on them after one game? Let's take a closer look at the players who belong to what I'm calling the One-and-Done club. First, we'll focus on the position players; in Part II, we'll look at the pitchers.


The Orioles signed Marquis as an amateur free agent Sept. 2, 1955, and he came up to the major leagues less than a month later at age 18. He grounded out in his only at bat Sept. 25, and never appeared in another major league game, retiring from the minors at age 20. Still, he had one more major league at bat than you or I will ever have, so let's not take anything away from him.


Patton, like Marquis, appeared in one major league game, but he got two plate appearances, so he must've been twice as good as Marquis. That's just basic math. Patton, a catcher, went 0-for-2 for the Orioles April 30, 1957. Patton played in the minor leagues for nine seasons, but didn't get another cup of coffee in the bigs.

C DEL RICE, 1960

At the opposite end of the spectrum from Marquis and Patton is Rice, a catcher who spent 17 years in the major leagues and played 1,309 games. Just one, though, came with the Orioles. That occurred Sept. 8, 1960, when Rice entered the game in the seventh inning to replace starting catcher Gus Triandos during a 9-0 game. Rice popped out his only at bat. At that point, the 37-year-old Rice was at the tail end of his career, but before that, he was a longtime catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Braves. Rice later managed the California Angels for a year.


The O's acquired Green when they traded away Bob Nieman, one of the best hitters of the 1950s Orioles teams. Despite his fun, rhyming name, Green didn't provide much of a return on the deal. He went 1-for-4 during his lone appearance with the Orioles Sept. 23, 1960, and he also had an outfield assist, throwing out a Washington Senators runner from right field. Despite his abbreviated stint with the Birds, Green played seven years in the majors with four other teams.


Essegian's Orioles career was so short that he didn't even get to take a position in the field -- during his one and only O's game April 11, 1961, he pinch hit for the pitcher, popped out to first and was never heard from again in a Baltimore uniform. Essegian, a Stanford graduate, became a lawyer after his six-year major league career was finished.


Virgil entered the history books as the first Dominican-born player in the major leagues, accomplishing the feat in 1956 with the New York Giants. For that feat, his hometown of Monte Cristi named an airport after him. His Orioles career lasted one plate appearance, but it was also somewhat notable. On April 24, 1962, during a game against the Twins, the O's had scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to pull within a run. Virgil came up as a pinch hitter, and the Twins intentionally walked him to load the bases for Boog Powell, who promptly ripped a game-winning two-run single. So Virgil's entire O's career consisted of him stepping up to the plate and watching four pitches intentionally out of the strike zone, then celebrating a walkoff. Nice work if you can get it.


Even though he was a catcher and his name was Molina, Izzy wasn't related to the famous major league catching brothers of Yadier, Bengie and Jose. Perhaps if he were, he would've had a longer Orioles career. Molina hadn't played in the majors in four years when the Orioles called him up May 6, 2002. He went 1-for-3 with a single off Indians starter Ryan Drese, then went right back to the minors after the game and never returned to the bigs.