Losing the Oriole Way: The Dave Criscione Story
Whenever I think of the "Oriole Way" I think of Dave Criscione, a seemingly nondescript catcher who played in seven games during the 1977 season. He batted nine times and collected three hits--a career .333 hitter. He was originally drafted by the Senators in 1969 and played for the Rochester Red Wings. One night in late July, the Orioles were tied 3-3 with the Brewers going into the bottom of the eleventh inning. Weaver sent Criscione to the plate to pitch hit for Dave Scaggs. I remember watching this game on a black-and-white TV. Criscione drilled a Sammy Hinds pitch into the left field bleachers to win the game. I remember him jumping the last few steps to home plate like it was the greatest moment in his life. He was never heard from again and out of baseball soon thereafter. In those days, Earl could insert a role player in any situation and that player would deliver. That was the Oriole Way. That was Oriole baseball. What I want is someone with the heart of Dave Criscione who can step up to the plate with the game on the line and jack one out. In only nine major league at bats, all for the Orioles, Criscione won a game. For the past ten years, we have been the team that gives up that homerun.