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TENDER BIRD IN A HOT SKILLET
Ron Reid
October 02, 1972
The smell of singeing feathers was everywhere as the once-mighty Orioles fought disaster with their steadiest hitter, young Bobby Grich
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October 02, 1972

Tender Bird In A Hot Skillet

The smell of singeing feathers was everywhere as the once-mighty Orioles fought disaster with their steadiest hitter, young Bobby Grich

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"Let Nolan Ryan dig one into you, then see how numb you feel," his friend replied.

All the Orioles were left numb by their latest loss, one that reduced the usually loquacious Weaver to a terse, "We've just gotta play the eight games we have left and see what the rest of them do."

"The toughest part of being a major league ballplayer," Grich said, "is trying to keep physically and psychologically ready to play every day. You have the little nagging injuries, and it's tough to maintain an aggressive attitude day in and day out. That's what separates the superstars from average ballplayers. They can do it every day; the other guys, maybe every fourth day." Now everybody was trying to do it every day and every day.

Well, came Sunday—gray and misty at first, but the sun peeked out in the sixth inning and Baltimore came on in the seventh with a run to go ahead 3-2. In the ninth Palmer singled, Paul Blair also singled and Grich ripped one up the middle to score Palmer with what proved to be the winning run. For Palmer, who had a seven-hitter, it was win No. 21 for the year against nine defeats and No. 100 in his shining career; for Grich new evidence that, like it or not, he is this year's Bird with the bat.

"All we can do now," Bobby said afterward, "is go for seven wins in a row." He is even beginning to sound like a manager.

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