Eddie Murray

Catching up with ... former Oriole Tom Shopay

Catching up with ... former Oriole Tom Shopay

The fan mail rolls in, maybe 20 cards a month to Tom Shopay's home in Miami, Fla. His autograph is what people want and Shopay, a .201 lifetime hitter, is happy to oblige.

Some folks compliment him on his baseball success.

"I'm thinking, 'Have they got the right guy?'" said Shopay, 72.

Others sum up his five-year Orioles career, saying, "You were a good utility player," or, "I wish you'd gotten more playing time."

So does Shopay. In seven big league seasons between 1967 and 1977, the outfielder averaged 49 plate appearances a year, often entering games late as a pinch runner, or for defense. He learned to keep a bag packed. Eight...