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Whose Orioles debut was most anticipated?

I'm still passing out the orange beer to the patrons with the Orioles-colored glasses today. You all know who you are.

Tonight won't have the same feel as Monday, I'm sure. The New York Yankees fan base may be alive and well again today now that the allure of Opening Day is behind us.

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But that doesn't mean this game won't be worth paying attention to. In fact, this one is a must see on the other side of the globe.

Koji Uehara will be making his major league debut for the Orioles.

Uehara's mound opponent will be Chien-Ming Wang, but the Japan-Taiwan matchup isn't the most intriguing.

For Japanese baseball fans, they want to see Uehara pitch to Hideki Matsui. The two were former teammates on the Yomiuri Giants -- the Yankees of Japan -- and at one time were two of the biggest baseball stars in that country.

Roughly 50 Japanese media members will be on hand to watch the matchup. Honestly, tonight will have some historical significance locally, too.

It will mark the first time a Japan native has played for the Orioles.

Truthfully, Uehara's debut is the second-most anticipated of 2009 around here. When catcher Matt Wieters plays his first game, Orioles fans will go nuts.

It got me thinking. What was the most anticipated debut in Orioles history? And will Wieters' rival it?

For me personally, I think it had to be Ben McDonald's. He was drafted as the top pick overall in June and was called up in September in the middle of the Orioles' improbable pennant race in the "Why Not?" season at the tender age of 21.

He pitched 2 2/3 innings in relief of Curt Schilling in a loss to the Cleveland Indians on Sept. 6, 1989 (September 6, hmmm?). I don't remember the game, but I remember the buzz.

Given the significance of the season -- and month - in which he debuted, I'll go with Ben McDonald. But some of you old-timers might have better examples, such as when the former Cincinnati Reds MVP Frank Robinson debuted with the Orioles in 1966. I'm sure Baltimore was excited about that one, too.

Daily Think Special: Whose Orioles' debut was most anticipated?

Bonus Think Special: Where will Matt Wieters' debut rank on that list?

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