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Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Tito Landrum felt like Ali after Orioles home run; Saw 9 ML seasons

Tito Landrum 1990 Miami Miracle card

Tito Landrum hit the home run that helped send the Baltimore Orioles to the 1983 World Series, hitting a 10th inning, Game 4 shot that put Baltimore on the board. 

Landrum described that game five years later to The Oklahoman, as he played at AAA Oklahoma City with the Rangers.

"It was a day that helped me build a lot of confidence within myself and realize some of the things," Landrum told The Oklahoman. "I needed to do to keep the consistency and total concentration every player strive for."

Landrum hit that home run in his fourth major league campaign. He went on to see nine. He then tried to make it back with the independent Miami Miracle.

Landrum's career began in 1973, signed by the Cardinals as an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Oklahoma State College.

Landrum actually turned pro having just started playing in college. He didn't play at all in high school, The Oklahoman wrote.

He started at single-A Orangeburg in 1973. He moved to single-A St. Petersburg for 1974, AA Arkansas in 1976 and then AAA Springfield in 1979. 

In 1980, he debuted with the Cardinals in St. Louis. He saw 35 games that year and hit .247. He then returned for 81 games in 1981 and 79 in 1982. The Cardinals made the World Series in 1982, but Landrum did not play.

He saw six games for the Cardinals in 1983, then was traded in August to the Orioles - who went on to the World Series with his help.

"I feel," Landrum told The Washington Post after that home run, "like Muhammad Ali."

Landrum returned to the Cardinals for 1984 and saw 105 games and hit .272. In 1985, he saw 85 games and hit .280. He then got back to the World Series. His opening: Vince Coleman getting injured by a tarp.

He then went 9 for 25, playing in all seven games of the series. He even hit a home run in Game 4's 3-0 win.

Landrum saw another 96 games with the Cardinals in 1986, then split 80 games between the Cardinals and Dodgers in 1987. He saw 13 final major league games in 1988, back with the Orioles.

Landrum then played 1989 at AAA with the Reds. That winter, he played in the Senior Professional Baseball League, with the West Palm Beach Tropics. He then signed on with the independent high-A Miami Miracle for 1990 as he tried to get back to the bigs.

"I had a consistent winter (with the Tropics)," Landrum told The Vero Beach Press Journal. "Some people will say 'yea, that's senior baseball,' but it's still baseball. I just want to see for myself if I feel strong. If I do, hopefully something might surface (in the major leagues)."

Landrum saw 26 games with Miami that year and played 1991 in Mexico to end his career

Tito Landrum 1990 Miami Miracle card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,258
Made the Majors:1,386-32.6%-X
Never Made Majors:2,872-67.4%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:563-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors:347

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