When I was in the eighth grade, my family took a trip to Baltimore which I was, honestly, not looking forward to. It was one of those vacations disguised as a learning experience which, when you’re a kid, is the only thing more disappointing than watching a cartoon and realizing that there is a thinly-veiled religious message and that the talking zucchini may, in fact, be Jesus. My parents selected Baltimore as our destination because it is a city rich in American history, literature, and homicide. Actually, the latter was less a selling point and more an excuse to make me wear one of those child leashes in the rare case that there was an unhinged individual in our Fort McHenry tour group who would’ve flown into a rage at the sight of my crimped hair and pleated Duckhead shorts.
The early highlight of the trip was when the waiter at one restaurant gave me a theatrical wink and handed me a brochure for the aquarium. He’d written his name and phone number in black Sharpie on the shell of a sea turtle, undaunted by the fact that I was thirteen and on a leash. (Note to self: Start wearing leash again). On the last day, perhaps tired of stepping over chalk outlines or trying to delicately explain why I couldn’t have an “I Got Crabs in Maryland” t-shirt, my dad suggested that we go to an Orioles game.
I was totally unprepared for the hotness roaming the outfield that year, the hotness that was Brady Anderson. Those sideburns. Those biceps. The lack of tuberculosis (which made him infinitely more attractive than my previous Baltimore crush–Edgar Allen Poe–who admittedly should’ve been less desirable since he potentially had rabies. Oh, and was dead). Anyway, that day I fell hard for Brady, a man so hot he made my braces sweat. After the game, I immediately bought a #9 t-shirt and couldn’t wait to write “Dr. & Mrs. Brady Anderson” on my Trapper Keeper, because I was sure that he would attend classes at night and eventually become the best-hitting neurosurgeon in his practice group.
My parents told me I could also have a Cal Ripken “Iron Man” poster, perhaps because they thought 32-year-old Cal was more appropriate to grace my walls than 42-year-old Huey Lewis. But I was more interested in the one of Brady, a beefcake picture shot in that grainy black & white style rarely seen outside of Spencer Gifts. He was shirtless, glistening and, ah, bulging in a way that made me tingle more than when the bus driver turned on the floor heaters. I wanted that poster. I needed it. But I knew that there was no way that my parents would let me have it…they were people who had already banned Guns N’ Roses, Eddie Murphy movies, and the parts of “The Golden Girls” when Blanche was talking.
Standing in line, I knew I either had to make a move or learn to love Cal Ripken. I told my dad that the poster I was holding looked like it was bent so I stretched my leash to reach the other side of the store and, in a rare moment of teen daring, swapped Cal for Brady. When we got home, I feigned ignorance—even disappointment—that I would have to stare at Dr. Anderson’s bat and balls.
Deception and treachery…who said Baltimore wouldn’t be a learning experience?
On to the rest of the Orioles…
No discussion of Baltimore hotness is complete without former pitcher and Jockey model Jim Palmer. If you stare at his crotch long enough, you’ll see a dolphin.
Also in the Hotness Hall of Fame is former shortstop Cal Ripken. Insert your own Iron Man joke here.
The current crop of Hot Birds is led by 2B Brian Roberts. He’s talented, cute, and pocket sized. I love a man who can shop for clothing at Build-A-Bear.
Next is pitcher Eric Bedard. You’re just going to have to trust me on this one because all the pictures of him are mid-pitch and it’s impossible to throw a baseball that hard and look like anything other than Fire Marshall Bill.
Rookie RF Nick Markakis is unbelievable. And hopefully not turned off by the fact that I would seriously stab someone in the lung to get his number.
Catcher J. R. House
I know. Some of you may question my selection of 1B Kevin Millar, but I can’t help it. Something about the frosted hair, the quite-possibly capped teeth, and the unwillingness to give up on the Oakley M-Frame does it for me. Also, he earns Lifetime Hotness status for being a member of the 2004 Red Sox and, when I had the opportunity to speak to him after Game 3 of the Series, didn’t call for security when I was gripping his arm spouting nonsense like “Ohmygodyou’rekevinmillar! Cowboyup! YoujusttookashowerItakeshowerstoo! whereareyougoingdoyoulikesoupyou’remyfavoritekevinbyekevinbyeeeee!”
It’s interesting that on his Orioles player page, CF Corey Patterson’s first two career highlights are that he is single and graduated from high school. I noticed the hotness of C-Pat a couple of seasons ago when he played for the Cubs. He was beautiful. Except when he was batting.
I feel about OF Jay Payton the way men feel about Sarah Jessica Parker. Sometimes they look deliciously attractive, other times they look heinous. It’s like I’m turned on but I also just threw up a little.
As for the infamous Brady Anderson poster, to my surprise my parents let me put it on my wall. The one caveat was that I had to take him down when my grandmother came to visit, either because she would think it was inappropriate or because that picture was so steamy it would’ve melted the Worther’s Originals right out of her pocket.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Trapper Keeper to decorate.