Dusting Off The Old Sports Almanac: Kevin Orie

Kevin Orie being checked for back pain

Something many Cubs fans may have taken advantage of is the consistent play and production of Aramis Ramirez ever since he came over from the Pirates along with Kenny Lofton in the 2003 season. Prior to that, it was a long running joke/sad truth that the Cubs did not employ a respectable third baseman since Ron Santo retired. That’s a period from 1974-2003 (don’t be alarmed non-Cubs fans, we’re used to prolonged periods of mediocrity).

Which brings me to my next subject in the “Dusting Off The Old Sports Alamanac” series, Kevin Orie. Orie by no means was supposed to supplant Cubs legend Ron Santo as the next great Cubs third baseman. However, Orie’s rookie season offered Cubs fans a glimmer of hope.

After being selected with the 29th overall pick in the first round of the 1993 MLB draft, Orie took his time reaching the major leagues making his official debut on April 1, 1997. Orie hit a respectable .275 his rookie year with 8 home runs and 44 RBI’s in 114 games played. At the end of the season, Orie received 11 votes as Rookie of the Year but ended up losing out to Scott Rolen, a wise choice in the long run.

Coming into the 1998 season with increased expectations, Orie did nothing but disappoint. Orie’s start to the season was slower than molasses sliding down a frying pan on a hot Georgia Sunday. After hitting .181 in his first 64 games with the Cubs, he was traded to Florida for fellow disappointment Felix Heredia. Just like that, Orie’s reputation as a major league caliber player began to dwindle. He spent the entire 1999 season with the Marlins hitting .254 with 6 homers and 29 RBI’s. After the conclusion of the season Orie was released and surprisingly sustained his presence in professional baseball for the ensuing seven seasons bouncing around minor league clubs of various organizations. Orie hung up the cleats in 2006 after the first game of the year with Houston’s Triple A affiliate Round Rock.

Much like fellow athlete Kerry Kittles, Orie currently finds himself happily employed in the professional world. Kevin Orie is now an associate specializing in retail with real estate management firm Grubb Ellis in Pittsburgh.

Orie will go down most famously as botching Kerry Wood’s chance for a no hitter in his infamous 20 strikeout game against the Astros by letting a Ricky Gutierrez single go off of his glove as the only hit of the game.

Make sure to check back again tomorrow when we have a special guest contribution dusting off the profile of current NBA forward Brian Scalabrine.

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Dusting Off The Old Sports Almanac: Kerry Kittles

Remember the scene in Back to the Future II where Marty McFly purchases a sports almanac detailing the results of every single professional and collegiate game up until the year 2000? In case you haven’t seen it, watch this clip and you should be caught up to speed.

The goal of this segment is somewhat the opposite of that. Instead of using a sports almanac from the future for my own financial gain (shame on you Biff!), instead consider this a blast from the past revisiting some of the more forgotten athletes that didn’t exactly have their names up in lights or their faces on the covers of faux sports almanac’s in Hollywood feature films.

Today we will start off with former NBA shooting guard Kerry Kittles. Drafted with the eighth overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft, Kittles had high expectations after an outstanding collegiate career with Villanova.

Kerry Kittles Amped Up

For his first two professiona seasons Kittles provided solid offensive play by averaging 16.4 and 17.2 points per game while playing around 36 minutes per game. Kittles saw his numbers decline during the following years, however after the turn of the millennium the Nets became a force to reckon with. Kittles along with Jason Kidd formed a deadly back court for the Nets who reached the NBA finals in both the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 seasons.

Although the Nets lost both series, it marked the first time the team had ever reached the finals as a member of the NBA. Kittles played a key supporting role on these Nets teams and after his retirement in 2005 left his mark as a solid role player who did not disappoint despite his high draft status.

 

What does a life after basketball contain for a player like Kerry Kittles? Glad you asked. During his time at Villanova he obtained a degree in Business Management and earned his MBA from Villanova’s School of Business as well. Kittles has made great use of his degree and is currently an associate at Ledgemont Capital Group.
Kerry Kittles, we salute you on being the first athlete dusted off in the old sports almanac. Make sure to check back here tomorrow as we profile former Chicago Cubs third baseman Kevin Orie.