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Curt Motton

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Curtell Howard Motton ("Cuz")

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Curt Motton was a back-up outfielder and pinch-hitter for eight seasons in the American League, primarily with the Baltimore Orioles.

Motton was originally signed by the Chicago Cubs in 1961, and after playing one year in their organization, he was drafted by the Orioles. Despite missing the 1964 season due to military service, he steadily climbed their minor league ladder, reaching AAA in 1966 with the Rochester Red Wings, for whom he hit .337 in 27 games. The next summer, he hit .323 with 18 homers in 113 games for Rochester and made his big league debut with Baltimore. In 1968, he hit just .198 in 83 appearances for the O's but showed some pop with the bat, clubbing 8 homers, including two in back-to-back pinch hit at-bats on May 15th and May 17th.

Motton had his best big league season in 1969, when he posted a line of .303/.398/.573 as expansion and rule changes had put an end to the second deadball era. He appeared in one game of the 1969 World Series. The Orioles reached the World Series three consecutive years from 1969 to 1971, and playing time was at a premium. He played 56, 54 and 38 games during those three years, even though he was on the roster full time. He was known for his engaging personality, which may help to explain why the Orioles kept him around even though he was not used much. He was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for hard-throwing reliever Bob Reynolds before the 1972 season, but that also failed to gain him playing time, as he spent time in the minor leagues, then was traded to the California Angels for pitcher Archie Reynolds at the end of May. Released by the Angels the next year, he returned to the Orioles to play a handful of games in 1973 and 1974. He hit .300 and slugged .471 for Rochester that year, his final one in organized baseball, proving that he could still hit. His last appearance came in the 1974 ALCS, against the Oakland A's.

His main teammates were Frank Robinson, Boog Powell, Don Buford, Brooks Robinson, Dave McNally, Paul Blair, Davey Johnson, Jim Palmer, Mark Belanger and Mike Cuellar.

Motton also coached for the Orioles in 1991 and in the minor leagues for many seasons.

There is a chapter about Motton in Baltimore Orioles: Where Have You Gone? by Jeff Seidel. He was inducted into the Rochester Red Wings Hall of Fame in 2006. He died of stomach cancer in 2010.

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