Baltimore Orioles Minor League Pitcher Shelton Perkins Brings Christmas Joy

(Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /

Baltimore Orioles minor league pitcher Shelton Perkins gave one of his biggest fans a pretty awesome Christmas gift.

One of my favorite types of videos to watch online during the holidays are those of professional athletes treating their parents to gifts as a thank you for all of their sacrifices and help in getting them to where they are today, like this video of Steven Souza his dad new truck on Christmas morning. No video topped the one put on Twitter by Baltimore Orioles minor league pitcher Shelton Perkins.

Perkins, a 2019 16th-round draft pick of the Orioles out of James Madison University (Go Dukes!), gave the ultimate Christmas present to one of his biggest fans.

After spending the days leading up to Christmas traveling up and down the state of Virginia to celebrate the holidays with family members, all with a three-month-old baby in tow, by the time Christmas day rolled around, the holiday spirit was quickly fading.

That was until I saw this video while waiting for my family to gather around and open presents together. I was instantly reminded what makes this time of year so special when I saw the pure joy and excitement of a young baseball card collector receiving a baseball card of one of his favorite players in his cousin, Shelton Perkins.

I had the pleasure of watching Perkins during his two seasons at JMU, where he went 7-2 with a 3.08 ERA and 106 strikeouts across 73 innings as the long man out of the bullpen. During his senior season, in which he tossed 45.2 innings, opponents hit just .169 average against Perkins.

I still remember his debut in the purple and gold, during the Fall World Series after he transferred to Harrisonburg, Virginia (also pitched at the junior college level and at East Carolina University before JMU). Literally no one else was writing about JMU, so I took it upon myself to start a small blog to highlight the talent on the roster, which quickly caught traction. One of the first notes I wrote after watching Perkins was “this guy is someone different who will have a lot of success in the Colonial Athletic Association.” Few pitchers in the conference were more reliable than Perkins in his two seasons with the Dukes.

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Now spending his offseason back on campus to finish up his degree studies, Perkins ended his time at JMU on a pitching staff that had four MLB draft picks in 2019 and now finds himself entering his first full season with the Baltimore Orioles.

He made quite the debut with the Aberdeen Ironbirds last season, striking out all six batters he faced in his first career professional outing, a two-inning performance against the Brooklyn Cyclones (New York Mets rookie affiliate).

He finished his rookie season with a 1-1 record, a 2.04 ERA and one save. He struck out 23 across 17 innings, limiting opponents to a .070 batting average.

I’m excited to continue to watch as Perkins climbs up the minor league ladder and am excited for more of Birdland to be introduced to him. The Orioles have themselves a solid baseball player and an even better person.

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We hope all of you in Birdland had an unforgettable holiday week!