Since his return to the Orioles' public address microphone after an absence of almost six weeks, Rex Barney has received hundreds of notes, cards and letters.
One of the most personal -- and humorous -- came from American League president Bobby Brown.
"I was sorry to hear about your surgery, but I'm glad to hear you're doing OK," Brown said in a handwritten message.
"I'll be anxious to visit with you, but I don't think the O's will have a 'welcome mat' out for me after the [Tim] Leary incident," wrote Brown, in reference to his rejection of the Orioles' protest of Leary's allegedly throwing scuffed balls.
"Bobby and I have known each other for over 50 years," Barney said. "We went to a tryout together in Detroit when we were 16 years old, and have been good friends ever since."
Barney, who is diabetic, was hospitalized May 23 and returned to Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 1 after his right leg was amputated below the knee.
* HALFWAY MARK: The Orioles, who were fourth in the American League in runs scored (384), reached the halfway point of the season with their highest batting average in club history.
The Orioles' .268 mark is second in the AL (behind the Twins' 285). The previous high after 81 games was .266 (in 1969 and 1986).
Other halfway items: Rick Sutcliffe's 130 1/3 innings are the most by an Oriole since Scott McGregor logged 132 1/3 in 1983. Brady Anderson's 27 steals have been bettered only once -- by Luis Aparicio, who had 31 in 1967 en route to a club-record 57. The team ERA (3.77) is the lowest since 1984 (3.59).