Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Unpossible Autographs-The Long & Winding Road of my Woodie Held

Woodie (or Woody) Held 1966-67 (died 2009)

I finally have a Woodie Held autograph in my collection and it's been a long, strange trip to make that happen. I have to start by saying that Woodie unfortunately passed away last June from brain cancer at the age of 77.

My journey to get his autograph started last April when I sent him a TTM request with this card below enclosed. It's the only Orioles card of his that clearly shows him in a Baltimore uniform, so it would be the best fit for my collection, even though it has the pre-printed autograph already on it.

I did not know that Woodie had been battling cancer so was disappointed to get my request returned-to-sender within the next week. It was the first RTS I had received in my current quest for TTM autographs.

Eventually, I read online why Woodie was not signing TTM requests and I felt bad about having sent my request, but I had no way to know so there wasn't anything I could have done differently.

Woodie sadly passed away after his long battle with cancer on June 10, 2009. I knew that I now had to turn to "the bay" to get his autograph. He had been a pretty good TTM signer through the end of 2008 so there were plenty of autographs available but not many on Orioles cards and none on the specific card I wanted, so I waited. Eventually I found this signed O's Crown card at a reasonable price and had to jump on it. I've complained in the past about the Crown cards that use pictures of players in other teams uniforms when there were clearly Orioles pictures out there, but I finally had my Woodie Held autograph.

Woodie played in 82 games for the O's over his 1.5 seasons in Baltimore and was also on the '66 World Series champion roster, but didn't appear in any of those games. Interestingly enough, he also held the Indians' HR record by a shortstop with 85 round-trippers until Jhonny Peralta passed him just last year, only a little more than a month before he passed away.

Rest in Peace Woodie, I'm pleased to finally have you in my collection.


Mad Guru said...

You're not alone. I sent a request to him ten days before he died and also experienced the same combination of disappointment, embarrassment and sadness.

Splinter said...

I'm sorry we had to send your cards back. Dad always enjoyed recieving, signing, & returning your requests. It's a great comfort to my family & myself in having folks like yourself & your readers, helping us to keep his memory alive. Thank You,
Woodson Held

Oh, one more thing. Would you add his name to your list of good signers (trust me he was).

Ryan aka Orioles Magic said...

Thank for you the very nice comment. It's great to hear the personal side of a player receiving autograph requests. I'm pleased to be able to share your dad's story with my readers. I hope that stories of his playing days continue through the years.
I will add his name to my list of Good Signers for you. Please shoot me an email at salsmanado at gmail. I would like to ask you a few questions about your dad's baseball stories.

Thank you,