Friday, June 11, 2010

Unpossible Autograph Friday: Help From My Dad Edition

My dad is the second biggest contributor to my collection, and through his connection with a certain online dealer, he came across these awesome unpossible autographs for me. I can never thank him enough for all of the help he has given me, and my collection, over the years. After all, he was the one that drove me to all my Orioles, Pirates and Senators games a few hours early so I could collect my autographs when I was younger. Look what you started old man!

From 1946-1958, Bill "Lefty" Wight (which is a great left-right play on words if that's what someone was going for) pitched for 8 different Big League teams and was an Oriole from 1955-57. He had a solid career but none of his stats really jump out at you; I read that he had an excellent pickoff move though.

After his playing days were over, he spent the following 37 years as a scout and was responsible for Joe Morgan's signing with the Astros. I have to feel like signing even a single future HOFer cements a scout's career as a resounding success.

While I am not Ted, I don't tend to be too picky my Unpossible autographs. I really like how Eddie signed "Peace be with you", which is certainly a unique inscription; you are lucky to get two or three squiggles from many players today.

Eddie somehow served almost 2 years in the Navy during WWII and played in the Majors for another 14 years but was retired by the young age of 32. I can barely figure how he could have done that by that age, but it's pretty impressive.

He was a member of the Orioles in 1957-58 which was towards the end of his career; interestingly he only appeared in 4 games for the O's and had only 3 AB's. At least they made a card of him wearing the orange and black, and a guy named Ted got it signed at some point.

There is a story that Eddie lent "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks a glove for his first game as a Cubbie.

Joe Coleman pitched in the Majors for 10 seasons, 8 as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics. He was on the Orioles for their inaugural 1954 season, and also part of the '55 season. 1954 was one of the best years of his career; he came in 19th in AL MVP voting. He was also an All-Star in 1948 for the A's. Like Miksis, Joe also served in the Navy during WWII. He opened a chain of sporting goods stores in the Boston area after his playing career ended.

Baseball must run in the Coleman family blood, as Joe's son, Joe Jr., pitched in the Majors for 15 seasons, and his grandson, Joseph, was drafted in the 2008 Amateur Draft.

Nelson "Nellie" Briles had an interesting beginning to his career as a starting pitcher. He replaced future HOFer Bob Gibson in the 1968 Cardinals rotation because Gibson's leg had been broken by a comebacker line drive off the bat of future HOFer Roberto Clemente. There was some serious star power in that game.

Nellie pitched in the Majors for 14 seasons and finished his career with the O's in 1977-78. He was a member of two World Series Championship clubs, the 1967 Cardinals, and the (BOO) 1971
Pirates who defeated the O's in that series. Can't say that I can remember that though, it was a little ahead of my time, so I don't have the venom that many older Orioles fan still harbor.

After retiring from baseball, he worked as a broadcaster for the Pirates and Mariners and then worked in the Pirates Front Office. While the other three former O's in this post lived into their 70's or 80's, Nellie died at the young age of 61. He suffered an apparent heart attack on a Florida golf course during a Pirates alumni golf outing.


zman40 said...

That's great that your dad hooks you up like that.

The Miksis card is my favorite of the bunch. It's always fun when you have a personlized card made out to someone else.

Austin said...

What do you want for the Brian Matusz card and Adam Jones card that you have in your trade list? Do you need any cards from fanfest i'm willing to trade those and i'll throw in a mike mussina ball. email me back to if you want to talk a deal

An Autograph A Day said...


Great post. Interesting too for me as it relates to your Nellie Briles comment. Do you by chance know what golf course he passed away on? The reason I ask is back in the late 1980s and early 1990s I used to get a lot of baseball player autographs at a nice course near where I lived in Florida. It was host to baseball alumni outings. Your post made go back into a box and pull all of the golf course scorecards I had from those days. Nelson Briles had signed one and interestingly enough another player on your list here also signed one of the scorecards -- Joe Coleman. I'll post the photos for you at my blog

Ryan aka Orioles Magic said...

Zach- It's always nice to get some cards from him. He collects too, so he keeps his eyes open for things that I collect as well.

I agree about the Miksis card, it makes me wonder who Ted is.

I will email you back. Thanks for reaching out to me.

Very intersting stuff. Wonder if that was possibly from the tournament Briles passed away at. I didn't see what tournament that was though, but you might be able to find it online.

Thanks for the link on your site! Great post!