Monday, August 9, 2010

My Experience at the National-Brought to You By Drungo Hazewood

Yes, Drungo Hazewood is a real person, I didn't make him up, I'm not nearly creative enough to come up with a name that unique.  That's him on this Orioles Crown card, and while the Crown card is not new to me, the addition of the autograph sure is.  Drungo wasn't signing at the National, but I did meet a dealer who had his autograph for sale. This is the first time I have EVER seen an autograph of his available ANYWHERE, so I had to add him to my collection.  He's regarded as one of the tougher living Orioles to get an autograph of, so I was extremely happy to add him to my collection.  From what I understand, he doesn't understand why anyone would want his autograph, so is just a very tough signature to track down.  This Crown card is his only Orioles card and he also appeared in a few of the AAA Rochester Red Wings team sets.  As the O's first round draft pick in 1977, think how many cards would have been made of him as a first-rounder nowadays. 

Drungo played in only 6 games for the O's during the final month of the 1980 season and had 5 at-bats, going  0-5 with 4 strikeouts and a run scored.  He tore the cover off the ball during spring training in 1980, hitting at a .583 clip and Earl Weaver felt bad that he had to cut a player who was hitting that well, but there just wasn't a roster spot for Drungo at that time.  In the Minor Leagues, he hit a bunch of homers, but also struck out a lot as he had trouble hitting breaking pitches. 

Moving on to my impression of the National, it was flat out amazing, and actually overwhelming at times.  There were hundreds of dealers who were selling almost anything sports related item that you could dream of.  If I had an unlimited budget, I could have purchased some truly one-of-a-kind Orioles memorbilia.  Since that's not the case, I focused on Orioles autographs.  Surprising, right? 

I came across a few dealers who were right up my alley, specifically, the one who had this Drungo card.  I bought a few signed Crown cards from him, and plan on staying in touch with him for other hard to get O's autographs.  There were probably 5-6 other dealers who specialized in non-certified signed cards that I also focused on.  I have a pretty good idea what many former Orioles' autographs look like, so it serves as a decent barometer for what's legit or not.  Luckily, all of the autograph dealers I came across seem like they were selling authentic autographs.  All told, I added 13 autographs and upgraded another 5 to Orioles cards.  I will be posting them all here over the next few weeks.

10 comments:

kmsals said...

Wow, 13 is a good number to add in one weekend! My lucky number, too.

Orioles Autograph Project said...

Ryan, Did you get my email about the trade

Paul said...

Nice job. (and I love the name Drungo Hazewood)

Kirk Jacobson said...

Ryan,
Do you remember where the booth with the Crown cards was? If I walked right past that I will be be severely upset. I didnt see a single Crown while there. How much did you pay for Drungo if you don't mind my asking? Great pull.

zman40 said...

Looks like you did pretty good there. I'm looking forward to seeing what all you got.

Ryan said...

"In the Minor Leagues, he hit a bunch of homers, but also struck out a lot as he had trouble hitting breaking pitches."

Sounds like the inspiration for the Pedro Cerrano character in the Major League movies!

Ryan aka Orioles Magic said...

Sals- I was very happy to be able to add that many in one weekend!

Austin-I thought I responded already, will try to get back to you today.

Thanks Paul, isn't it a great name?

Kirk-
The booth was towards the front, maybe 3 rows in. The dealer had a pile of Crown cards for sale.

Zach-Thanks man, I'm looking forward to sharing them.

Ryan-Good call, somehow I didn't make that connection. Isn't it funny how the real player had a crazier name than the movie character though?

Orioles Autograph Project said...

No you didn't responded.

Anonymous said...

I heard his auto is nearly impossible to find. How much did you pay for it?

ND said...

Potter tracking down the legend of Drungo Hazewood


Apparently Hazewood is doing a signing with Chris Potter at the end of September.