The Orioles family painfully lost another former member when Walt Dropo passed away on Friday, December 17 of natural causes after a long battle with Alzheimer's. It has been just under a month since Tom Underwood died and I examined how bad 2010 has been in regards to former O's passing away. Walt is the 13th former Oriole to die this year, further extending the record number of former Oriole deaths in a single calendar year.
Walt played for the Red Sox, Tigers, White Sox, Redlegs & Orioles over his 13 season MLB career from 1949-61. The highlight of his career was being selected the 1950 A.L. Rookie of the Year and leading the league in RBI and total bases, also making his only All-Star team. He would never find that level of success again, but forged a solid career as a first base platoon player.
Walt earned the nickname "Moose" because he grew up in Moosup, Connecticut where his parents had emigrated to from Yugoslavia. He was a three sport star at UConn, also excelling in football and basketball, before he decided to pursue a career in baseball.
RIP Walt. Let's hope that 2010 ends without anymore sadness in Birdland.