Friday, January 7, 2011
Unpossible Autograph Friday- Ryne Duren
After losing 14 former Orioles players during the 2010 calendar year, I was hoping that 2011 would be a less eventful year for the aging O's. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem like it will be the case as Ryne Duren has passed away, only six days into 2011.
Ryne was known for his blazing fastball (which he couldn't always control), his thick coke-bottle glasses, and his hard-partying ways off the field. That combination led to many uncomfortable batters who came to the plate against him over his ten seasons in the Majors. His career began with a single appearance for the inaugural 1954 O's, but his career really took off during his three plus seasons with the Yankees from 1958-61 when he made three All-Star teams and was a member of their '58 World Series Championship team.
Following his playing career, Ryne overcame his drinking problems and even became an alcohol abuse educator. I also found out that baseball HOF'er Ryne Sandberg was named for him.
With a $5 donation, he signed and personalized this card for me in September 2009. He was scheduled to sign at the upcoming MAB Pinstripe Passion card show, but that obviously won't happen now. RIP Ryne.