Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Spider Celebrates A Birthday

Today is Roger Nelson's 67th birthday, so I figured that it was a good time to feature my autograph of the one-time Oriole.

He pitched in the Majors for parts of nine seasons from 1967-74 & '76 for the White Sox, Orioles, Royals and Reds. He spent part of the 1968 season with the Orioles after being included (essentially as a throw-in) in the trade that sent Little Luis Aparicio to South Side of Chi-Town. The expansion Royals plucked Roger from the Orioles as their first pick in the 1969 expansion draft and he went on to spend the majority of his MLB career with the Royals. 

One of the interesting things I read about Roger is that he earned the nickname "Spider" while playing high school basketball. He was so adept at stealing the ball that some people thought he played like he had a few extra arms. Also, one of the major reason's that he was able to develop into a Major League pitcher was thanks to his father, who built him a pitcher's mound in the backyard of their home and continued to move home plate further away as Roger grew up.

I got this card signed through a private signing on SCN last year.  Roger doesn't  seem to sign at all otherwise, so I was very happy to get his only actual Orioles card signed. His '68 Topps card is officially an Orioles card, but Nelson is clearly wearing a White Sox uniform in the picture on the card. The Sox logos have been airbrushed out, but this Crown card is his only card that shows him in an Orioles uniform.

As far as his signature goes, his first name is pretty legible but you can't see much more than the N-e-l of his last name, and that's if you know what you're looking for.

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