Friday, October 21, 2011

Unpossible Autograph Friday- Eddie Lopat



Ed pitched in the Majors from 1944-55, and is best remembered for being a member of the Yankees starting rotation that won five consecutive World Series from 1949-53. He earned the nicknames "Steady Eddie" and "The Junkman" during his career, but now-a-days, the "Steady Eddie" moniker has been usurped by another former Oriole.

Eddie earned his keep by being a junkballer; he could never throw the ball particularly fast but kept the hitters guessing. I found this Casey Stengel quote about him particularly amusing: "Lopat looks like he is throwing wads of tissue paper." I guess that gives you a decent idea about how hard he must have been to hit against.
Ed spent the latter half of the 1955 season, the last of his career, with the Orioles and was 3-4 with a 4.22 ERA over ten games with the Birds. Over his 12 season career, Lopat had a 166-112 record with a 3.21 ERA. He led the A.L. with a 2.42 ERA in 1953, made the 1951 All-Star team, and received MVP votes four times. After his playing career, he was a pitching coach for the Yankees, Twins and KC A's, and managed the A's during the 1962-63 seasons. 

My autograph of The Junkman obviously depicts him as the A's manager. Any of his signed Yankees cards are significantly more expensive since they are what Yankee collectors want for their collections. But it works for me since I don't want any stupid Yankees cards in my collection anyway, if it's avoidable of course. 
For me Orioles Autographs > Other teams autographs > Yankees/Red Sox autographs > No Autograph
Eddie's only Orioles card was his inclusion in the Orioles Crown set. The set was released over the course of the 1991 season, and Eddie passed away in June of 1992, so there wasn't much time between it's release and his passing for him to have signed any of these cards. I certainly have never seen one, but I'm holding out hope that there might be one (or more) out there. 

RIP Ed.

2 comments:

Paul said...

I've heard about Ed Lopat as a Yankee pitcher, but I didn't realize he later managed.

Ryan said...

You wouldn't believe how much cheaper it was to buy this card signed than it was to go after one of his Yankees cards.