Friday, January 27, 2012

Unpossible Autograph Friday- Francisco de la Rosa, Oriole #510

(Every Friday, I profile a former Oriole who has passed away. I've substituted the word unpossible for impossible as an homage to a line from "The Simpsons". Young Ralph Wiggum, who is a few pennies short of a dollar, says "Me fail English? That's unpossible.") 

I've already profiled Francisco in an unpossible autograph post about a year ago, but I was recently able to swing a deal to update his autograph in my collection to this orange uniform beauty. Only two Orioles cards were produced of Francisco, and he mostly disappeared after his playing days before dying last year at only 44, so I count myself very lucky to have this autograph in my collection.

Another reason I selected Francisco for today's post is that I now have officially assigned a debut number for each and every one of the 910 players who have appeared in a game for the Orioles. Over the past few months, I have (very slowly) been counting down the players debut from high to low, based on whose autographs I have yet to display on the blog. And I've decided to present my unpossible autographs in a similar method, counting down from more recent Orioles who have passed away all the way back to those who played in 1954.

Francisco made his Orioles (and MLB) debut on September 7, 1991 and appeared in the only two big league games of his career at the end of that season. He has the unfortunate distinction of being the second most recently debuted Orioles player to pass away, after Steve Bechler ('02 debut, Oriole #718), who died during Spring Training 2003 due to the combination of heat and a weight loss drug, and Alan Wiggins ('85 debut, Oriole #402), who passed away from complications of AIDS brought about by intravenous drug abuse.

RIP Francisco, you were way too young.

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