Friday, February 10, 2012

Unpossible Autograph Friday- Dick Brown, Oriole #192

(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.")  

Continuing to count down my unpossible Orioles autographs, up this week is former Orioles catcher, Dick Brown. My autograph of his is obviously a cut signature, and it's affixed onto a 3x5 index card. He did appear on one card as an Oriole during his lifetime, a '63 Topps, so I'm hoping to one day upgrade the autograph in my collection to a signed copy of that card.

Dick was a big league catcher from 1957-65 and spent the last three years of his career with the Orioles. He made his O's debut on April 8, 1963, which was Opening Day that year, and was the 192nd player who donned the O's uniform in a game. During his time in Baltimore, he split the catching duties with John Orsino, and appeared in 59, 88, and 96 games during his stint with the O's. The discovery of a brain tumor cut his career short and forced him to retire at the age of 30 following the '65 season. He spent his remaining years as a scout with the Orioles but passed away due to that brain tumor in 1970; he was only 35.

His passing at a young age and over forty years ago seem to be the main factors behind the scarcity of his autograph. It's very rare to see one available for sale, and rarer yet to come across an autographed card. I have never seen a signed copy of his '63 Topps, but the fact that he lived for seven years after it was issued makes me think that some signed copies of it have to be out there somewhere.

Dick's younger brother, Larry Brown, played twelve seasons in the Majors from 1963-74, and appeared in 17 games for the '73 Orioles, making his Baltimore debut on April 15th and becoming the 286th player to appear in a game for the O's. Larry was kind enough to sign my TTM request, which you can see in the post (third card down) if you click his name.

RIP, Dick. You died way too young.

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