Friday, May 11, 2012

Unpossible Autograph Friday- Art Houtteman, Oriole #108

Art "Hard Luck" Houtteman pitched 12 seasons in the Majors between 1945-57. He was just 17 years old when he began his career with the Tigers and was the youngest player in the big leagues for the first two years of his career. He was an All-Star in 1950 and received MVP votes in 1949 & '50.

He spent the majority of his time in baseball with the Tigers and Indians before very briefly playing for the Orioles at the end of the 1957 season. Art's Orioles debut came on May 24, 1957 and  he played in just five games for the O's. He allowed 13 earned runs over just 6.2 innings which worked out to a 17.55 ERA to close the book on his time with the Birds.

Art earned the nickname "Hard Luck" due to an 0-8 start to his 1948 season, which was contributed to by lack of offensive run support, and later further solidified by his nearly being killed in a car accident and his daughter's death in another car accident.

He passed away in 2003 at the age of 75. RIP Art.

To briefly explain the misspelled/made up title of these weekly posts: 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 as sharp as a bowling ball, says "Me fail English? That's unpossible."

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