Friday, July 20, 2012

Unpossible Autograph Friday- Art Ceccarelli, Oriole #106

It has (thankfully) been a number of weeks since I had to write about the recent passing of a former Oriole, but the O's family lost another member when Art Ceccarelli passed away last Wednesday, July 11th. I hadn't heard of Art's death until fellow Orioles autograph collector, Russell, mentioned it in an email to me earlier this week.

Art pitched in the Major Leagues for the Kansas City A's, Orioles, and Cubs over parts of five seasons between 1955-1960. Interrupting his time in the minors, he served in the military for two years (1951-52) during the Korean War, possibly effecting the length of his time in the Majors.

He made his Orioles debut on April 21, 1957 and appeared in 20 games for the O's, going 0-5 with a 4.50 ERA. The Cubs selected him in the Rule V draft following the season ending his tenure in Baltimore. I found this funny quote from Art describing his time pitching at Wrigley Field: "It wears pitchers down. The winds are unbelievable. Willie Kirkland once hit a homerun off me that Ernie Banks called for at shortstop."

After his playing career was over, Art taught high school history for many years. Maybe I would have paid more attention in high school if my teacher was a former MLB pitcher. 

I very briefly mentioned Art in a 2009 post mentioning how I obtained this autograph in a trade with another Orioles autograph collector named Pol. It had long been my intent to send a TTM request to Art to try to get a personalized upgrade for my collection, but unfortunately I never got around to it. He was always a great TTM signer and there are successes listed for him on SCN up to the week before he passed away. RIP Art, thanks for treating your fans so well over the years.

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 not very smart, says "Me fail English? That's unpossible." 

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