Friday, October 19, 2012

The Final Countdown- Erv Palica, Oriole #50

I was able to knock another tough name off of my list recently, as I finally tracked down a signed copy of Erv Palica's 1956 Topps card, the only Orioles card of his that was issued during his lifetime. It's always specifically challenging to add old signed cards like this to a collection because one has to compete with set collectors as well as fellow Orioles collectors, and everyone is up against the test of time. It's not like any new copies of a 56 year old card are just going to turn up, well not authentically signed ones at least.

Erv pitched nine seasons in the Majors 1947-56, but missed almost two full seasons in 1952-53 due to his service in the military during the Korean War. He spent his first seven big league seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers before being traded to the Orioles in exchange for Frank Kellert prior to the start of the '55 season.

He became the 50th player to appear in a game for the Orioles when he appeared in the team's third game of it's sophomore season in Baltimore on April 16, 1955. He went on to pitch 62 games, including 39 starts, for the O's during his two seasons in Baltimore, and had a 9-22 record with a 4.28 ERA.

Erv continued to pitch in the minor leagues for the following seven seasons, and spent time in the Orioles, Reds, Red Sox, and Angels' farm systems, but was never able to make it back to the Bigs.

In 1982, he was working as a longshoreman in California when he died of a heart attack at just 54 years of age. (On a personal side note- he died just over three months before I was born, and it's things like this that remind me how wacky my collection can be at times.) RIP Erv.

The '56 Topps card replaces this nice signed black and white postcard in my collection. The signature is slightly faded but still very legible.


Paul said...

Nice addition.

zman40 said...

Nice pick-up! I like the jersey on the B&W.

Orioles Magic said...

Thanks guys!