Friday, November 30, 2012

Unpossible Autograph Friday- Ken Rowe & Chuck Diering

The Orioles family unfortunately lost two players last week, as both Ken Rowe and Chuck Diering passed away on Thanksgiving and Black Friday respectively. This is one of the few times I can recall that two former O's players died in the very same week.

Ken Rowe passed away on Thanksgiving day due to complications of pneumonia; he was 78 years old. 

He briefly pitched in the Majors between 1963-65 with the Dodgers & Orioles (he became the 217th player to appear in a game with the O's when he debuted on 9/14/64) before moving on to a long post-playing career as coach. He stayed involved with the game, mainly as a pitching coach, from the late 1960's through the 2010 season, including a stint as the O's pitching coach in 1985-86. 

I obtained this autograph of Ken's in a trade, and had always intended on sending him a TTM request as he was a consistently great signer of mail requests. It's too late now, but it's nice to know that he was so responsive to his fans. RIP Ken.

The second player to pass away last week was one of the original 1954 Orioles, outfielder Chuck Diering. He was the 12th player to debut with the O's when he appeared in the second game of the team's existence on April 14, 1954. He was selected as the 1954 "Most Valuable Oriole" which he cited as the highlight of his playing career when I sent him a TTM request. 

Chuck was also a very accommodating responder to fan mail requests and signed this card and business card for me when I sent him a request earlier this year. He owned a car dealership for a number of years after his playing career ended and it seems as though he typically included a copy of his signed business card when people sent him a request.

Chuck apparently fell in his house either sometime late on Thanksgiving or early Friday and hit his head, which sadly caused his death. It seems as though his son found his unresponsive dad, and was able to get him medical care, but Chuck passed away a few hours later in the hospital.

Thank you for signing for me Chuck. Rest in Peace.

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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