Monday, July 20, 2009

An assist goes to my Dad

My dad, who has his own Orioles autograph project, sometimes will get on Ebay to see if he can find anything that he needs for his collection. If you don't want to click on the link and missed the first post, he is trying to collect autos from the entire Orioles 83 World Series team. If you can help him out, please leave a comment.

Well, this time he found some cards that helped me with my project! In fact, he found a dealer who used to collect autographs and is now selling them off, and he was able to get me signed cards of four former O's who are now dead; Mike Blyzka, Joe Kennedy, Fred Marsh & Ray Murray.

Mike Blyzka 1954 (d. 04)

While his Major League career was very brief, Mike does have the distinction of being a part of the largest trade in MLB history. Between November 17-December 1, 1954, the Orioles sent 7 players to the Yankees and received 10 players in return. Can you imagine your team trading either 7 or 10 of their players at one time!?! That's almost like trading the entire team. Mike's career in the Bigs was over after 1954 so he never played for the Yanks. One other interesting thing about him is that he served in the Army during WWII.

Bob Kennedy 1954-55 (d. 05)

Bob played mostly with the White Sox and Indians over a 16 year Major League career that was interrupted for three seasons (1943-45) by his service in the Army during WWII. His career highlights include receiving a few MVP votes after the 1940 season and winning a World Series on the 1948 Indians team. In 1954, he hit the first grand slam for the O's after they moved to Baltimore from St. Louis.

After his playing career was over he served as the Cubs manager from 1963-65 and general manager from 1977-80; he also managed the Oakland A's in 1968.

Bob's son, Terry, was an Oriole from 1987-88, making them possibly the only father-son Orioles combo. Does anyone know of another?

Fred Marsh 1955-56 (d. 06)

Another player who served our country in WWII, Fred kicked around the Majors for 7 years, primarily as a backup infielder.

Ray Murray 1954 (d. 03)

Ray was the O's backup catcher during their inaugural 1954 season which was at the end of his career. He had played for the A's & Indians for the 5 previous seasons and was also a member of Cleveland's 1948 championship team along with Bob Kennedy.

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