Friday, August 27, 2010

Unpossible Autograph Friday-Curt Blefary

So I've decided to make every Friday here on the blog, an "Unpossible Autograph Day".  If this is your first time checking my site out, an Unpossible Autograph is my term for an autograph of a former Orioles player who has passed away, thus making their autograph impossible unpossible to get anymore.  You can obviously still purchase an autograph of theirs, but they will never sign any additional cards.  I got the term unpossible from Ralph Wiggum on the Simpsons; he is awesome. 

Curt Blefary's career arc was the opposite of many other players as his rookie season was his best and his success decreased with each passing year.  He won the 1965 A.L. Rookie of the Year for the Orioles, and is one of 6 Orioles players to earn the honor.  Can you name the other 5?  Don't cheat!

Curt spent the first four seasons of his eight year MLB career with the Orioles and was a member of the '66 World Series Champs.  Frank Robinson gave him the nickname "Clank" for his defensive shortcomings and he never really found a position that suited him.  He would've been an ideal designated hitter, but his career ended in 1972, one year before the DH rule came around.  He played over 200 games in left field, right field and at first base and also caught and played a few games at second and third base.  He was only behind the plated for 66 games over his career but something clicked between him and Tom Phoebus on April 27, 1968 as Phoebus threw a no-hitter against the Red Sox. 
After his playing career ended, Curt aspired to be a coach but never got the opportunity so instead held a laundry list of jobs including being a sheriff, truck driver, bartender and night club owner.  Curt died at only 57 years old in 2001 from complications of pancreatis.  His final wish was to have his ashes scattered at Memorial Stadium, but it was already being torn down at the time of his death.  Luckily, the Babe Ruth Museum came through and supplied the home plate used in the final game at Memorial Stadium and it was placed in the exact spot as Curt would have remembered it.  At the ceremony, his wife Lana said "He loved Baltimore, and he loved his fans, he was a lifelong student of the game." RIP Curt. 

I also wanted to mention that this card is the first PSA/DNA certified autograph in my collection.  It's nice to know that it is authenticated but I generally don't like to pay the extra amount that it costs.  Generally, I will compare other autographs that are available so that I am reasonably sure that the auto is legit.  I also try to do a little research on the sellers to make sure there other items for sale appear authentic.   I was able to win this card for a decent price on ebay so it was worth it this time around. 


Collective Troll said...

Awesome! Curt was a good, good friend to me and I miss our conversations... He was a very interesting man. Great card!

Orioles Magic said...

Bacon-I meant to also mention the Blefary return address auto you sent my way last year. Thanks again man! Maybe you could share one of your Blefary stories with me sometime.