Thursday, January 6, 2011

Catching Up on Scanning with Demper

I started blogging about my Orioles autograph project way back in March 2009, but I still don't have all of my Orioles autographs scanned to my flash drive, so I decided that it was about time to take care of that. There are some renowned former Orioles who I've never displayed here because I hadn't yet scanned their autographs. So far, I've scanned all of my autographs through the letter H and hope to have everything done by the end of the weekend. Will that happen? Only time will tell.

I'd say that it's about time I wrote about the man who has caught more games (1230) than anyone else in Orioles' history. Demper is one of the most beloved players to have ever worn the Oriole uniform. Many of you might remember him as the 1983 World Series MVP; he is one of only six catchers to ever win the award. Others might remember him for his wacky rain delay antics as he would stuff a pillow inside his jersey and do his best Babe Ruth home run & trot impression and then use the rain tarp as a giant slip 'n slide to dive headfirst into home plate. The video has been widely run on "This Week in Baseball" over the years and on many other baseball blooper shows, especially around these parts. I tried to find a video of it to share here, but the internet is hiding it from me. I hope that you all know what I'm talking about.

Rick played in the Majors from 1969-92 with the Twins, Yankees, Orioles, Indians, Dodgers, Brewers, and Orioles again. I can't believe that he played parts of four different decades as a catcher; he actually caught 1633 of the 1662 games he appeared in over his 24 season career, which is the 19th most all-time. His knees must have been made of steel, or they probably are today!

Demper played in Baltimore from 1976-85 and finished his career here in 1992. He had a very strong throwing arm and really knew how to handle a pitching staff (he caught 10 different 20 game winners) but struggled at the plate, hitting only .233 for his career. It goes to show that being excellent defensively can translate into a successful big league career, AKA "The Cesar Izturis Guide to Playing Beisbol".

I got Rick to sign this card in person before an Orioles game a few years back, and he even inscribed the "MVP 83 WS" on his own. He has worked on MASN's O's Xtra pre/post-game show for the past few years so his autograph is very easy to get around Camden Yards. The set is located in centerfield and you can catch Demper walking to or from it during almost every home game.


Anonymous said...

I never realized that Dempsey was the player doing the Babe Ruth impersonation in that video.

Maybe someday I will get all of my Mets autographs scanned, but probably not. I don't like to scan cards enough to start pulling the out of the binder.

Orioles Magic said...

It is him, they replay it all the time in Baltimore on the blooper reels. But of course today's players are generally too much of an investment for the owners to let them have that much fun.

And I'm not a big fan of scanning large piles of cards either, hence my taking two years to build up the motivation to do so.

LoCoDe said...

Rick was great. I got a card signed in 1994 when he was managing the Albuquerque Dukes in the PCL Final game in Vancouver.
Super nice guy. It didnt't hurt that the Dukes won the title either.

Orioles Magic said...

LoCoDe-Sounds like a good story. And I'm glad the Dukes pulled it off!