Friday, January 28, 2011

Orioles Hall of Fame Week- Unpossible Hall of Famers

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that every Friday is "Unpossible Autograph Friday" a play on words (borrowed from Ralph Wiggum of "The Simpsons" fame) highlighting autographs of deceased players. Today I'm featuring the three Hall of Famers who played with the Orioles during their career and have passed away. None of the three were inducted to the Hall as O's or are necessarily remembered for their years in Birdland, but they did play for them, so it ties in to my HOF week.

I've written about these first two players a few times, so click the links if you want to see what I've already covered.

Robin was nice enough to sign my TTM request about a year ago and I wrote about him again when he passed away this past May. He is the only HOFer in my collection who personalized anything to me. 

I got Roberts' signed HOF plaque card from a dealer at the National who hadn't raised the price on it since Robin passed away so I got a relative steal. 

My dad hooked me up with this Hoyt Wilhelm autograph for Christmas in 2009. (The write-up about Hoyt is half way down the linked post) 

I found this Wilhelm signed HOF plaque card at a flea market a few months back. I've made the argument a few times that I think Hoyt should have entered the Hall wearing a White Sox or Orioles hat over that of the NY Giants, but the decision obviously wasn't up to me.

This card is the only new image on this post, and Kell is the only player I haven't really covered before, so now you get something besides blurbs and links to my other posts. 

George was a excellent contact hitter who hit over .300 for his career, led the A.L. in hits and doubles twice in 1950 & '51 and won the 1949 batting title, denying Ted Williams his third Triple Crown. He was also a great defender at third base and led the league in fielding percentage at the position five times. He was a ten-time All-Star and also received MVP votes eight times. He played with the Philadelphia A's, Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, and Chicago White Sox before wrapping up his career with two seasons in Baltimore in 1956 & '57. 

He came short of making the Hall of Fame fifteen times via the writer's vote but was elected in 1983 by the Veteran's Committee. After his playing career ended, George went on to find success in the broadcast booth and had nearly a forty year career behind the mic, including almost thirty years calling Tigers' games with Al Kaline.

You might have spotted this Kell plaque card in the same post as the Wilhelm plaque.  

Obligatory contest plug- You can enter through Sunday for the chance to win a signed Earl Weaver card. If you've already entered, I would suggest that you check the entries post to see if you've been earning any bonus entries. Some of you have figured out how to do it and are really pulling away from the pack.


BA Benny said...

It's surprising that with numbers like that George Kell needed the Veterans Commitee to get into the Hall.

Greg Zakwin said...

You've got quite the collection! That Robin Roberts card is especially nice, and I like the HOF inscription.

I had no idea he was an Oriole.

Dawgbones said...

Hard to go wrong with a Phillie in your set. That Roberts card is sweet. I'd take one of those, no matter what uniform he had on!!

Dustin said...

I always liked Hoyt's sig. It's sharp and pointy and looks great on cards. I snagged a '54 Bowman card of his, and I love the manu-sig on it. Not to mention, he has such an interesting slice of baseball history with the way he shaped pitching.

Matthew said...

If I remember correctly, the way I first found your blog had something to do with Robin Roberts and my Orioles MLB calendar not mentioning that he played for Baltimore.

This is a great post for the eve of FanFest. It's a good time to reflect on the bright spots in the team's past. I'm watching game three of the '83 WS on MASN as I write this, and am about full of O's pride as I've been all winter.

zman40 said...

You sure have raised the bar with this post. It is going to be very difficult to top todays "Unpossible Autograph Friday".

unclemoe said...

Me fail English? That's unpossible.


Justin McLeod said...

I'll always remember as Robin Roberts as a Phillie, and a Cub for a minimal amount of time.

Orioles Magic said...

BA Benny- I agree but I also think the standards for getting in the Hall were higher back then. It's become a bit watered down compared to the old days.

Greg- Thanks! And I'm always happy to show cards of players in uncommon uniforms.

dawgbones- It's better than a Yankee in there!

Dustin- Hoyt's graph really is nice.

Matthew- That sounds about right. Did you make it to Fan Fest? It was much more optimistic than in years past.

zman- You're right, this is probably the pinnacle of the Unpossible Autograph Friday series. It's hard to beat 3 HOFers.

unclemoe- Nailed it!

cubsfan731- Not many people will remember Robin as an Oriole, that's for sure.

Dawgbones said...

...and just what is wrong with the Yank-mees, it's not like you're a Red Sox fan or something. And it looks like Kell spent a little time in Philly as well, though it looks like that time was spent with the Athletics, before they headed west.

night owl said...

My favorite one is the '57 Kell. There is something about getting those cards autographed. It almost gives new life to what I consider a bit of a drab set.

Orioles Magic said...

night owl- I'd agree with that. I think that I have two or three signed '57s in my collection and they all look nice.