The Quest

The Baltimore Orioles have been in town since '54 and have had over 900 men don their uniform. My goal is to obtain a signed card of each player. If you have something I need, or see something you want, don't be shy, we can make a deal.

Collection Statistics

Total Players 877/977 = 89.25%
1991 Orioles Crown Set
Total Players 309/465 = 66.45%
Alive Players 274/369 = 74.25

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Orioles Index

Many Orioles players had passed away before my quest began. Even a handful of them passed before my favorite set was produced, making a complete set impossible. Index cards have become a reasonable way for me to bolster my collection, and since they are index "cards", they count. Don't fight me on that.

Here are my recent index card pick-ups.

Jimmie Dykes
Alright, Dykes never played for the Orioles but he was their first manager. He was not successful as a manager here, losing 100 games in his only season. But, his losing prompted the Orioles to hire Paul Richards following the season and helped the franchise rise to prominence.

I love this piece. It isn't technically a postcard, but an envelope from 1932. September 12th, 1932 at 12pm to be precise. The history on this envelope is pretty awesome. The 3 cent stamp. The grainy, leering photo of Dykes staring straight into my soul. The cancelation stamp/advertisement urging people to use Air Mail, only 18 years old at the time.

Most striking is that this was sent during the Depression. People weren't able to afford food, housing or clothes for their family, but Ivan Marietta would not be denied. It turns out that Ivan was a collector, just like me. A few of his items have made their way to eBay recently. If you are a Senators collector, check them out. This is probably one of my favorite items and he never even played for the O's.

Hoot Evers

Evers made his big league debut in September of 1941, playing one game for the Detroit Tigers. Then he did as many other men did, fought in World War II. He served four years in the military and started his career up again in 1946. He was a fan favorite in Detroit, enjoying the best seasons of his career there. His later years saw his numbers decline while in Boston, New York, Cleveland, Detroit again and ending his career in Baltimore. In an odd twist, he became the starting left fielder for the Red Sox in 1952 when Ted Williams was off fighting Hitler.

Hoot died in early 1991, making a Crown signature impossible and his only other Orioles card is valued at $200. I had never heard of the 1955 Orioles Zip black and white set, that's probably why they are so expensive.

Joe Frazier

Frazier ended his major league career as an Oriole in 1956, as a platoon outfielder. he didn't do much as a player, but is more well known as a manager. His only full season managing in the bigs was an 86-76 campaign with the 1976 Mets. He must have set the bar too high, a poor beginning to the 1977 campaign ended his major league managing career. He was replaced as manager by player Joe Torre. He also paved the way for Jim Fregosi as a manager of the Louisville Redbirds. Frazier passed away on February 15th of this year.

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