Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Vintage Fridays: Curt Blefary, 1968 Topps #312

There's always something that calls out to us, attracting us, pulling us back home again.

Curt Blefary signed his first professional contract with the Yankees when he was still a teenager, back in 1962. Three years later, he was an Oriole and also the American League Rookie of the Year, a 22-home-run slugger with a .381 on-base percentage. The following year he and his Baltimore teammates were World Champions, the greatest thrill that a player can experience in his career. I suppose it was only natural that his career would seem like a letdown after such a fantastic start. After he slumped to .200 with a .301 OBP in 1968, the Birds traded him to Houston. He never recaptured the momentum of his early career, and was out of the league before age thirty.

But some part of Curt apparently remained back in Charm City. After his career ended, he continued what would be a lifelong struggle with alcoholism and developed pancreatitis, which claimed his life at age 57 in early 2001. Though he died in Florida, the ex-outfielder's final resting place is in Baltimore, on 33rd Street. Carrying out his final wish, his widow Lana scattered his ashes on home plate (provided by the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum) on the site of Memorial Stadium, which had already been demolished by that time.

Curt Blefary is home.

6 comments:

Commish said...

That's a cool story, Kevin. I had never heard about Blefary's final resting place.

He was a favorite of mine and I got to meet him through my Dad when he came to Houston (he and my father are both Brooklyn natives). Quite a guy.

Craig said...

If you ever get a chance to see the DVD "The Final Season" they actually show part of the memorial service for Curt...

Paul said...

Strange pose. His hands look twisted.

Kevin said...

Bob - From what I've read, sounds like he lived and breathed baseball.

Craig - I'll keep that in mind. Thanks!

Paul - Yeah, a little too forced on the back swing.

Jim from Downingtown said...

The Astros wuz robbed!

Kevin said...

Jim - They got the Orioles back in 1991. I can't even speak the player's name, but it rhymes with Denn Glavis.