Friday, January 28, 2005

 

January 28th, 2001

Curt Blefary Dies

Curt Blefary was nicknamed "Clank" for his lack of prowess with the glove, and was constantly shifted around the diamond in an attempt to keep his bat in the line-up in the pre-DH days. Blefary played mostly in the outfield (more than 550 career games) but also saw time at first base and in 1968 (and occasionally thereafter) at catcher. I would've really liked to have been at the meeting where the Orioles decided to try this:
"So, what should we do with Blefary? The man can rake but he's a nightmare on the field"
"I know, let's put him at catcher, that way he can handle the ball on nearly every pitch"
"That's just crazy enough to work!"

It actually sort-of did work, as Blefary managed to throw out just under 50% percent of base stealers, although he did allow almost 40% of the Orioles' passed balls despite just playing 20% of the team's innings behind the dish. Blefary also had the distinction of being behind the plate for Tom Phoebus' no-hitter in April of '68.

Before Blefary died, he asked that he be cremated and his ashes spread over Memorial Stadium in Baltimore
. The stadium was mostly demolished by the time he died, but Blefary's widow nevertheless went to the rubble and spread the ashes on the former site of home plate, the spot marked by the plate used in the stadium's penultimate game, loaned for the occasion by the Babe Ruth Museum.

January 28th, 1974

Jermaine Dye Born

Happy Birthday to Jermaine, who I've discussed in the past.



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