Tuesday, January 8, 2013

no. 131 - curt blefary

Who is the man: In 1970, Curt Blefary had returned to the team that had drafted him. He played the year for the Yankees, but by May of 1971 had been traded to Oakland.

What a card: This is the first horizontal card in the set since this card. And I'm wondering if the photos are from the same game, since the same two teams are involved.

Right on: Check out that signature. That's a great one. It takes your attention off the fact that Blefary awkwardly fouled off a pitch.

You see this cat Blefary is a bad mother: Blefary was known to have a temper. When plays didn't go his way, he'd lodge equipment at the dugout wall. There's been speculation that this is what led the Yankees to put the future AL Rookie of the Year on waivers, only to be claimed by the Orioles. But more rational explanations blame the Yankees for leaving him unprotected in error.

Shut your mouth: Blefary's Orioles teammate Frank Robinson called Blefary "Clank" because of his mediocre fielding skills. Once, when the team bus passed a pile of scrap iron, Robinson told Blefary "go get yourself another glove."

No one understands him but his woman: Years after his career, Blefary broke the news to the New York Times that he was an alcoholic and had been since his days in the minor leagues. Until then, Blefary was known for his partying ways, but not pegged as someone who couldn't handle his alcohol.

(A word about the back): Up until this point in his career, Blefary had caught behind the plate only for the Orioles in 1968. This was before the DH, so Blefary was moved there to keep his bat in the lineup.


  1. Belfrey is #15 on the all time worst ballplayers according this web site


    A Poor fielder (although some reports say he was better than Boog Powell in the the outfield), personal problems, possibly a club house cancer, and underachieving hitting (especially after rookie season) What's not to love?

  2. FWIW, I *think* the catcher pictured on the card is Dave Duncan. You can't see a uni number, obviously, but the profile looks most like Duncan. According to Baseball Almanac, the Athletics had four catchers on the roster in 1970: Duncan, Gene Tenace, Frank Hernandez, and Larry Haney. Anyway, I am not 100% positive, but I think it's Duncan, so I thought I would share. I really like your blogs. 1975 and 1971 are my favorite sets, and I haven had a great time reading your posts! Thank you!