Friday, February 13, 2015

1964 Orioles Family Night set now "cataloged"

I haven't been officially associated with the Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards for a number of years but the zeal to expand the hobby's knowledge base hasn't yet ebbed.

That's why I've been working with veteran Baltimore Orioles specialist collector Alan Strout to place in the public record some great new information about various 1950s-1970s O's regional baseball card issues that have been heretofore uncataloged or under-cataloged.

Given the permanence of data on the internet, Strout's generous contributions to the hobby are now officially on record. Perhaps the publishers of the ink-on-paper hobby references will see fit to add these listings to their books.

Presented here is a set of rare Orioles regionals that I never encountered in my 20+ years of working on the "big book." It is a 14-card set issued as a stadium giveaway in conjunction with Martin Family Night at Memorial Park on July 17, 1964.

According to Strout, during the middle to late 1960s, the Orioles used to have family nights at the ballpark sponsored by local companies. 

Strout says that special game-day programs were printed and that on some of these occasions, the team produced photo booklets of between 8-13 current players. The booklets featured 5" x 7" perforated player portraits, similar in format to contemporary Jay or team-issued picture pack photos. 

In 1964, on Martin Family Night, the team issued a set of 3" x 4" blue duotone baseball cards. Shown here are the front of Jerry Adair's card and back of Luis Aparicio.

The Glenn L. Martin Co. was founded in Baltimore before World War II, producing aircraft. In 1961 it merged with American-Marietta Corp and quickly rose to prominence in the aerospace industry as a leader in missile technology; they were the developer of the Titan missile program. In turn, the company merged with Lockheed in 1995 to create the Lockheed-Martin aerospace firm.

Martin Family Night in 1964 saw the Orioles host the Detroit Tigers. The crowd of 22,629 saw their league-leading O's win 0-5. Robin Roberts pitched the shutout though he gave up 11 hits and walked two. 

Presumably the Martin Family Night cards were given out as complete sets, though I don't have information on how many were distributed. Strout said that he owns a set and knows of one other, "but that certainly doesn't mean that there aren't more."

The fact that I have never previously encountered these cards leaves me wondering where the rest of the survivors are.

The checklist for the set comprises . . . 
(1) Jerry Adair
(2) Luis Aparicio
(3) Steve Barber
(4) Jackie Brandt
(5) Wally Bunker
(6) Dick Hall
(7) Bob Johnson
(8) Willie Kirkland
(9) John Orsino
(10) Milt Pappas
(11) Boog Powell
(12) Robin Roberts
(13) Brooks Robinson
(14) Norm Siebern

One lucky fan got his Martin Family Night
program autographed by Brooks Robinson, Hank
Bauer, Gene Woodling, Luis Aparicio, Norm
Siebern and Boog Powell.

If you wish to contact Strout about the Orioles regionals you'll see in this series or exchange information about other O's issues, you can email him. I'm going to give his email address here in "coded" form so the robo-scanners don't add it to their spam lists. You can reach Alan Strout of Maine at (his first name)_(his last name)(at symbol)umit.(his state).edu Strout can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 84, Kenduskeag, ME 04450. 

Tomorrow we'll conclude these presentations with an uncataloged Brooks Robinson item that has perplexed O's specialist Alan Strout. 

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