Thursday, July 31, 2014

Orioles Black and White signed photos (pt 1)

A week or so ago I posted some Orioles snapshots that I had buried in my collection. A couple of odd sketch cards as well.

At the same time I uncovered them from deep in a binder of Orioles postcards I found these signed photos. The pages contained 15 black and white shots of Oriole players all approximately 3 and 3/4 by almost 5 inches.  The photos are all mini versions of the Mort Tadder 8x10s that the Orioles used in all kinds of ways and sold through the mail back in the day.

But many of the poses are new to me. I guess the years I picked up Tadder photos didn't include 1977 which seems to be the year these were issued. And that brings up another question for me. What the hell are these, exactly? I've never seen the Tadder shots in this size. Yet they don't seem to be photocopies, they are very clear and are on high quality photo paper, just like my 8 x 10s.

They don't seem to be anything done by a pro, though. They are terribly trimmed, the image size varies by a quarter inch here, a half inch there, and the text used for the names is all over the map. And I doubt they were something the team issued to players for autograph requests, they used high quality color postcards for that. I have some of those, posted one not long ago in fact. Those b&w postcards are on different stock, not like the slick photo paper used here, and they are cut perfectly, just as a team item would be. These are not postcards. I don't remember how I picked them up. Probably in one lot though, and probably from an SCD or BHN ad.

I've established them to be from 1977 based on the fact that Elliot Maddox only spent that season in Baltimore and the Brooks Robinson shot has him listed as 3B/Coach(!). 1977 was his final season and I have never seen him referred to in that way when he was a regular starter for the O's.

But no matter, I have them, they are signed and as I've said, I really enjoy having off the wall Orioles items. And these qualify. I'll post half today, the rest tomorrow. Leading off, at the top, is Dennis Martinez, aka El Presidente. I used to attend O's games in Baltimore with my ex-uncle Ralph and he got the biggest kick out of that nickname. He enjoyed repeating it with a flourish whenever Martinez got a big out. I'll always remember that.

Next is a creepy looking Rick Dempsey. Something about that 'stache and those sideburns just make me uneasy.

The rest are pretty standard Mort Tadder shots. Some are poses I haven't seen like this Mike Flanagan picture and the Billy Smith shot at the bottom.

I've seen these poses of Jim Frey, Earl Weaver and Lee May before. The Frey picture is a good example of how poorly cut these can be.

I'd love to get the lowdown of these someday but I guess it'll remain a 5 Tool mystery.

More posted tomorrow Saturday.


  1. It's interesting how "TADDER" is partially cropped out of some of the images, and the fonts are all over the place.

    I honestly did not remember Dick Drago ever being with the Orioles, but I guess I didn't have any Topps cards to reinforce the idea.

    Every time I see the Orioles' Billy Smith, I joke to myself "So that's what he did when he wasn't in goal for the Islanders..."

  2. I went to school with a 'Billy Smith'. He's one Billy Smith I'd never mistake for an athlete!