Sunday, October 9, 2016

#23 Freddie Marsh - Baltimore Orioles

Fred Francis Marsh
Baltimore Orioles

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'10"  Weight:  180
Born:  January 5, 1924, Valley Falls, KS
Signed:  Signed by the Chicago Cubs as an amateur free agent in 1942
Major League Teams:  Cleveland Indians 1949; St. Louis Browns 1951-1952; Washington Senators 1952; Chicago White Sox 1953-1954; Baltimore Orioles 1955-1956
Died:  October 26, 2006, Corry, PA (age 82)

Fred Marsh was a middle infielder who spent his entire seven-year career playing in the American League.  He served as the regular third baseman for the Browns in 1951, appearing in 130 games and hitting .243.  He wouldn't crack the 100-game plateau in any other season, and he'd finish his career with a .239 average.

In 1952 he was traded to the Senators from the Browns, only to be traded back to the Browns less than a month later.  Following his playing days, Marsh served as a mailman.

Building the Set
June 20, 1992 in Ocean City, NJ - Card #102
This is one of 11 cards (and the 4th I've covered on this blog) that my Dad and I bought in June 1992 at the Ocean City baseball card show held on the boardwalk at the Music Pier.  We paid $60 for the lot of 11 cards, which at the time was most likely a steal.  Chronologically, I have this listed as the 102nd card we added to the set.  I'm actually surprised this card made it into our set, given the few dinged corners.  Dad must have been letting his guard down a little, as he was probably thinking ahead to his slice of Mack & Manco's.

I would have just graduated high school when we attended this show, and I'd be heading off to college in the fall.  If I had to guess, I'd say we purchased this lot of 11 cards from a baseball card dealer who had a store called Diamond Dust.  His cards were always nicely displayed in binders and I remember his table would be positioned in the back right of the lower level of the Music Pier.

After purchasing these cards, Dad and I undoubtedly sat at the counter of Mack & Manco's, enjoying a few slices with birch beer.

The Card
Marsh is one of six players to receive the position designation of "infield" on his 1956 Topps card. Over his career, he received the bulk of his playing time at third base (232 games), followed by shortstop (107 games) and second base (99 games).  Interestingly enough, he's "Fred" on his 1952, 1954 and 1955 Topps cards, but "Freddie" on his 1953 and 1956 Topps cards.

This is the third time his profile picture from the front of the card had been used on a Topps baseball card, having previously appeared on his 1954 Topps (in a White Sox hat) and 1955 Topps cards.  I guess that could be Marsh attempting a leaping grab in the action photo.  He wore #7 and #25 with the White Sox and #2 with the Orioles.  Maybe the uniform number peaking through is a #2?

I also spent some time searching the internet for additional information on Marsh's offseason cattle ranch, only to come up empty.

1956 Season
Marsh missed over half the 1955 season with elbow and leg injuries, and 1956 was to be his final season in the Majors.  He appeared in just 20 games for the Orioles, hitting .125 (3 for 24) and appearing in his last game on May 29th.  He spent the remainder of the season playing for the Vancouver Mounties, the Orioles' top farm club in the Pacific Coast League.

1952 Topps #8
2005 Topps Heritage
Real One Autographs #ROA-FM
Other Notable Baseball Cards
First Mainstream Card:  1952 Topps #8
First Topps Card:  1952 Topps #8
Last Topps Card:  1956 Topps #23
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  2005 Topps Heritage Real One Autographs #ROA-FM

Marsh's autograph barely changed over 50 years, as evidenced by his 2005 Topps Heritage autographed card.

18 - Marsh non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 10/8/16

Baseball Reference
Beckett Database
The Trading Card Database

In some cases, the first and last cards listed above are subjective and chosen by me if multiple cards were released within the same year.  Most recent mainstream card may also be subjective and does not include extremely low serial numbered cards, buybacks or cut autograph cards.


  1. Long time O's fan but this name was a new one for me - cool looking card though.

  2. How many O's in '56 set?

  3. There are 20 Orioles cards in the set. Here's a checklist with the team listed: