• Curtis Le Roy Blefary

    Posted by on October 29th, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Curt Blefary was born in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in Mahwah, New Jersey.

    Blefary and Al Severinsen are the only major leaguers to come out of the Wagner College (Staten Island) athletics program.

    The Yankees paid $18,000 to sign Blefary in 1962. In addition to the bonus, the Yankees agreed to pay his tuition and expenses at Wagner during the off-seasons. However, he was acquired by the Baltimore Orioles via waivers after turning pro with the Yankees.

    In 1965, Blefary hit .260 with 22 home runs and 70 RBI – winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award (with the Orioles). On December 4, 1969, the Yankees traded Joe Pepitone to acquire Blefary (who was then with the Houston Astros).

    On June 13, 1970, Blefary had a good game for the Yankees.

    In 2001, Curt Blefary passed away, at the age of 57, due to chronic pancreatitis (which was probably brought on by many years of alcohol abuse).

    Betcha most Yankees fans under the age of thirty don’t know a thing about Curtis Le Roy Blefary. He’s an interesting Yankees-related story. It’s a shame that the last two generations of Yankees fans are probably clueless as to his tale.

    Comments on Curtis Le Roy Blefary

    1. Corey
      October 30th, 2008 | 9:29 am

      i can vouch, as im 22, that i’ve never heard of this dude

    2. Raf
      October 30th, 2008 | 10:06 am

      I’ve heard of him, namely because I read “Dog Days.” Then again, I’m over 30 :)

      It’s a good book, covering the Yanks’ bad years, in a more serious tone, unlike “Damned Yankees.”

    3. Joseph M
      October 30th, 2008 | 9:38 pm

      I remember Curt Blefary well. The first game I ever went to at the real Yankee Stadium Blefary played 1st base for the Baltimore Orioles back in 66. I remember he ‘big” year with the Yanks in 70, he was still young but he was shot. He was a brutal outfielder (right field) and he didn’t hit much any more. I think he hit a bases clearing double against Boston at the home opener that year (I think the Yanks lost 4-3). Strangely he was the catcher (yes, catcher) for the Mayor’s trophy game at the stadium (Steve Kline pitched a complete game!

      The strangest thing I remember about Curt is his last home run as a Yankee. It took place in early 1971 in Washington, against the new old Washington Senators. It was an inside the park. Now Blefary by this stage of his career was overweight and slow so he was the last person you would expect to hit an inside the park home run. As a side note I believe Curt Flood was the center fielder for Washington iin that game.

      Curt was also the roommate of Donb Wilson a black pitcher for the Astros in 1969. At the time this was ground braking (Wilson died under very strange circumstances several years later).

      Curt was involved in one of the greatest trades in the history of the Orioles, the Orioles acquired Mike Cuellar from Houston for Curt (can you imagine).

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