The Quest

The Baltimore Orioles have been in town since '54 and have had over 900 men don their uniform. My goal is to obtain a signed card of each player. If you have something I need, or see something you want, don't be shy, we can make a deal.

Collection Statistics

Total Players 877/977 = 89.25%
1991 Orioles Crown Set
Total Players 309/465 = 66.45%
Alive Players 274/369 = 74.25

Friday, August 27, 2010

Birds Of Another Color

I picked up Ricky Bones and Doug Linton autographs in another trade from Tom Seaver on SCN. Both players were on the Orioles pitching staff in 1999 but never had a baseball card produced. Bones has a 1999 O's Postcard out there somewhere.

Ricky Bones 1993 Leaf #122

Bones was near the end of his career in 99 when he appeared in 30 games for the Orioles. He was a mainstay in the bullpen making two spot starts when the club was in need. He has added on to a long major league career as a minor league coach. Bone sis the pitching coach for the Buffalo Bisons, coaching alongside former Oriole Jack Voigt. He was named in the Mitchell Reports witch hunt into steroids but it hasn't seemed to deminish his coaching. Bones is known as a great IP signer but Buffalo is too far to travel for me, and besides, he has yet to respond to my TTM request.

Doug Linton 1993 Topps #159

Linton's stint in Baltimore was slightly shorter than that of Bones, appearing in eight games as a starter and six as a reliever. The 1999 season in Baltimore was his only stop in the majors between 1997-2002. He toiled in the minor leagues through five different organizations. Linton did not start the 99 season with the Orioles so he did not appear in the postcard set. Linton is a great signed but instead of taking the chance TTM, this was a sure thing,

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Trading Part Three

Hopefully this last group of cards won't be around for long. No hard feelings, but they both need to be upgraded to Orioles autographs. Anyone have Jeff Conine or Dwight Smith on an Oriole card.

Jeff Conine 1990 Score Hot Rookies #5

Conine the Barbarian spent six years in Baltimore in the middle of his career. He was a key cog in the middle of our lineup and at first base. He became a favorite with fans because of how dedicated he was to the game. It was nice to watch a veteran hustle on a team that wasn't very good. His best seasons were as a Marlin and that's how most people remember him. He currently works in the Marlins front office when he isn't training for triathalons.

Dwight Smith 1991 Fleer #432

I remember holding on to Dwight Smith cards like they were $20 bills when I started collecting. He and teammate Jerome Walton exploded on the baseball landscape as Chicago Cub rookies in 1989. Like many other nine year olds, I thought he was the next superstar. He was not, but he was an Oriole for 28 games in 1994. He was traded from the California Angels for a player to be named later, Bo Ortiz. Yeah I never heard of him either. He hit .311 as a member of the Birds, but his contract was never re-upped. He ended his major league career as an Atlanta Brave and World Series Champion in 1995.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Off The Trading Block

Continuing my trade from Todd last week, I added four other players that never appeared on an Oriole card. The time in town ranges from eight games to three full seasons.

Mike Fetters 1995 Topps #339

Fetters had a stable first nine major league seasons, pitching in California and Milwaukee. His 10th season started a nomadic trend, pitching with seven different teams until his career ended in 2004. He was traded and released many times to help many contenders add a durable veteran arm in their bullpen. 1999 saw him pitch entirely in Baltimore. He was not as effective as he had been and was part of the reason the Orioles could not right the sliding ship. He did appear on an Orioles Postcard from 1999, but I have never seen one, so can't actually get one signed.

Jim Miller 2009 International League All-Stars #12

Miller made his major league debut for the Orioles on September 1, 2008, four years after being drafted by the Colorado Rockies. His only season here he allowed only one earned run, but took two losses due to errors. His ERA was just north of 1.00 and he recorded his first major league save. Miller has spent the last two seasons looking for another chance at the major league level. He has performed well, recording 17 saves and five wins out of the bullpen during that time. He has only had minor league cards produced, so this one as a member of the Norfolk Tides will do me just fine.

Omir Santos 2006 Bowman Heritage Prospects BHP-74

Santos was drafted by the Yankees in 2001 but never emerged on the big club. He was signed by the Orioles in 2007, making his major league debut during 2008. Santos only appeared in 11 games, with 10 plate appearances. He did collect his first major league hit as an Oriole but was released before spring training in 2008. He re-emerged with the Mets in 2009 for 96 games. This year has been spent in the minors and he hadn't replied to my TTM request, via the Buffalo Bison, as of today.

2005 Topps Total #589

Jamie was a staple in the Baltimore pen from 2007-2009. He appeared in half of the teams 162 games in 2007, leading the league in that category. As a left handed specialist, he was usually used to gain the match-up advantage, but never chewed up a ton of innings. After 2007 his salary soared above $4million and his ERA soared above 6.00. Even though he was an Oriole for three seasons, there are no Orioles cards of him. In fact, he hasn't appeared on a major card since 2005. I'm not sure if that is because he is not a member of the MLBPA. Either way, he is currently a free agent and this Tigers autograph satisfies my need.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Filling A Few Gaps

During my trading spree, I made a few larger trades to go along with the small ones I previously mentioned. I added a total of 11 cards from Todd last week, but only filling nine spots in my collection. To save the long read, I will break the trade down into more palatable portions.

Fernando Cabrera 2005 Bowman Draft Picks #BDP-162

Cabrera has had a rough go of things since he became a full time big leaguer in 2006 with the Indians. His ERA in Baltimore was 7.28 over a season and a half, but has gotten worse since moving to Boston. He has eclipsed the 10.00 ERA mark and has spent the majority of his time with Pawtucket. As an active player he signs pretty well TTM, but hasn't had a lot of requests. He is a bit of a wild card since he has yo-yo'ed between AAA and the majors. His unpredictability led me to make the trade and save some postage.

Chris Lambert 2004 Justifiable #43

Lambert was a first round draft choice of the St. Louis Cardinals that came here via the Detroit Tigers. He finished the 2009 campaign with the Orioles, appearing in four games out of the pen. He clocked just over five innings after his selection off waivers on August 20th. It seems he dropped off the planet after last season. I can't find any stats for him during 2010 and even though he is listed as a Norfolk Tide, he's not on their roster or site. Anyone know where he went?

Mike Milchin 1992 Upper Deck Minors #79

The culmination of his career came as an Oriole and Twin during the 1996 season. He spent seven years in the minors fighting to make the bigs, debuting on May 14th. His major league career lasted a total of 39 games and that's how he ended his professional career. Milchin is a very good signer TTM but his cards are slightly more difficult to come by, only having three major issues in the early 90's.

Stay tuned for more.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Jonesing For A Success

My first success in a little while from closer Doug Jones, c/o his home address. It took a month to bring this one home with a little added bonus.

Doug Jones Religious Card

This is not my first go-round with this card. It was part of a trade I made a few months ago adding Jones to my collection initially. Now I have two autographed religious cards for Jones. I must be trying to corner the market on these ones. Anyone looking for a Doug Jones auto?

Doug Jones 1995 Fleer Update #U-6

Jones only had a handful of base cards as an Oriole but lucky for me I loved Fleer products in the mid 90's. I had this bad boy sitting around for years just waiting for the right time to send. I do my best to keep track of good signers, habits and when to send but a few guys slip the cracks.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Adding Corey Patterson

With his second tour of duty came more opportunities to add Corey to my Collection. I tried him TTM in Norfolk coming out of spring training, to no avail. Once he was recalled to the big leagues I tried him there as well. No luck. Even when I went to the park I was denied another opportunity to get his graph.

He has a bunch of signed cards available but few as an Oriole. When I tracked down one I could use with no need to upgrade, I snatched it up. I gave up a Vinny Rottino auto I received in a blind trade. Score.

Corey Patterson 2008 Topps #487

It is striking how different his autograph for a fan and signature for Topps differ so greatly. Apparently he takes alittle extra time when signing his name on contracts, or whatever they use for their fascimile signatures.

On the field, Patterson must like the water or crabcakes in Baltimore because his career numbers are significantly higher as an Oriole. He's stolen more bases in more bases in his three seasons here than six while a cub, and his average is more than 20 points higher. Unfortunately for us, he is not a great lead-off guy, which we desperately needed when Roberts was out this year. He is now a platoon guy that can give a good boost when out strong outfield gets a break.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Trading With Tom Seaver

I didn't trade with the Hall of Famer, just an apparent fan of his work. I picked up Pat Clements and Kris Benson autographs I needed. Unfortunately, Clements has nothing picturing him as and Oriole and Benson must have stopped signing cards when he came to Baltimore. I have had a difficult time finding an Oriole Benson so, as a Met it is. For now.

I gave up my extra Milt Pappas vintage autograph and Chase Wright Yankees autograph. It's about time I got that Yankee outta my house.

Kris Benson 2005 Leaf #161

Benson was traded to Baltimore before the 1996 season for Jorge Julio and John Maine. There was a lot of hype and a little controversy when he showed up. The hype, a good pitcher on the verge of "greatness", destined to turn a waning franchise around.

The Controversy

How can you expect the man to focus on baseball? He has been though. After tearing his rotator cuff as an O, he fought to make it back to the bigs. He did so with the Rangers in 2009 and is in the Diamondbacks organization this season. Benson is currently with the AAA Reno Aces, looking for another shot.

Pat Clements 1987 Donruss #390

Clements' 23 games in Baltimore during 1992 were his last in the majors before retiring in 1993. His signing habits were great in the past but has not had a recorded success since last year. He has a ton of autos available on SCN, so I went out and got one. So, I should be getting my TTM request from him any day now.

When The Wife's Away, The Husband Will.......

Trade of course. While Olivia was in California for her High School reunion I was left to my own devices. Those devices of course are a computer and a bunch of baseball cards. I also took time off of work to decompress form the riggors of the working world. There was no better way to relax than trade some cards.

All told I was pretty busy, seven trades for 24 autographs. Many are of players in other uniforms or upgrades, but again, baby steps.

All the trades were made on SCN and here is the first from Tiger fan Mike.

Mark Lee 1992 Upper Deck #507

Is it wrong that I don't remember Lee at all? He pitched in 39 games during the 1995 season, one I paid a ton of attention too, but have no rcollection of his performance. As a reliever he went 2-0, with a 4.86 ERA. Despite a sub 4.00 ERA for his career, he only pitched in four big league seasons, spanning more than seven years.

Lee is not pictured as an Oriole on anything other than a postcard, so unless I come across a ton of those, this will have to do.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

No Words, Just Pictures

The rest from the National.

Marty Cordova 1996 Pinnacle #121

Walt Dropo 1990 Swell Baseball Greats #111

Stan Jefferson 1987 Donruss #642

Jamie Quirk 1981 Donruss #341

Harold Reynolds 1987 Topps #91

Mickey Weston 1990 Score #616

Chris Widger 1998 Pacific Online Red #467

Todd Zeile 1998 Pacific Silver #343

Friday, August 13, 2010

Orioles Haul

Only spending one day at the National and paying to stand in line for graphs limited my table shopping. I was a one stop shopper finding all my needs from one vendor. Unfortunately I missed a few other guys with a little more Orioles schwag. Four of the autos I picked up feature an Orioles unifrom and only one is permanent. But for what it's worth, one's deceased and two don't sign much.

Don Baylor 1976 Hostess #118

Most of us young guys know Baylor from managing the Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs, but people a few years our elder know a different man. Baylor was a masher who loved to crush the ball and crowd the plate. Before Craig Biggio crowded his way to number one, Baylor was stading alone as the modern day beanball king. It is also rumored that Baylor once hit a ball so hard it tipped off the third baseman's glove and went over the left field wall for a home run. Anyone can do that.

Todd Frohwirth 1993 Donruss # 513

I blame Todd Frohwirth for single handedly destroying my elbow. Every time I saw his submarine delivery I couldn't help but try and hurt myself emulating his throwing motion. I still do it when warming up for softball each wekk. I will never learn. Aside from the unorthodox delivery, Todd was a horse. He appeared in 51, 65 and 70 games in his three seasons in Baltimore, all the while posting a 2.71 ERA. His career lasted nine seasons, I'm wondering if his style had anything to do with that. He is currently a scout for our hometown team.

John Habyan 1988 Fleer Eror #562

Habyan quietly put together a solid big league career, spanning 11 seasons and six different teams. He was drafted by the O's in 1982 and made his debut during the 1985 season. He stayed withthe team until '88, then bounced around until retiring in '96. Naturally he started coaching when his playing career ended. He is curenly a coach and the head pitching instructor for Ripken Baseball

Elrod Hendricks 1976 Topps #371

Ellie? It's amazing how a mans name changes as he gets older. I knew the man as Elrod, the stoic bullpen coach I always said hi to when I came to the park. He was a fixture at Camden Yards, a pressence I still miss when I visit there.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Find of the National

Any collector trying to put together a vintage signed set from 1958-66, or Orioles, Angels and Senators comprehensive collections realize how difficult Albie Pearson is to track down. He's denied me twice through the mail and I will no longer waste my stamps. I am still going to try for him on a Crown card but know I will have to pay his private signing fee, so will wait until next time. So you can imagine my surprise when looking through autographs at the National, I came across this bad boy.

Albie Pearson 1986 Angels Greats TCMA #6

Pearson was a diminutive 5-foot-5, but didn't let that stop him from winning the 1958 Rookie of the Year for the Washington Senators. He was traded to the Orioles after 25 games on the '59 season, posting the worst numbers of his career. His first full season in Baltimore was slightly better but also his last. He was a fourth round expansion selection of the Los Angeles/California Angels in 1961. He made his lone All-Star appearance as an Angel in 1963 before chronic back issues ended his career in '66.

Post-baseball, he has become an ordained minister and focused his philanthropic efforts on the less fortunate. What about the unfortunate autograph collector?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Doubles Time

I started the year needing Mike Devereaux for my Crown set and sent off two 50/50 trades to have the goal met. I was expecting one of them to not come through. Oops, I was wrong. I guess it is better to have too many than too few. I received this double today if anyone needs it for their collection.

Mike Devereaux 1991 Orioles Crown #103

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Finding Joy in the Little Things

Even though I have taken on a daunting task with my collection goals, the little victories truly pump me up. Today a trade came through that took a little leg work and research to make happen and I am psyched.

I am all jazzed up for:

Gustavo Molina 2007 Topps '52 #118

He has over 115 different cards and this is the only base version featuring him as an Oriole. There are 20 or so high-end cards of his from 2008 Exquisite that I was unable to locate. I was about to buy some Topps '52 base cards to send but this trade saved me the time and money. I had to give up a 2009 Adam Jones TTM success from spring training to acquire this one.

Molina has been used sparingly during his three seasons in the majors, only totaling 23 games with four different clubs over that time. During his nine games in town he posted his best batting average, .222. Needless to say he hasn't made a great enough impression to stick with major league teams.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Vice Presidential Treatment

This is probably not what you are thinking. Roric Harrison is not the Vice President of the "free world." He is, however, VP for Altair Global Relocation. His home address wasn't working any longer so I had to dig a little. He has an unusual name and it was easy to track him down online.

It took exactly a month to get this one back. I felt a little bad pestering the guy at work and all, but had no other choice really. Other people put me at ease saying it comes with the territory, so I feel less sleazy.

Roric Harrison 1991 Orioles Crown #183

Harrison made his debut in 1972 with the Birds and posted the best overall numbers of his career. He had a 2.30 ERA in 39 games, splitting his time between the rotation and the pen. 72 was his only season in town as he was shipped to Atlanta in the off-season. In 1978 he called it quits from professional baseball and apparently started in on his second career, in the relocation business. I will be relocating a signed 1973 Topps card to my trade list if anyone needs.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

He Managed His Way Into My Collection

The list I have compiled and go off of for my collection includes managers as well as players. When I saw a Hank Bauer autographed Orioles card at the National I couldn't resist. Oh, did I mention it was only a couple bucks?

TCMA produced cards for more than a decade but ceased production in 1987. The sets they produced in 1986 may have led to their demise as they produced more than twice as many sets as the previous five years combined. The cards themselves are very basic, like many other designs for that era. There's not a ton of information on the cards, making them glorified picture cards, but perfect for signing.

Hank Bauer 1986 Orioles Greats TCMA #2

Bauer ended his playing career with the Kansas City Athletics as a player manager in 1961 and managed their club the following season. 1964 brought him to Baltimore and just two seasons later brought home a World Championship. Bauer did a great job with the club, posting 407 wins over his five seasons, but a losing season in 1967 and near .500 record in 68 ended his stay in Baltimore.

He managed a final season with the Athletics, this time in Oakland before retiring from baseball. During his 14 year playing career he appeared in nine World Series', winning seven with the New York Yankees. That's not a bad run. Bauer succumbed to cancer on February 9, 2007.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Coming Home With A Tough One

Glenn Davis has been eluding autograph hounds for years and myself on multiple occasions. He has denied me from his home address and I received a nice litte RTS when I tried him at work. Apparently City Council members don't like it when you bug them at the office for autographs. Go figure. If I hadn't picked this baby up at the National I was going to try and track him down at the hotel he owns. I get to save on postage.

Glenn Davis 1992 Topps #190

In Baltimore, Davis will always be remembered for limited production and the depletion of our farm system. The Orioles traded Curt Schilling, Steve Finley and Pete Harnish for this two-time all-star. It didn't work out so well. Davis hit .247 with 25HR during his three seasons here. Not what we expected.

Ugly Ugly Ugly

If you can believe it, this was the best autograph of 6 that I found at the National. I know I need to upgrade this card in multiple ways; signature, team and Crown card, but I haven't seen too many of his cards available.

Juan Bonilla 1983 Fleer #353

The other Bonilla played next to Cal Ripken at second and third base during the 1986 season. He didn't crush the stat sheets, but did enough to remain on a major league roster for six seasons. That's more than can be said for me.

I don't understand how this autograph could be so bad, I think they used a dry, green sharpie. Terrible. It will have to do. For now.

A Pleasant Surprise

In preparing for my in person autographing of last week, I bought up base cards from Sports Buy and Sport Lots. I wish the sites could somehow join and give me the features I like about both. SportsBuy allows you to search by seller so you can save on shipping. Saving in this area is a must because of their higher shipping costs. SportLots is cheaper as far as shipping goes but more difficult to navigate when purchasing. One site needs to sell out to the other, for my sake.

Back to the point. I found a bunch of base cards I needed from a seller and saw he had an Eider Torres certified autograph as an Oriole. The price was right and the shipping was free so now he is done in my book. I have a 2003 Bowman autograph as a Cleveland Indian now available if anyone is interested.

Eider Torres 2008 Sp Authentic Autograph #170

Torres made his major league debut April 26, 2008 and played his last major league game two weeks later. In eight games he batted nine times with only two singles. He spent the rest of the season in the minors before being released. He has bounced around a bit and is currently in the Colorado Rockies organization hoping to extend his big league career.

The surprise was a Ryan McGuire card I bought to try and have him sign. Someone beat me to the punch.

Ryan McGuire 1993 Classic 4 Sport #288

McGuire's stint in Baltimore was twice as long as Torres', but ended with the same amount of hits, two. The 2002 season in Baltimore marked the final major league season for McGuire and he called it quits for good after 2003. He ended his career with a .287 lifetime average in the minors, but only .211 in the bigs. His short time here wasn't long enough to have cards produced so this minor issue will do the trick.

Friday, August 6, 2010

2010 National Convention

I spent all day at the National Convention in Baltimore and it was a draining day. I unlike most others saw all I needed during my seven hours on the floor today and have no need to venture back.

I had purchased two autograph tickets for the event and my intentions were to get those two signatures and then go the the Orioles game. Things didn't go exactly like that.

My day started around 11 as I met a friend and his father, looking for Eddie Murray Auto's and team set cards, near the front of the exhibits. We talked a bit but I couldn't stay long, I didn't want to be late for my 12:00 appointment with Steve Stone.

Early on the autograph pavilion was great. Lines moved quickly and most of the "All-Access" ticket holders must have slept in. Once stone started signing he blew through the line and even though I was #105, I was done in less than 30 minutes.

Steve Stone 1991 Orioles Crown #445

Stone was very business-like, pouring through his line with great precision. He had one of the longer lines of the morning, mainly because he rarely signs. His appearances are so rare show promoters made sure to plaster the rarity of this signing all over the site. Hall of Famers Rollie Fingers and Jim Kelly were signing at the same time, with noticeably fewer patrons. When I walked away from Stone, Kelly only had 15 people in line, ouch.

After my appointment, I had almost three hours to kill before my next meeting. What to do? I couldn't grab something to eat, I refused to pay $9.00 for an hour old fast food burger, so I browsed. I had no intention of buying anything because I didn't think I could find anything to fit my needs. I have very specific tastes, but did find one vendor with in-person autographs. 10,000 of them.

That's how I killed time, checking all 10,000 cards for anyone I needed. I brought no list so I went from memory and was able to cross another 16 players from my list. The autos were cheap and I was happy. The vendor even threw in the second half of the Crown set for free. Score.

My happy feeling was short lived.

Benny Ayala was the 3:00 and final signer of the day and he took forever. It wasn't all his fault, every "All-Access" ticket holder was now awake and in front of me in line. It took 90 minutes to get my card signed, but all-in-all was worth it.

Benny Ayala 1991 Orioles Crown #14

After that I had had enough baseball for the day, I had to skip the game and relax on the couch. Then blog of course.

The 16 guys I picked up:
Hank Bauer (Manager)
Don Baylor
Juan Bonilla
Marty Cordova
Glenn Davis
Walt Dropo
Todd Frohwirth
John Habyan
Stan Jefferson
Kent Mercker
Jim Northrup
Albie Pearson
Jamie Quirk
Harold Reynolds
Chris Widger
Todd Zeile
Posts will be coming soon, just decided to break things up a little.

Anyone make it to the National? What did you think?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Post Game Graph Up

After Buck Showalter's second straight victory yesterday, I made my way outside to try and get some players as they were leaving. My hopes were not high but because pre-game was so disappointing I had to try.

Some kid came walking out with a carryout container in his hand, wearing ear buds and I didn't pay any attention. That is until a woman who knew her way around called over to him and he started to sign for her. That's when I got this:

Troy Patton 1991 Orioles Crown Blank

Patton is poised to make his Orioles debut this weekend and after talking with him, is chomping at the bit to take the mound. He was a really nice guy but looked like his was 17, at best. I misfired on a 50/50 earlier this year as Patton was promoted away from my connection. I am just waiting to pull the trigger on this one and add him to the master list. Then cross him off.

A bunch of cars and stars drove past without stopping. Then our stopper came to a halt, rolled down the window and signed for the night owls.

Alfredo Simon 1991 Orioles Crown Blank

I congratulated him on another save and he was extremely gracious. He signed multiples for everyone who had an backed up traffic a bit. Enough to garner a honk form a car behind him. He pulled away, only to stop further up and sign until everyone was spent. The blank was all I had with me as I sent for him 50/50. Blog posts from my connection say it was a success but who knows how they turned out?

I started to notice a trend with Simon's signature, my pen starts dry. I switched out the pen when 1983 World Series MVP walked up behind me and reluctantly stopped to sign.

Rick Dempsey 1991 Orioles Crown Blank

Rick looked exhausted. Only a few of us had stuff for him to sign so he got off easy, only signing three. I didn't ask for the inscription, but did make reference to his World Series ring. That thing is awesome.

Matt Wieters pulled out and my veteran woman said not to try, he never stops. Tonight he did. At the end of the block. For some kids. I trudged down to him, the only adult to make the run. After all kids were taken care of, he looked at me and said, "Sorry kids, I have to go." Ouch. Whatever, it is about the kids. I wasn't mad, just a little winded.

Mike Gonzalez stopped for us and with no car behind him signed for almost five minutes. Again a nice guy in a sweet ride.

Mike Gonzalez 2007 Topps Heritage #241

He may be nice but was a little clumsy with his thumb, completely smearing his first name. I tried to make a deal for a postcard a fellow grapher had signed but he quickly changed the subject. No dice. I let it go. Hopefully some 2010 base cards I bought will be here before I head to the park again on Friday.

I saved the weirdest for last. Jake Fox went tearing past our first group only to stop in the same place as Wieters. I made the same run and felt like he would deny me the same way, but grabbed my card and sharpie. Then glared and me and barked, "What are you using this for?" I puffed up and got defensive. "My collection", I responded. He sneered and signed the card, in Greek.

Jake Fox 1991 Orioles Crown Blank

The Jake Fox market is a little slow right now so I guess I will hold on to this card instead of selling it to pay my mortgage (I really wish there was a sarcastic font I could use). Maybe he would have preferred his 2010 Upper Deck Biography card that just came to me today? I shall find out on Friday, or Monday.

All told, not a bad day. Eight Orioles and one Redskin in eight hours. Feels good to be back.

Shaking Off A Little Rust

It's been quite a while since I was at a baseball game just to get autographs. Actually, it was never for me, usually there to help my brother in his endeavors. So needless to say it's been a while.

Quite fittingly my first chance came as I was walking down Eutaw street. The smell of BBQ and a boisterous laugh were filling the air as I walked between the warehouse and flag court. Boog was right there surveying his BBQ kingdom, posing for photo opps and signing the occasional card. I deftly swung my backpack around, grabbed my case and pulled his card and a Sharpie out simultaneously. Very smooth.

Maybe it was the Sharpie? Maybe it was the humidity? Maybe it was a bead of sweat propelled by gravity? Whatever it was, it screwed up an otherwise great autograph.
Boog Powell 1993 Ted Williams #84

I think it was gravity propelled sweat, but can't be sure if it was mine or Boog's. The card does smell a lot like BBQ though.

I made my way to the seating bowl to find the Halo's taking BP and made my way to the third base line. The Angels are unkind to us local folks as they omit names and numbers from their warm-ups. The only opportunity I had was when a kid called over Scott Kazmir, who mysteriously was not on the roster I printed Tuesday night. Doh.

Empty handed, I made my way to the home side to wait for my players to make their way back out. Cesar Izturis and Nick Markakis signed at the corner of the dugout, for kids only, then took the field to stretch. The other starters came out and ignored us fans along the first base wall. That is until rookie Josh Bell made his way back to us. He signed for everyone making his way back to the bench.

Josh Bell 1991 Orioles Crown Blank

I don't have any major issue cards of his yet but the blank came out extremely well. If you noticed, I switched to black sharpie. It worked.

Luke Scott was next to come down the line and hit up everyone just like Josh. I have no photo of the 2010 Topps card I had him sign as I gave it away. The kid sitting next to me the entire game mentioned he saw Luke before the game and wanted to have him sign a hat, but didn't have a pen. "Here you go kid. Be careful though, it's kinda like crack. You may never stop" I said. OK, I didn't say anything about illicit drugs but it was inferred as I handed him his first autograph.

The Birds put up a bunch of runs, nine to be exact, but had to make it close. They won a tighter than necessary game 9-7, complete with rain delay and foul ball off my hand. Can't believe I mishandled that ball.

Don't go anywhere, I will be writing about post game antics.

And Now For Something Completely Different

As some of you may know the 2010 National Sports Collectors Convention is in Baltimore from Wednesday through Sunday and I made my way to the convention center to check it out.

Things didn't start well as my normal $5 parking lot wasn't open and I had to pay event pricing at a closer garage. Monday I wanted to pre-purchase my autograph tickets online but they closed that feature of the site before I had a chance. I had to pay admission today to buy autograph tickets for later this week. What a racket.

I worked my way staright to the ticket booth and the two women selling advanced tickets. You read right two. Because it was so early the line wasn't long but the process took about five minutes per customer. I'm just happy all my tickets are in my possession and I don't have to brave that line when crowds are bigger.

As I was waiting in line they announced the free signing of Mark Moseley. Mark who? Only the lone NFL kicker to win the MVP Award and former Washington Redskin, that's who. Did I mention I am a Skins fan? I had more than an hour before the gates opened at Camden Yards, what the hell.

Only one problem, I had nothing of Moseley and neither did any vendors. I had to move quick, the line was filling up and time was ticking. You would think vendors at the "National Convention" would have items of the signers, not the case. I found a guy with one item, not normally what I go for but I had to settle.

Mark Moseley January 10, 1983 Sporting News (with John Riggins and Joe Theismann)

It would be nice if Tristar and the National were correct in his accomplishments on their site, calling him the 1983 MVP, directly next to an inscribed signature as 1982 MVP. Oh well, it's not like they pay people to find those mistakes.

Mark could not have been nicer, even signing multiples for some kids even though they were obviously getting cards for their dad. All-in-all, my first foray into football autographs was good, only taking longer than I would have liked. I missed Orioles batting practice.

Stay tuned for more of yesterday's exploits.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Second Go-Round

The last time I sent to Jose Morales he kept my Crown card. He didn't leave me empty handed as he sent two other signed cards in its place, Expo's cards. I was able to deal one of his cards for Chris Tillman so things have worked out extremely well.

This time I got my card back, and in 17 days to boot.

Jose Morales 1991 Orioles Crown #314

I have his 1977 Topps #102 available if anyone is looking to fill a set or Expo need.