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

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Off Season Acquisitions

The Orioles haven't made any moves yet, but that hasn't stopped me. I dipped into a familiar well on this one, trading again with Aaron. I picked up a few guys who eluded me during the season and a Crown need, while giving up a few tougher signers. I think I did well.

Matt Albers 2008 Topps Update #UH-62

Albers was solid in the pen this year, recording a career high in wins with five. He was a go to guy in the pen appearing in 62 games. He gives the bullpen greater depth from the right side on the mound and a good foundation in relief. I like his stuff a lot and hope he can build on 2010 to make a big impact next season.

Leo Gomez 1991 Orioles Crown #158

Gomez may have been known more for his over sized glasses than his play on the field from 1990-95 (of course he took them off for this portrait). His numbers were better when he was a day-to-day starter in 1991 and 1992, but fell off when he was splitting time. He was a good infielder playing on the left side next to Cal. I remember getting his autograph on a ball as a kid but then ran out of baseballs to play with so took it to the field. I know for certain this one will stay safe, right in the personal collection.

Cesar Izturis 2009 Topps Update #UH-254

Izturis starts the trend of this trade of illegible autographs from professional players. "Cesar" is readable but the last name doesn't even seem to be there. At least the "3" is perfect.

Kevin Millwood 2010 Topps Heritage #248

Alright, I don't know where Millwood is going with this autograph. The "K" is sorta there, but that's it. It's fitting. A disappointing signature for a disappointing season. I for one was expected slightly more than four wins. He did lead the league in one category, losses. Ouch. I don't know why but I don't feel like Millwood will re-sign hear during free agency.

Will Ohman 2006 Upper Deck #556

Will was my favorite player to watch during this season. The guy was fearless and tried to dominate on every pitch. It wasn't always successful but the man went for it. And then he got sent away for Rick Vandenhurk. Ohman is a free agent this year so the trade makes sense because of the money he would demand, but I liked having him back there as a specialist. He's played for five professional teams but only has cards as a Cub, so this will have to do. Unless anyone has an extra Orioles postcard available.

Ty Wigginton 2009 Topps Update #UH-194

Wiggy was one of my first spring training successes this season, on a Mets card. No I didn't send him a Mets card, that's just what I got back. I was snuffed by him twice this season and was unable to reach him at a Wendy's fast food appearance, so trading was the only was to go. I have a 2002 Fleer Tradition Update Mets card available, need one?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Happiest Oriole

John Habyan 1991 Orioles Crown #171

Seriously, Habyan must have just gotten his first big league paycheck before this picture was taken. Either that, or he is elated at just being asked to pose for a photograph during spring training, as a major league player. I am sure the same could be said for me had I ever been in that position. Since I have not, I will judge.

Habyan is another tougher signer, only 32% on SCN, and it only took 10 days. I noticed a trend with his signing habits though, he signs mainly in the off season. It may be out of habit or just when things slow down for him personally, but post-season baseball seems to make Habyan happy with the sharpie.

Anyone need a 1988 Fleer signed card of his? I picked it up at the National this year and is now available with this newest addition.

Friday, October 22, 2010

John Bale Trade

When John Bale was in Baltimore he was perfect. Finishing his Baltimore career with a 1-0 record. He pitched in 13 games during the 2001 season, his first as a consistent member of a big league roster. After spring training the following season he was dealt to the Mets for outfielder Gary Matthews.

He has bounced around all levels of professional baseball, recently finding a steady gig in the Kansas City Royal bullpen. As a reliever his ERA is average but he just doesn't have the opportunity to win games, only three in his 109 appearances.

I tried reaching him in KC and the minors this year, both garnering return to sender responses so I had to make a trade. I gave up a Jimmy Key Collectors Choice autograph I had in reserve.

John Bale 2000 Fleer Tradition Update #U-30

I am tempted to try and have this card completed, partial dual autographs just don't look right to me. Anyone know where to find Clayton Andrews, he hasn't had a registered success in over a year?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bringing Home a Baker

Frank Baker was the first TTM success from my last batch of 3o requests. I picked up a couple Crown sets to make up for misses I have had and those holes should start to fill in shortly. Bakers success came back in only nine days, all the way from Mississippi.

Frank Baker 1991 Orioles Crown #17

Baker was selected by the New York Yankees in the second round of the 1967 amateur draft. Three years later he was a big leaguer, appearing in 35 games and posting the best numbers of his career. Unfortunately they weren't great. 1971 was again spent in New York before being traded to the Orioles for Tommy Matchick. The change of scenery did not improve his numbers, but did allow Baker to see the postseason. He made two appearances against the Athletics in 1973 and 1974, never recording an at-bat. Following the '74 post season, Baker hung up the spikes, returning home to Mississippi to answer autograph requests of die-hard fans like myself.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Revisiting The Ghetto... For Football Cards

As some of you may remember, Ghetto is not a place, but a person. A card collecting person at that. His collecting exploits can be found here. Ghetto and I have been friends for over a dozen years but only trading for the last couple. That is if you don't count the cards I bought from his parents at card shows when I was a kid.

He and his dad are collecting base cards of the Orioles and Phillies and I decided to help. I have a ton of base cards that I don't need signed so I am shipping them his way. He put together a sweet care package of cards for me and may have started me off in a bad direction. Washington Redskins autographs, only 1000+ players on the all-time roster.

Fred Davis Autograph

Malcolm Kelly

Santana Moss

Clinton Portis I

Clinton Portis II

I know what you are thinking, only one autograph is not enough to start me off on a thousand autograph hunt? Wrong. He also included 100 base cards from the 70's and 80's, along with a couple team sets. Can you say football TTM Autographs? I think I can.

And since this is Eutaw Street Cardboard, here are the Orioles that came along.

Brian Burres 2007 Topps Chrome Autograph #347

Jon Knott 2007 Artifacts Autofacts #AU-JK

Scott Moore 2008 Topps Update & Highlights Autographs #HA-SM

Matt Riley 2000 Just Autographs #BA-25

The Burres makes its way into the collection by default, it fits in my nine pocket sheets. I have an oversized Sweet Beginnings Autograph that is now up for grabs. If anyone is looking these are all available.

Ghetto, thanks again for getting me psyched for Redskins autographs.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Minor League TTM Success

I guess since the minor league season is over they're not truly from the minors, but close enough. In exactly five months Omir Santos responded to my TTM request and it only took one month from Matt Tucker.

Omir Santos 2010 Topps Heritage #212

I had made a trade for a different Santos card after I had waited three months, not thinking it would show. I was wrong and am happy to add a card from the other New York team to my collection. A 2006 Bowman Heritage card featuring him as a Yankee very happily is available for trade. Getting a Yankee card out of the collection feels almost as good as crossing a name off the list. I just really hate the Yankees.

Matt Tucker 2010 Bowman Prospects #BP-72

Tucker spent the entirety of this season as a member of the Bowie Baysox but only appeared in 16 games. He had very little success this year while still struggling to find a consistent position on the field. He played SS, 2b, 3b, RF, LF and DH while failing to finish above the Mendoza line. Hopefully 2011 will be a return to form for Tucker and we may see him as a utility player at some point in the bigs. I have a double of this card signed if anyone is looking to add him as well.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ending The Season With A Boog

Sunday was cold, rainy and miserable. Great day for a race and some Major League Baseball. If you want to read how I started my day, click here to read wifeys blog.

Olivia (wifey) and I braved the elements for the final game of the 2010 Orioles season, a 2-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers. The loss ended a four game winning streak, the longest of the season. With stats like that it is easy to see why we finished in the cellar of the A.L. East yet again. But I digress.

I thought with the Baltimore Ravens having a huge contest at the same time the stands would be sparse. I was mistaken. I saw the most people all season and the first base line was crowded with autograph seekers. It wasn't worth it to me to push and position with my wife in tow, so we walked around the stadium.

On Eutaw street there was a huge line of people waiting for Boog, the man, not the BBQ. He was sitting on a stool outside the BBQ stand holding court. About 50 people were in line to get an autograph or a picture and we stepped in line for the sure thing autograph. When we were about 5 people away I told Olivia she would be getting the graph, and she got a little nervous. She doesn't care for the autograph world and wasn't sure how to go about it.

She handled it like a true hound and walked away with this:

Boog Powell 1991 Orioles Crown #367

However, this is not her first baseball autograph. Wally Westlake sent her a personalized autograph when I sent him a TTM request. Olivia lived on the same street as Wally when she was living in Sacaramento, yet they had never met. I am trying to convince her to start her own collection but the bug hasn't hit her.

Wally added this one for me so I wouldn't feel bad.

The Boog is another double available for trade but was all we came home with.