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

Monday, June 25, 2012

Upgrade City

It seems that every time I get autographs I end up upgrading more than anything else.  Sunday was no different.


Jim Johnson 2012 Topps Heritage #12


Jim Johnson 2006 Topps '52 #42


Darren O'Day 2011 Orioles Postcard


Darren O'Day 2011 Orioles Postcard


Mark Reynolds 2012 Topps Archives #199


Mark Reynolds 2011 Topps #378

My Jim Johnson decision came down to two factors: personally getting the autograph on Sunday and his 2012 campaign.  Personally having it signed means a great deal to me and the '52 card was obtained via trade.  Jim is also having a phenomenal year and I am happy to commemorate that in my collection.

O'Day is simply due to color preference.  I like blue better than black.

My decision making with the Reynold autograph is similar to Johnson, two-fold. Personally obtaining the autograph and card design is what led to this choice.  I love the 1984 Topps design and when I pulled this card from a pack was dead-set on getting it signed, so I did.  I do believe that 2011 Topps signature (from Fanfest, not the drivers seat of Marks car) and the action shot are both better than the Archives card.  But I like the Archive card better so back off.

Anyone looking to upgrade their collection with any of these three newly available beauties, drop me a line.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Missed Opportunity

I was at the Orioles 2-1 comeback win over the Washington Nationals today looking to add some pitchers to my collection.  I did do just that, but missed out on a biggie in the process.

While I was on the first base side with Oriole pitchers, Stephen Strasburg and others were racking on the third base line.  When I saw Strasburg start signing, I thought it would be short lived and I would miss him.  I was wrong.  He kept signing and signing.  I finally made a last ditch effort to get the superstar.  Nope.

Here is part of who I did get instead of Mr. Strasburg.

Jason Hammel 2012 Orioles Postcard

Jason Hammel 2006 Topps '52 #119
Hammel has put together an All-Star worthy resume thus far in 2012.  Hopefully the deciding coaches realize that fact as well.  He is a stopper in starter form.  Whenever the Orioles hit a rough patch, Hammel comes through with another big performance.

I love how the updated Postcards look this year.  The white borders and the white jerseys really allow for autographs to pop.  Hammel is now crossed off the list, for good.  His rookie card was a sweet extra he was so gracious to sign.  Anyone working on that set?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Christmas in June

as documented many ties before, Wifey is not a sports fan.  She is a runner, but doesn't like competitive sports.  She isn't a huge fan of baseball cards or my obsession with autographs but she does support my happiness.  Until my season tickets this year, the only sports related item she ever gave me was an 8x10 of Rick Dempsey.  Three years ago for Christmas.

She had hopes of getting it signed first, but was unable to do so.  So I have carried that photo on every graphing excursion I took.  All to no avail.  That was until last Wednesday.

I caught up with Rick on the third base line before the game.  Only two of us were prepared with items for him and now I have to find a place to hang my newest addition.

I love the World Series inscription he adds.  I think it is his way to make sure that he is never forgotten for that.  I don't think many baseball fans outside of Baltimore have any clue he won the award in 1983.  Now, anyone entering my man cave will be informed.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Post-Game Patience

The final installment of my marathon effort graphing the Orioles and Pirates on June 13th.

Following the 7-1 thrashing by the Orioles I was exhausted.  I had been at work at 6am to finish up some reporting and had to be back at six on Thursday.  There was absolutely no reason for me to stay and graph post game.  None.  Zero.

Inexplicably, I did stay and was rewarded handsomely.

An attractive woman got the attention of Ryan Flaherty for a picture and I was able to convince him to sign for me.

Ryan Flaherty 2012 Orioles Postcard

The 2011 Topps Heritage Minor League Issue card he signed for me at Fanfest this year is now looking for a good home.

I was ready to give up because no cars were stopping when I noticed the gaggle of graphers by Home Plate Plaza had disappeared.  They couldn't have all gone home, they had to be on the hunt.  That they were.

Nick Markakis 2008 Upper Deck Goudey #21
Markakis had stopped to sign for a friend and his children and the blood was in the water.  He didn't drive off as the throng came over.  He was cordial and signed for everyone, even as his friend was urging him to go.  Thanks Nick.

Markakis made my day.  Time to go home.  Get some sleep before a long day of work.  Or not.  I couldn't leave.  Who would I miss?

Brian Roberts 2005 Zenith #186
Thank goodness for little kids.  They started to leave as Roberts' truck came out of the lot.  He saw them, stopped, and signed for the adults as well.  Helluva night.

I like the inscription on this one and will be keeping this in the collection.  I have a 2005 Fleer Tradition (orange uni) Roberts and a 2008 Finest Moments Autograph of Markakis now on the block.

All-in-all, a great day.  Albeit a long one.  I scratched another name off the list, upgraded four other graphs and got some postcards for future upgrades.  Thanks for sticking with me and let me know if you have any interest in the autographs I have available.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pre-game Stretch

My continuing autograph saga from Orioles vs. Pirates on June 13th.

Inside the stadium I was able to bring Robert Andino over to the camera well for a quick signing session.  He signed two for me no problem and made small talk with everyone around.  Andino continues to sign well even with a dip in his performance only adding to his popularity with the fans.

Robert Andino 2012 Topps #452
I am a big fan of the new logo so this card will supplant a 2009 Topps Update card that I got last season.  Anyone need it?

After batting practice was finished Nick Johnson was the only other Oriole to stop.  He signed the two Nationals cards I had for him and was able to cross his name of my list.  Unfortunately after graphing him I came across an Orioles Postcard that I now need signed.  Hopefully I can upgrade next time.

Nick Johnson 2005 Topps #477
Nick Johnson 2005 Turkey Red #31
The Turkey Red card is available at right now and the Topps will make its way to the trade list as soon as the Postcard gets signed.

I had time to kill before the final appearance of the Orioles before the game so I decided to try my luck with the Pirates.  I was next in line for Pedro Alvarez before he ducked into the dugout.  Persistence did pay off when the next Pirate came over and I added this beauty:

Rod Barajas 2008 Upper Deck #686
It was here that I ran into a mother and her young son, both Pirates fans trying to get autographs.  They were lucky enough to get a Barajas signature on a ball as well.  I decided to try and share the wealth and gave him my extra Andino autograph and he chose a duplicate Kevin Correia for his collection. 

First Base Coach Luis Silverio saw the young Pirates fans along the rail and started hit a few balls their way.  He accuracy was perfect and I was able to help grab one for the kid next to me.  Not a bad day for an eight year old, autographed ball, two autographed cards and a practice MLB baseball.  I was only slightly jealous.

I made another attempt at Wilson Betemit and was denied three times  My consolation prize?  Another Nick Johnson.

Nick Johnson 2002 Fleer Tradition #263
Who wants to get this Yankee outta my house?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

What Card Should You Own?

Fuji-san is holding another contest and I am hoping to cash in again, so here I am following directions.

Fuji wants to know what cheap cool card every collector should own?  I don't have a good answer for that.  There is no card for me that transcends player preference and rivalries.


There is a set.  1993 Finest, the set that shined glossed over the baseball card landscape.  Like it, love it, hate it or be indifferent, this set changed the game.  In my humble opinion.  Plenty of cheapies are out there to cover you player and team collectors.

The Arrival Of The Enemy

The pirates were not as stingy as our hometown team on Wednesday.  Every coach, manager, trainer and player that was asked for an autograph signed.  Every one of them.  I wonder if my Orioles are that way on the road.
I wasn't fully stocked with Pirates and missed out on Clint Hurdle, Nick Levya, Brad Lincoln, Chris Resop, Michael McKenry and a few others.  Was only really bummed about leaving Hurdle out of my book.  Maybe next time.

I was lucky enough to snag one of the two signed cards of Jose Tabata.

Jose Tabata 2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary #545
Tabata was rushed and my long arms won out amongst the crowd.  This is my third Diamond Anniversary card signed and I really like how they look.  Hopefully others do as well.  This one is on the block.

Then the stars aligned.

Andrew McCutchen 2011 Topps Allen and Ginter #215

Andrew McCutchen 2012 Topps Golden Moments #GM-12
Seriously?  The Pirates All-Star signed multiples?  Again (apparently he signed up to four per person on Tuesday)?

He could not have been nicer and made small talk with a few of us.  Someone mentioned he should be an All-Star this year.  When I mentioned N.L. MVP he stopped signing for a moment and smiled.  I was the next cards he signed.  These alone made the afternoon worth it.

But wait, there's more.

Kevin Correia 2008 Upper Deck #113

 Kevin Correia 2011 Topps #47

 The starting pitcher stopped and signed any card sent his way.  His good deeds before the game did not go unpunished during the game as the Orioles knocked him around and gave him the loss.

The last Pirate to show his face that I needed was A.J. Burnett.  His time as a Yankee made him very familiar with Camden Yards and he came walking in through a public parking lot.  He was spotted early and was mobbed.  He signed a few autographs while walking then asked if we could allow him to get to the top of the stairs and then we would "take care of business".  That he did.  Again, he signed one per for anyone willing to wait.

A.J. Burnett 2010 Topps #432
It was a great start to the day, but there is still more to come.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Stretch Play

Wednesday I made it out to my second Orioles game of the week.  I made a whole day of it.  Got to the stadium way too early and stayed far too late.  I am still feeling the effects of being up until midnight, two days later.

The Orioles were again victorious as I must be a good luck charm.  They are 3-0 when I grace the Yards with my presence.  I should get out more often but life beckons.

That is where this title comes in.  I will be spreading out my autographing exploits over the next few posts to keep you coming back.  Or to continue ignoring me.  Either way, I'm good.

I will start with the Orioles who signed entering the stadium.

I arrived before noon, alone, waiting for both fans and ballplayers alike.  Unfortunately the fans showed well before the players.  Within an hour we were 12 strong, just enough to deter any Oriole from signing before disappearing into the tunnel. The design of the parking area allows for easy escaping and the early Birds (see what I did there?) park near their access stairway.  Barely will they even acknowledge my pleading calls.

But, on nice days there are a few walkers or riders that can be snared.

Dana Eveland 2005 Bowman #211
Dana really didn't have a choice.  He was spotted walking along the stadium and was quickly mobbed by the 20 fans that had gathered by 2pm.  He was gracious and signed for anyone that wanted.  Thank you sir.

2pm is the witching hour for Oriole graphers at Camden Yards.  The Home Plate Plaza unlocks their doors for the opposing team and the dreaded golf cart comes out for Oriole players.  Good luck coaxing one of our stars from the padded seats of the golf cart.  Timing is the only hope.  Timing was not working with me on Wednesday.

The only other Oriole that signed was Darren O'Day.  He was fresh off a free one hour signing in York that day and still signed for a few fans.  Darren was unlucky that the limo that took him to his event wasn't allowed to enter the parking area.  He was let out directly next to his adoring fans.  I had nothing at the time for Darren and decided to let his signing hand rest.

That was it.  Not even a nibble from the other players.  Matt Wieters denied the two of us that weren't mobbing a Pirates cab.  That was the best chance of the day and we didn't receive a second glance.

Don't fret though, the day did get better.  Wanna know how much better? 

I bet you do.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pimpin Is Easy

A couple of contests out there, here is my pimpage.

Bass on Balls-First Official Contest

The Chronicles of Fuji-3rd Annual Contest
Hoping to snag another prize package from Fuji.  Last years autos are now framed in the man cave.

Good luck to all.

Sunday Session

Finally.  Sunday marked my first graphing attempt of 2012.  I was able to break out the ole 13 game season plan and make my appearance.  Doing the whole "Dad" thing got me to the stadium a little later than I wanted and missed most of the team coming in.  In actuality, I missed nothing.  No Orioles signed at all outside the stadium.

Prior to game when pitchers were warming up, Wei-Yin Chen came over, at the urging of his trainer.  He signed for the six of us who asked.  Troy Patton also picked up a pen while Jim Johnson, Dana Eveland, Tommy Hunter and Darren O'Day slid away through the bowels of the stadium.

Wei-Yin Chen 2012 Topps Heritage Team Card #377
Such a fantastic signature and he is so deliberate with it.  Each time he signed, he looked to see the best place to put his unique marking.  Hopefully my Topps Series II Rookie will come in before my next excursion.

Steve Tolleson 2010 Bowman Draft #BDP-87
 Matt Wieters may have won the game with a walk-off double, but Tolleson was the real hero.  His three run shot to tie the ballgame off of Cliff Lee demoralized the Phillies.  It also shut up their fans, equally as important.  After the game, Phillies buses blocked Tolleson's SUV as he was leaving.  I made the trek to the end of the drive and he signed no problem.  What else could he do, he was stuck in traffic.  No one else made the attempt so I was it.

Kevin Gregg 2012 Topps Heritage #131

Kevin Gregg 2010 Topps #59
Kevin Gregg takes way too much flack from Oriole fans.  He HAD a terrible year last year.  He WAS gasoline on every conceivable fire out of the bullpen.  He WAS a disaster.

But, he IS having a great year.  He IS filling a role in our league leading bullpen.  He DOES sign for fans.  Every game I have been to, Gregg has stopped his car and signed for fans.  That must be tough for him, knowing that he is not the most popular guy.  Screw 'em Kevin.  I got your back. 

This was all about quality, not quantity.  Two more names crossed off the list, thanks guys.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Down On The Farm: Connor Narron

**My first attempt at a recurring blog feature. Be gentle.**

With every call up and roster move the Orioles make, I find myself pushed further and further away from my ultimate goal. Typically I have to then scramble, pick up cards of the new Bird and try TTM or IP attempts. Recently I have made scooped up a few cards of the players waiting in the wings.

Connor Narron 2010 Donruss Elite #47

Connor is the son of former catcher and current Milwaukee Brewers Bench Coach Jerry Narron.  He was a fifth round selection by the Orioles in 2010 starting with Gulf Coast and then Aberdeen.  2011 was exclusively as an Aberdeen IronBird.  Despite limited successes in his first two seasons, Connor was promoted to DelMarva to start the 2012 campaign.

This season he has made improvements his average still hovers around the Mendoza Line but his power has increased exponentially.  Earlier this year he registered his first homer as a professional.  He currently plays shortstop but his range is suspect due to his lack of speed.  Scouts believe that his career may be better suited behind the plate like his old man but that remains to be seen.  Connor was a very quick responder, only 10 days needed to respond to my request.  Hopefully some of his teammates will follow suit.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Probably the last of my new card purchases for a while was a bust.  I snagged a blaster each of Bowman and Topps Archive, topped with a blister pack of Bowman.  Nothing spectacular at all, but at least it was my first look at Archives.  Daddy likey.

Bowman Prospects Purple
Myrio Richard BP-2
Zach Walter BP-41
Mario Yepez BP-32

Bowman Gold
Dustin Ackley #143
Billy Butler (x2) #51
Matt Cain #90
Michael Cuddyer #109
Dexter Fowler #31
Jeff Locke #204
Geovany Soto #55
Justin Verlander #77
David Wright #86

Bowman's Best
Drew Pomeranz #BB5
CC Sabathia #BB1
Troy Tulowitzki #BB15

2012 Topps Archives Inserts
Sandy Koufax SP #210
Andy Van Slyke SP #212
Mike Napoli In Action #82IA-MN
Bob Feller Reprint #88
Jim Palmer Reprint #575
Tom Seaver Stickers #67S-TS
Joe Morgan Cloth Stickers #77C-JM
Catfish Hunter Cloth Stickers #77C-CH
Roberto Clemente 3-D

My brother is in love with the Archive set so until I get a list from him of what he needs I am holding off on trading these.  Anything Bowman is available and I can get full have lists to anyone who is looking to complete the Bowman set.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

And he Winner Is...


Actually I am one of a handful of winners through 30-Year Old Cardboard.  I won the second prize and received this as the spoils:

Tom Glavine/Steve Carlton 2009 SP Legendary Cuts Generations Dual Relic #GMST
The card is not crooked, just my scanning abilities.  A very sweet relic of one Hall of Fame pitcher and a second bound for Cooperstown?

Is Glavine a first ballot Hall of Famer?  Do 300 wins guarantee Hall of Fame induction?  I have heard debates, but for me it's a no-brainer.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Down on the Farm Friday: Tim Bascom

**My first attempt at a recurring blog feature.  Be gentle.**

With every call up and roster move the Orioles make, I find myself pushed further and further away from my ultimate goal. Typically I have to then scramble, pick up cards of the new Bird and try TTM or IP attempts. Recently I have made scooped up a few cards of the players waiting in the wings. 

Tim Bascom 2008 Just Minors #6

Tim bounced between Bowie and Norfolk last season stalling slightly in AAA.  This season he has anchored the BaySox team, leading in innings pitched, strikeouts and is tied for the team lead in wins.  Hopefully he can maintain throughout the year earning a call up.

Predicting when a relief pitcher may be called up to the big leagues is a total crap shoot.  I am not predicting he is the next to move, but I do hope he makes it eventually. 

If anyone has minor league issue, unlicensed cards or prospects of anyone in the Oriole system, I am looking to deal.  Just let me know.