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

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Lenn Sakata Saga

I have talked about my first real collecting experience and what got me involved, but never my first card. My friend, PK, gave me the book Cardboard Gods and it got me thinking. Which can be dangerous.

But I started thinking back to my first cards. I wish I had taken meticulous notes or scoured over every inch of the cards like Josh Wilker, but I didn't have the attention span. What I do remember, is this card:

I don't know where I got it or anything about the card except for how I kept it. Sakata was surrounded by the entire 1985 Topps Orioles team set and happened to be in the center of a 9-pocket sheet. I know Cal Ripken and Eddie Murray were with him but Sakata's card is the lone vivid memory.

Seeing this card as a kid I thought he was looking at me for a sign. Swing away of course. At five that's the only play I knew. Hit the ball. But now as a 30 something I have a different view on this card. Lay down the suicide squeeze. Score the run, win the game. I understand baseball slightly better know and have a little gamble in me. I really wish more teams employed the squeeze play, let alone the suicide variety.

I'm not sure if Sakata ever laid down a squeeze bunt of any variety, but in my mind that is just what he did here. Successfully, I might add.

Pre-dating my 1985 Topps card, is his 1984 Fleer card I added from my Oriole Autograph collecting counterpart, Ryan.

Lenn Sakata 1984 Fleer #19

I still need Sakata for the Crown set but haven't sent to him in Japan yet. That's on the list of things to do.


  1. If the Sakata was in a 9 pocket sheet and you think you bought it that way, I know exactly where it was from: Collector's World. They used to have team sets for sale that way, and I bought some as well. Typically, we would have enough money for one of the team sets per visit. They also had Angels team sets I would buy...

    I guess we started collecting the same year-ish, because I remember my first card as a Dwight Gooden 85 Topps RC. At least it was in the first pack I ever bought. Then I lost it in the seats of the old station wagon, only to find it a few years later.

  2. Why the Angels? And Joe Montana and Ken Griffey for that matter? You have something against the East Coast, brother?

    But what you are saying makes sense, because I also remember the Gooden card, and Mike Witt little fro and molester 'stache. He must have been in the center of your page.

  3. A. The Angels because I liked Bob Boone. He was a catcher.

    B. Joe Montana because I remember watching them in the Super Bowl against the Dolphins and htey were good. And they didn't have their QB get a compound fracture on national TV.

    C. What 11-year-old kid that collected cards didn't like Ken Griffey Jr.?