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

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Moving Up In The World

Apparently, hard work does pay off. After two years with my company I was just recently promoted. As of Monday I will have my own branch, responsibility and work vehicle. But most importanly, my own office.

I have a lot of autographs that could make it onto the wall, but also don;t want to lose anything too valuable. So for now I am starting small.

Chris Cooley 8x10

My brother got this signed at a boat show of all places and gave it to me. It will definitely find a prominent spot on my wall and will be surrounded with a good amount of orange and black. More to come when I decide what else will go up on the walls.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I Like Free Stuff

This is my first ever contest entry. Check it out, it's a pretty novel idea.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pirates Caravan 50/50

When looking on for some 50/50 help for the Orioles, I saw a posting for the 2011 Pirates Caravan. I did't need anyone for my collection but decided to send out some cards to expand what I have for trade. Here is what I got back and they are all available.

James McDonald 2009 Topps A&G #199

Ross Ohlendorf 2008 Topps #102

Ross Ohlendorf 2008 Topps Heritage #137

Neil Walker 2010 Topps National Chicle #265

Thursday, February 10, 2011

FanFest Revisited

The last piece of my Fanfest experience came in last week, my Rick VandenHurk postcard. I gave up the opportunity to have a Willie Randolph autograph in exchange for VandenHurk as a Bird.

Despite being drafted in 2002 and in the bigs since 2007, Rick hasn't had many cards produced and none since being aquired by Baltimore last year. Actually, no major releases since his debut season in 2007. It seems the card companies have something against a young reliever with 42 major league appearances. He was traded for Will Ohman last year before making one start and six relief appearances for the Orioles. The Dutch born reliever is expected to be a strength in our pen, adding to the youth in our pitching staff.

Rick VandenHurk 2011 Orioles Postcard

The signature doesn't seem to spell his name. It looks like it begins with an H, then goes from there. I am not sure if it is a Dutch custom to go by thier last name, like the Japanese (see Ichiro). Anyone know if I am right or way off?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Seven Years Too Late

January 2004
Orioles fans are calling radio stations frantic about the signing that would turn the franchise around. A rising form of online media, web logs, were frenzied with Dundalkian experts writing of the certainty of the next Oriole superstar. The one player that would stop the losing, hit 40 home runs and crush all Yankee hopes of another decade of dominance. A man in the prime of his career poised to write a new chapter in Orioles history.

That man was Vlad Guerrero. And that man signed with the Anaheim Angels, not the Orioles. Our trend of losing wasn't broken, maybe even intensified. This was the first of many notable stars that passed up a rebuilding team for a chance to win a World Series ring (see Mark Teixiera).

Flash Forward
January 2011

Today's signing of Vlad was the latest in the Orioles signings of players at the tail end of their careers. Last years veteran signing of Kevin Millwood being the most notable failure. Miguel Tejada was incapable of rejuvenating the franchise Guerrero is not entrusted with.

If healthy he adds needed protection to a burgeoning lineup, I'm just not sure how he fits on this team. Luke Scott, Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold are vying for time in left field and newly acquired Mark Reynolds and Derrek Lee will combine for all the reps at first base. Guerrero will be entrenched at DH leaving little room for flexibility in the lineup. Scott had a break-out season last year leading the team in home runs, but the rigors of an entire season in the outfield may diminish his power numbers. On paper, a big bat like Guerrero makes sense, but they still have to play the games.

I don't have anything signed from Vlad yet, but will have to remedy that this season.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My First Presidental Signature

I missed a 2 month window of successes for Dennis "El Presidente" Martinez in the late summer, but like a boy scout I was prepared. I made a deal a while back sending a bunch of unsigned Allen & Ginter for some in person help. My guy met Denny at a private function this winter and was able to grab two signatures for me.

Dennis Martinez 1991 Orioles Crown #280

"El Presidente" pitched 11 years for the Orioles and wasn't even half-way done with his career. All-in-all he pitched in 23 seasons, recording 245 wins, most ever for a Latin American pitcher. Denny was an enigma, getting stronger as he aged. His first All-Star appearance came at age 35 and his highest salary was over $4.5 million, at age 41. And for good measure he threw in a perfect game at age 36.

Since retirement, Denny has been elusive TTM. He tends to sign in bunches while disregarding other times of the year alltogether. He is curently an instructor with the Cardinals organization but I don't know his IP signing habits.

I had an extra Martinez card so sent it along to see what would happen. This happened:

Dennis Martinez 2001 Fleer Greats of the Game #29

Jim Dwyer's Crown card made the trip but came home blank. Can't get em all signed I guess.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pete Richert Success

Richert may not be a household name, but he was a two-time All Star who started his career unlike any other pitcher. His first appearance as a Dodger was in relief, where he struck out the first six batters he faced. He's the only player to do that. When the game was over he had recorded seven strikeouts and his first major league win. He was later traded to the Washington Senators where his career took off. Washington saw him elected to two straight All Star games, recording his only double digit winning seasons.

Richert started the 1967 in Washington, but finished just north on the beltway in Baltimore. This season was also his last as a starter, making the transition to the bullpen. The move lowered his ERA and extended his career. After 37 saves in Baltimore he was dealt yet again, this time back to the Dodgers. He lasted three more seasons in L.A, St. Louis and Philadelphia, retiring as a Phillie following the 1974 season.

Pete Richert 1991 Orioles Crown #380

Richert has been a solid signer in recent years. I overlooked him when I first started sending TTM and just fixed my mistake this year. This beauty is available for anyone looking to add him to their collection.

Pete Richert 2004 Upper Deck Legends Timeless Teams #48