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

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Opening Day Haul Part 1

To say that wifey has no interest in autographs would be a severe understatement. She doesn't understand my habit and passion but she tolerates it. The Orioles player lot after Opening Day was her at her finest. She just waited for me to finish, but she has Facebook on her phone so she wasn't completely alone.

All the autograph seekers were looking toward the player lots, waiting for our new heroes to emerge and a legend passed us by. Jim Palmer snuck out of the press box early and walked right past us. We didn't stand a chance. Jim is a pro at dodging the fans and all I could muster was a "Mr. Palmer" to the back of his head at 40 feet.

That wasn't the start that I wanted and my disappointment continued. Adam Jones drove by without even a wave. Vlad Guerrero did him one better, not even looking out of the passenger side of his Land Rover as he was being chauffeured home. And not to be out-done, Derrek Lee had to stop his car because Jim Johnson was actually signing for fans and he was stone faced. He was stopped, we were all right next to him and he didn't even acknowledge us. I was thinking of going back to wifey and calling it a day. But I didn't.

Mike Gonzalez pulled out a few moments later and drove right past our first group. Then he stopped at the end of the driveway for the kiddies down by the corner. I didn't sprint toward him but I did hustle and got to his car window with 15 little ones in front of me. He signed every baseball without question but cards he was wary of. He made a movement toward my card 4 separate times, then looked to me before moving to the next child. He finally lamented and gave me this:

Mike Gonzalez 2010 Topps Update #256

I was extremely careful not to smear this card and have a redo of last year.

After about five minutes winning pitcher Jake Arrieta pulled out with a SUV filled with family, no way he was gonna stop. Incorrect. He stopped and signed, for every single fan. He signed for almost 15 minutes. I ran over and assumed my position arms length away from his window, blue sharpie and baseball card in hand. Then I realized, wrong card. But I realized this only as he decided to sign for me. Oh well.

Jake Arrieta 2011 Topps Orioles #BAL-1

There is nothing wrong with the card, except it is all black. My blue sharpie didn't stand a chance. Jake even noticed this as he pondered the card for a moment, looking for a light spot. Finding none he signed right through the center. Whoops. Should have given him another on of these, or the gold version. Maybe next time.

Arrieta's SUV was blocking the way for others and it made Kevin Gregg stop. He rolled down his window, hung up his phone and started reaching for memorabilia. Like Gonzalez he kept signing ball after ball letting the cards dangle. I stood my ground and waited. Then the security guard started yelling for him to move, another car was coming out. He looked back and said "I don't see anyone" and kept signing. Five signatures later a car did appear and he said he had to go. I asked for "one more" and he begrudgingly took my card, signed it, then took off.

Kevin Gregg 2010 Topps Orioles # BAL-13

I was jacked about the whole situation and wifey had even taken a few pics of me in the action. Little did I know she posted them on Facebook to poke fun at her autograph loving hubby. I could tell she was tired and even more bored than ever so we headed out. Then the fun happened.

Stay Tuned.


  1. I think you might have the first signed copy of Gregg's first "Orioles" card. Nice job, interested to hear the rest of the story.

  2. Post will be up at 6 tonight, thanks for the read.