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

Friday, May 13, 2011

May 12th Graphing Recap

I woke on Thursday determined to not let work get in the way of my graphing habit. I am proud to say that it did not, softball did. More on that later.

I arrived to the players’ parking lot around noon, nearly two and a half hours earlier than Wednesday. I am glad that I did. I caught up with a few other faces that had been hounding on Wednesday, all of us hoping for a good day.

Kevin Gregg got us off to a great start. He also recommended to the guy who was calling to him to remember the word “please”. He advised it would probably help in the future. It turns out he was right. Kevin Gregg 2/2

No more than five minutes later Matt Wieters pulls in. All the players were loaded up with luggage for the impending road trip so they had to use the ramp directly in front of us. The stairs would have been too treacherous. Matt came face to face with us and did not disappoint the eight of us waiting for him. Unfortunately I am all out of Wieters items so I had a Camden Yards card signed. I think I need a pennant or photo to get signed when I am out of cards. Maybe next time. Matt Wieters 1/1

Then we hit a dry spell.
Jason Berken 0/1
Buck Showalter 0/1
Jim Johnson 0/1
Chris Tillman 0/1

We all thought that when Koji Uehara came in it would be more of the same. But for the first time this season (according to the professionals) he signed before entering the stadium. I held out two cards to him and he mumbled something I could not understand. Apparently it was “only one”, as my bottom card was returned unsigned.

Then we went cold again. Robert Andino looked poised to sign but a verbal sparring match between Cesar Izturis and a jack-ass dealer made him change his mind. Arguing with a player will not make him miraculously change his mind and sign for you. Especially when you have “dealer” stamped all over your face.

Robert Andino 0/1
Cesar Izturis 0/1

Jake Arrieta (0/1) and Brad Bergesen (0/1) teamed up to deny us. They just carried on their conversation as if we were not there.

Willie Randolph didn’t even look up when I said hello and wished the O’s luck. I didn’t dare mention anything about signing, which was obviously not going to happen (0/1).

I thought Koji would be our last score. Jeremy Accardo (1/1), Jake Fox (1/1) and Wayne Kirby (1/1) all made sure that wasn’t the case. Unfortunately for me I didn’t have any cards for Accardo and Kirby and had to have them sign blanks. Speaking of blanks, I had Fox from last year on a Crown blank, but was able to get him on an actual card this year, a Cubs card. I am not sure what to do, keep the actual card as a Cub or the Orioles blank? Any suggestions?

Then the Mariners got in the mix. Cabs had been dropping staff off by Home Plate Plaza for about an hour before a player emerged from a car. Luis Rodriguez and Chone Figgins were the first to appear. Figgins stonewalled everyone, while Rodriguez could not have been nicer. He signed from the cab to the locked stadium entrance, then to the tunnel beneath the stadium.

Adam Kennedy was by himself and had no issues signing. Ex-Oriole Chris Ray appeared with fellow reliever David Pauley and held court. Ray signed anything that was put in front of him. Pauley wasn’t known, but the first ball he signed he inscribed “39”. Our crack team of experts then uncovered his identity and it was on. A couple kids had arrived late to the party and didn’t have anything for the Mariners to sign. I helped one kid out with a Chris Ray and David Pauley card. Pauley noticed me helping him and we started talking about kids being the most important part about the hobby. He collected some as a kid but isn’t sure where they are now. He mentioned that working with Ken Griffey Jr. is a little surreal, as he was his idol growing up. When Pauley finished signing he actually asked “Is that it? Nothing else”? Sorry David, all out.

Between successes we were turned down by the rest of the Orioles squad. Their favorite move is hanging up their suit jackets or shirts, and then hiding behind them. “Dude”. We saw you drive in, we know who you are.

I collected 14 autographs, gave away Ray, Pauley, Accardo and one Jake Fox. I contemplated waiting around for the game and Oriole Autograph series but my softball season started that evening. I chose rest and relaxation over paying $10 to watch BP and not get any Orioles.

I will start posting pictures of my two day score tomorrow.

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