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

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Outscored and Out-Signed

I love my Orioles I truly do, but they are a last place team with a first place attitude when it comes to autographs. I know each person has a different experience at the park and players can't sign for every single fan but most players won't even acknowledge a fans existence.

Before Thursday's 9-6 drubbing by the Cardinals I was posted along a railing pleading with professional athletes to "Sign please?", with little luck. Many of the players avoid the hassle of being asked by sneaking down a back stairway or driving under the stadium. They stay as far away as possible as to not give false hope.

Then comes the golf cart. This allows players to easily carry their bags to the clubhouse but also to ignore fans face-to-face. Now I don't mind not getting a signature, but I can't stand the brush off. The players aren't deaf, we know that, yet they stare blankly forward, eyes averted from the hoards of screaming fans (sarcasm font).

I want something from my players. A gesture, a head nod, a wave. Maybe even a smile when my plea is being dismissed. That's all I ask. Oh, that and "Mr. baseball player, can you sign please?". Not every player is dismissive every time, my successes are a testament to that but I would like to feel recognized. I don't want to think up snide comments about being brushed off, I just can't help it.

Our questions did work, twice.

Blake Davis took a cab to the stadium and then walked down the line signing for every waiting pen. I didn't have a card for him so used up my last blank. I think he was just happy to be recognized.

Blake Davis 2011 Orioles Topps Stadium Card

Brad Bergesen arrived fairly early, 12:30 and signed for us fans. His 12:30 signing was the last for the Orioles outside the stadium.

Brad Bergesen 2009 Topps Update #211

Anyone following uber-Oriole-autograph hound Ryan at The Great Orioles Autograph Project may know why I got the Bergesen card signed, the orange jersey. He is collecting Orioles clad in orange and this one will be heading his way to complete our zillionth trade. More on our billionth later.

Inside I was nearly denied season ticket access because the usher had never seen tickets like mine before. Fan assistance quickly put out the fire before I made an ass of myself. I made my way to my seats and posted up, determined to knock some names off my list.

Luke Scott came over and signed because that is what he does. I have never seen him not sign in some fashion. I can't turn down a signature so I added another to the trade section.

Luke Scott 2011 Orioles Topps #BAL8

After a lot of pleading and more blank stares I became truly shocked. Zach Britton grabbed a sharpie. Many graphers said he hadn't signed much at all this season. His signature made my day. A difficult graph in the majors and another name crossed off the list.

Zach Britton 2010 Bowman Platinum #PP7

The Orioles went into the clubhouse and I was tempted to see what the Cardinals would bring but decided against it. Chris Jakubauskas emerged from the dugout and went to chat with Lance Berkman. On his return he stopped to sign for the 10 die-hards that decided not to chase Mark McGwire around.

Chris Jakubauskas 2010 Upper Deck #453

When BP was over and the Orioles came back out to stretch Jeremy Guthrie was the only player to sign. He went up the first base line for easily ten minutes. I didn't want to relinquish my spot and hopes for Vlad. I shoulda gone and grabbed another Guthrie instead of wasting my breath.

All told I got five Orioles on the day, putting in five hours of pursuit. Three players can be crossed off the list, Bergesen will find a new home and Scott is looking for one.

Before entering the stadium, six Cardinals signed seven cards, beating the Orioles 7-5 in autographs.


  1. Hey, are you the guy that gave me the 2010 Topps of Britton in the Bowie jersey???

  2. As a matter of fact I am. Glad to help you out.

  3. Thank you!!! Are you coming back anytime for the Indians or the Angels?

  4. Not sure when I am making it back, work schedule is pretty bad. I have to take off work to get to the stadium in the afternoon. Don't ever grow up man.