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, August 28, 2011

Albert Pujols is Hiding From Me

This weekend I had a training class in St. Louis from Friday through Saturday. Pesky Hurricane Irene has delayed my return home, but gave me the opportunity to visit the city. I hit up both downtown casinos this morning and then made my way to the new Busch Stadium.

I was happy for the chance to visit a new stadium and finally catch up with Pujols. I didn't even think an autograph would be possible, I just wanted to watch the man play. On June 30 I went to the Orioles/Cardinals game at Camden Yards to see Pujols play and was disappointed. He was on the DL at the time and I missed him. Today would make up for that.

Except for the fact that Tony LaRussa gave Pujols the day off. It doesn't make any sense to me. They didn't play last night, just during the day and Monday is a travel day. Why didn't he play? He knew I was coming. He must have.

Well, the Orioles could always pony up $200 million to get him to come to Baltimore so that I could see him play. You hear that Mr. Angelos? Make it easier on me please.

All was not lost though. I did get a chance to spend time with Matt Holliday. And I even got to bring him back to Baltimore with me.

My bobble head has not been opened, I just pilfered the photo from the interweb. If anyone is interested in this item, please let me know. I would be looking for an Orioles Autograph hit in return.

Has anyone had a player escape them like Pujols? I am interested to hear any stories of tracking down Superstars.

Oh yeah, the stadium. It is awesome. It comes fully equipped with six tiers, tons of luxury boxes, high prices and a really loud fan base. Every person in the stands was wearing Cardinals gear of some kind and each fan hung on every pitch. Until they all left, early. The sixth inning saw a mass exodus that clogged up the mass transit system for a few stops. I know this because I was there with them. Sorry, I had to grab a nap before my attempt to fly home tonight.

I hope everyone on the East Coast is safe after the Hurricane ripped through their lives. Wifey hung tough and took care of the homestead and I can't wait to see her around midnight.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Sad Day

I know I am a little behind, but I am in training half way across the country:

I can't believe Mike Flanagan is dead. It's kinda surreal, especially finding out in a Hair Cuttery getting clipped.

His personality and pressence will ne missed.

I am not a professional, but Tim Kurkjian is, read his sentiments here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Vintage cards from The Bench

My longest running trade partner is The Bench and aside from a few sales recently, it has brought some vintage cards home.

First, a small 1-for-1.

1962 Topps Steve Barber #355

Then an on-going trade where I still have a balance owed to me.

1958 Topps Willy Miranda #179
1961 Topps Gene Stephens #102
1961 Topps Paul Richards MGR #131
1965 Topps Jerry Adair #231

Don't be stingy out there guys. I would love to take some Orioles Vintage off your hands. Condition is no issue, I just wanna get my grubby hands on some old cardboard.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Trade Unfolding...

...just like a Napkin.

The famous Napkin posted a list of 1996 SPx players he needed and that sparked a little trade. poured through his impressive wantlists and came up with a generous amount of set needs for him. I knew buying a case of 1999 SPx would pay off eventually.

He stepped up and sent me a great deal of Orioles vintage and an auto.
1960 Topps Gordon Jones #98

1960 Topps Barry Shetrone #348

1960 Topps Billy Klaus #406

Not only did I get some sweet vintage, I got some graded 1955 Topps cards. The first 55's or graded cards to the vintage collection. Now I just need to figure out how to store them.

1955 Topps Chuck Diering #105

1955 Topps Harry Breechen #113

1955 Topps Joe Coleman #162

Thanks again for a great trade, I truly appreciate your patience and your awesome vintage.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Free Schwag

I have been working on a contest of my own that will debut in the near future but have also been quite lucky in a few others. Fuji brought the awesome 8x10 autos and everyone's favorite Dimwit just gave me this beauty.

Fausto Carmona 2011 Topps Lineage Autographs #RA-FC

I pimped a little for him and answered a trivia question incorrectly and still came in second place. An A-Rod jersey fooled Fuji into selecting it and I jumped on a pretty sweet on-card autograph. I don't have any use for it in the personal collection, so who wants it?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

One for One

Life has kicked up a few gears. I now have a 45 minute commute, get to work at 6am and am home usually before 8pm. My work day is long and when I get home I eat dinner, converse with Wifey and sleep. Even weekends have been busy with yard work and fixing up the house to sell.

Needless to say, the blog has been neglected.

But, I am still active in the trade-o-sphere and have a few trades to post oer the next few days. This one for one swap came courtesy of Sports Collectors.

Russ Ortiz 2006 Fleer #133

Ortiz had a great three year stretch with the Giants and Atlanta Braves where he was downright dominant. Then came Arizona, not very good. His ERA was north of 6.00 so he was released and naturally landed in Baltimore. The decade of the 2000's saw the Orioles try to capture lightning in a bottle with aging "talent". Russ was one such attempt.

He pitched in 20 games, went 0-3 and had an 8.48 ERA. Not very good for a one-time All-Star. Naturally he was released yet again but found no better luck in Houston and Los Angeles.

Wikipedia has him listed as retired but I can't fully trust the page. The lone photo features Ortiz as an Oriole, not a Giant or Brave as would be expected.

Ortiz appears as an Oriole in the 2006 Topps Update set if anyone has an autograph available. I would also be looking to grab a base card for TTM attempts if no one has done the work already.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Signature From Beyond

In honor of what would have been his 70th birthday, I bring you Gene Brabender. Gene was a different type of pitcher in the mid 60's, standing in at 6'5" and tipping the scales at 225lbs. His appearance earned him the nickname "Lurch", but I don't remember Lurch needing galsses. Steve Barber even went as far as to call him "A hard throwing right-handed country boy". It could have been much worse.

He made his debut in 1966 as a reliever helping the Birds get to the World Series, but didn't play in the championship. '67 and '68 saw him move to the starting rotation before being selected by the clandestine Seattle Pilots.

He will forever be the winningest pitcher in Seattle Pilots history with 13. When the team was purchased and moved to Milwaukee, Gene had a chance to play in his home state. It wasn't a great homecoming as he put up his worst numbers. He retired after the '68 season but tried a comeback in the Pacific Coast League in 1971, falling short of the bigs.

Gene passed away in his hometown of Black Earth, Wisconsin on December, 27 1996 at 55 years old. Happy Birthday Mr. Brabender.

Gene Brabender 1991 Orioles Crown #47

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Brand Spankin' New Saturday

I had a huge eBay sale close today and decided to splurge. I think I should have saved my money as nothing truly jumped out at me. You be the judge.

2011 Bowman Platinum Rack Packs (3)

The Prospects

BPP-18 Zack Cox Cardinals
BPP-19 Jimmy Paredes Astros
BPP-34 Jurickson Profar Rangers
BPP-53 Eduardo Escobar White Sox
BPP-57 Jacob Goebbert Astros
BPP-82 Garrett Richards Angels
BPP-100 Jaff Decker Padres
BPP-30 Tyler Skaggs Diamondbacks
BPP-58 Carlos Perez Braves

Retail Exclusive Purple Parallels

BPP-3 Jesus Montero Yankees
BPP-13 Miguel De Los Santos Rangers
BPP-18 Zack Cox Cardinals
BPP-22 Corban Joseph Yankees
BPP-28 Shaeffer Hall Yankees
BPP-49 Rashun Dixon Athletics
BPP-67 Keon Broxton Diamondbacks
BPP-77 Cutter Dykstra Nationals
BPP-82 Garrett Richards Angels

Base Parallels

Bowman Platinum Gold 38 Manny Ramirez Rays
Bowman Platinum Red 20 Pedro Alvarez Pirates
Bowman Platinum Green 13 Carlos Santana Indians

Base Cards
4 Jon Lester Red Sox
7 Hank Conger Angels
13 Carlos Santana Indians
15 Roy Oswalt Phillies
22 Daniel Descalso Cardinals
30 Felix Hernandez Mariners
33 Madison Bumgarner Giants
39 Brian McCann Braves
41 Gordon Beckham White Sox
44 Jeremy Jeffress Brewers
45 Torii Hunter Angels
54 Matt Cain Giants
59 Justin Morneau Twins
63 Prince Fielder Brewers
64 Hunter Pence Astros
73 Ryan Zimmerman Nationals
80 Billy Butler Royals
89 Shin-Soo Choo Indians
93 Aroldis Chapman Reds
94 Chase Utley Phillies
95 Kyle Drabek Blue Jays

The Verdict
These are real shiny cards that don't really do anything for me. The parallel versions are boring and depending on the background, difficult to find. The purple parallels were a gimmick I liked when I pulled a Bryce Harper, but when he isn't there I hate em. I wish there were more prospects and less retired baseball players. Seriously, the product released in July and Manny is still in the set. He retired in April Topps. Damn.

2011 Topps Lineage Blaster (1)

The Hits

Topps Lineage '75 Minis 65 Josh Johnson Marlins
Topps Lineage '75 Minis 107 Chad Billingsley Dodgers
Topps Lineage '75 Mini Relics 75R-VW Vernon Wells Angels
Topps Lineage Cloth Stickers TCS-38 Jason Heyward Braves
Topps Lineage Diamond Anniversary 33 Tony Perez REds
Topps Lineage Diamond Anniversary 156 Austin Jackson Tigers
Topps Lineage Diamond Anniversary Platinum 178 Albert Pujols Cardinals
Topps Lineage Pop-Ups NNO Hunter Pence Astros
Topps Lineage Rookies 6 Jake McGee Rays
***Not Pictured***
Topps Lineage Topps Venezuela TV-17 Joe Mauer Twins

Base Cards
5 Felix Hernandez Mariners
6 Carlos Beltran Mets
11 Ryan Zimmerman Nationals
13 Cal Ripken Orioles
14 Kendrys Morales Angels
17 Billy Butler Royals
21 Edinson Volquez Reds
22 Johan Santana Mets
29 Chris Bale White Sox
31 Jeremy Hellickson Rays
36 Michael Young Rangers
39 Ricky Romero Blue Jays
40 Stan Musial Cardinals
63 Ubaldo Jiminez Rockies
64 Joe Morgan Reds
73 Kosuke Fukudome Cubs
75 Alex Rodriguez Yankees
76 Roberto Alomar Blue Jays
77 David Wright Mets
79 Carl Crawford Red Sox
88 David Price Rays
96 Jason Bay Mets
102 Cole Hamels Phillies
106 Ty Cobb Cleveland Spiders
111 Neil Walker Pirates
113 Trevor Cahill Athletics
118 Todd Helton Rockies
129 Jason Heyward Braves
134 John Danks White Sox
137 Johnny Bench Reds
143 Miguel Cabrera Tigers
145 Adrian Gonzalez Red Sox
146 Freddie Freeman Braves
151 Johnny Damon Rays
157 Wandy Rodriguez Astros
158 Monte Irvin NY Giants
165 Jose Reyes Mets
171 Ryne Sandberg Cubs
175 CC Sabathia Yankees
186 Mel Ott NY Giants
188 Daniel Hudson Diamondbacks
190 Bert Blyleven Twins
195 Chipper Jones Braves
196 Ichiro Suzuki Mariners
198 Andruw Jones Braves

The Verdict
I liked being guaranteed a hit in my blaster. I did not like the fact that is was wrapped up by itself and not in an actual pack. Topps took all the fun out of pulling a relic card and I knew the first card I saw was most likely the best of the box. Apparently the only way Topps could guarantee my "hit" was to put it in seperately.

I was a big fan of the cloth card until I realized it was a sticker. However, I cannot hate on the Rookie insert set. It takes me back to sifting through hundreds of rack packs at the grocery store to find Cal Ripken on the front and basking in the glossy goodness of overproduction. Those were the days.

2011 Gypsy Queen Packs (2)


Gypsy Queen Mini 257 James Loney Dodgers
Gypsy Queen Mini 292 Andre Ethier Dodgers
Gypsy Queen Wall Climbers WC-8 Michael Brantley Indians
Gypsy Queen Wall Climbers WC-9 Jason Heyward Braves

Base Cards
54 Frank Thomas White Sox
96 Ubaldo Jiminez Rockies
105 Chris Carter Athletics
128 Dan Haren Angels
134 Kelly Johnson Diamondbacks
290 Jake McGee Rays
319 Elvis Andrus Rangers
336 Domonic Brown Phillies

The Verdict
These cards are just Allen & Ginter with action shots and a textured look. I prefer it to Ginter but had I gotten an actual Gypsy card I would have torn it in half. Apparently I am not a fan of gimmicks today.

Overall Consensus

Are cards are available as I have already pulled my three Orioles base cards. Please take these off my hands, any of em.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Vintage

I received a trade package from Drpid from The Bench the other day with some more vintage Orioles. I haven't been buying up any vintage lots but have done a decent amount of trading for some as of late.

Willie Miranda 1958 Topps 178

Gene Stephens 1961 Topps 102
Paul Richards 1961 Topps 131

Jerry Adair 1965 Topps 231

My vintage cupboard is pretty bare. The 1965 Topps Adair card is my only from the set and I only have a handful of others. I am willing to take your battered, broken and beaten Orioles vintage off your hands. I actually prefer a little wear on the cards, it shows character.

LMK and maybe we can work a deal.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pimpin' Ain't Easy

Uhhhhh, yes it it. Here is a contest from my favorite Dimwit.
Can I win another one??

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dave Schmidt TTM Success

Dave Schmidt has been in my collection for quite some time. He was one of the first TTM successes I received when I started on the quest. However, when I sent to him I hadn't decided to go for the Crown set. So I had four signed cards from Dave, but not the one I really wanted.

His signing habits hadn't changed so I dropped his card in the mail and waited. I had to wait a good while, over a year. This is one of my longer successes and a name I will gladly cross off the Crown list.

Dave Schmidt 1991 Orioles Crown #406

If anyone is looking for a signed version of his 1988 Donruss card, I now have one available.

Friday, August 5, 2011

It's Party Time, Excellent

I just got a new blog to follow and contest to enter. Go ahead and take a look-see.

Thanks for the contest.

Domo Arigato Fujisan

Fuji is the man. Nothing much else to say about it. His blog is awesome. His contest was ridiculous. And I won. But what is the best part about Fuji?

Hands down, the coolest calling card out there. I, like others, will be holding on to this one in the PC.

His contest spanned almost a month and was extremely in depth. We had almost nightly questions to answer about our hobby and habits but Fuji went a few steps further. There were games within the contest and it ended with a Brett Favre Poetry contest.

You heard right, I said "Poetry Contest."

I debated even writing the 30 word poem but my mind got the best of me and I relented. Here is what I came up with:

There once was Favre from Green Bay,
Who proved to the world he could play.

Then he went to New York,
Showed us his dork,
With surprisingly little to say.

His teaching assistants judged the entries and I came out on top. There were a lot of other great poems but I was happy to win. This contest within a contest was the catalyst for my overall winning.

If only the other entrants knew thet, they were competing against a published poet (read to rhyme). I had a few poems published in a University Newsletter more than a decade ago, I guess I still got it.

I got first choice from 11 prizes and chose autographs of course. Nothing from the Birds, but some sweet pieces nonetheless.

Sam Jethroe 8x10

Ray Boone 8x10

Bob Feller 8X10

He wrote about the players here, and did so well, I will let his words speak for me.

The Feller is a fantastic piece. I am not sure what I want to do with them yet, still deciding.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Found Treasure

My first day at the new branch brought a lot of surprises.

The office was a total disaster. Messy. Dirty. Items just packed into any drawer or crevice.

A year old check that would have paid a receivable.

Protocol wasn't being any area.

One of my employees tendered her resignation.

Not what I was hoping for but given the circumstances, it could have been worse. The biggest surprise of all was lurking in a desk drawer, crammed with papers, screws and these.

All are available for trade if anyone is interested. Hopefully there are more baseball cards lurking in my branch somewhere.