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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Trading Time

Last week was all about Fanfest and the tons of autos I brought in This week will also have a theme, trades of course.

Before FanFest I decided to revamp my "Master List". It now has notes, addresses, and who in the autograph world has a card I need. It is now a one stop shop of what I have, what I need and where to get my needs. I am pretty proud.

It has paid off as you will see going forward.

When preparing for FanFest, I had a lot of autograph vouchers for players I already had. Instead of just getting doubles, which I did for most, I traded slots away. I traded the rights to my Chris Tillman 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter for a former catcher.

Lenny Webster 1990 Score #638

Lenny Webster never tore the cover off the ball, but it didn't matter. My mom loved him anyway. She thought he was the cutest thing. On a team with Hall of Fame players, Ripken, Alomar and "Palmeiro", Webster was King. She could not have picked either of those three stars from a lineup. Unfortunately Webster doesn't do much signing, and didn't do much when playing. I have yet to track down a working address or Orioles card. Any sleuths out there have a beat on Webster?

This came via SCN and packfan84.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Bobbles Away

FanFest was not just a time for autographs changing hands, I also dealt a few bobbleheads.

I dealt 2009's Nolan Reimold for future considerations.

Eddie Murray, featured here, went to Craig.

I forgive Craig being a Yankee fan. He has a ton of auto's available and I dipped into the well for two.

David Wells 2000 Impact #143

Joe Kerrigan 2002 Topps #288

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Exchange of Goods

After all of my exploits during the day I was able to make some trades to help upgrade the collection. I couldn't be everywhere, although I tried.

Tommy Hunter Orioles Postcard

I saw Hunter twice during the day, each time I forgot to get a postcard. I don't know what I was thinking. But Craig was able to help me yet again.

Chris Davis Orioles Postcard

Part of me giving up my Adam Jones slot was to get Davis done. I chose to go with the postcard saving on the need to upgrade. I think I will keep the one in black. Anyone need my extra for their collection?

Matt Antonelli Orioles Postcards

Matt Antonelli 2009 UD Piece of History #106

This was the last portion of the Adam Jones deal, the blue postcard and the UD history card. The black postcard came from my 6-year old nephew. I had to give him Dana Eveland in return. Little extortionist.

Aubrey Huff Orioles Postcard

No Huff didn't show up this year. Craig helped me out again. He was at Fanfest a few years back when Huff apparently had no issues signing multiples. I have a signed Rays card that is now up for grabs.

More from Craig later.

I had a great time at FanFest. My back was wrecked for a day and my dogs are still barkin'. I was able to see a bunch of fellow graphers, fans, friends and family. Oh yeah I also got close to 50 signatures. Lets make some trades. I am driving toward 800.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saving the Best for Last

Session 5, Station 2
Jai Miller
Taylor Teagarden
Troy Patton
J.J. Hardy

When I saw the lineup for FanFest, this was the one that I wanted the most. It isn't the most desirable. No HOFer. No home grown heroes. No superstar of the past. Just J.J., some hopefuls and Troy Patton. Perfect for someone like me who could never get J.J. to sign. I just wish it had been first thing in the morning instead of dinner.

Jai Miller Orioles Postcard

Jai Miller 2005 Topps Total #745

In line, fans were talking of Miller's disinterest and I saw it firsthand. I asked for a postcard first, to cross the Orioles aspect from the list. Then I politely asked if he could sign any of the three Topps Total cards I placed in front of him. He glowered, grabbed a black sharpie and signed on after the other. Flipping each card across the table like he were dealing blackjack. I had to catch one as it was careening off the table. Now I have two lovely Marlins cards available. I am thinking about completing one of these. Anyone know where to find Tony Arnerich?

Taylor Teagarden 2010 Topps #346

Taylor Teagarden Orioles Postcard

Teagarden was solid. Signed a postcard and another for me. I will probably need to upgrade to a real card at some point. Back-up catchers get a lot of play in update sets, so we shall see.

Troy Patton 2008 Bowman #211

Troy Patton Orioles Postcard

Troy was the only duplicate of the bunch for me. I got him last year at a game. The postcard is new if anyone needs one.

J.J. Hardy 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen #124

J.J. was the only player to follow the one per mantra of the handlers. His 60 year old grandma handler yelled at every one who had the audacity to ask for an item and postcard. She did allow me to get a postcard unsigned, how kind. J.J. looked up at me with eyes saying "sorry". But it was the end of a long day for him and he didn't want to fight. At all. It's cool. The Gypsy Queen looks damn good.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Long Lines and Sore Feet

I double dipped at 3:20, trying to cross some more names off the list. Kyle Hudson being designated for assignment last week made that prospect less appealing. I went through with it to upgrade my collection further down the line. Hopefully that comes through because the only thing I got from this line was dupes and sore feet.

Session 4, Station 3
Mike Bordick
Brian Matusz
Joe Mahoney
Adam Jones

Mike Bordick Upper Deck MVP

This one was gone before it arrived. The last of two for Amy. She is going to help out with some Atlantic league players this year. Fair trade if I can knock some names off my list.

Brian Matusz 2010 Bowman Platinum #31

Brian Matusz 2010 Bowman #5

I had heard that Matusz was difficult. He had denied me multiple times at games so I was expecting him to be one per. He was not. He was extremely personable and nice and was talking with every fan. Maybe last year was a little humbling for him. I have a feeling he is going to have a big year. 15 wins. You read it here first.

Joe Mahoney Orioles Postcard

I used my only card on Joe earlier in the day so I added a postcard to my collection. If anyone is looking for one, yet another postcard available for trade.

Adam Jones is another slot I was able to trade. I was able to have his 2008 Orioles program with Nick Markakis and Luke Scott completed. Jones said it was the first he had seen completed because Nick was the tough one. He went on about how hard Nick was to get, but how Scott would just sign anything. Jones may have exaggerated his own signing habits a bit. But I have to admit, it is a pretty awesome piece. I will let Chuck be the first to show it off.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Waste of Money?

I bought tickets for this session with the best intentions. When the list came out, it was perfect. I needed three of the players and the fourth is a Hall of Famer. No brainer. Then the free list came out and this session turned to crap.

Session 4, Station 1
Oliver Drake
Dana Eveland
Tommy Hunter
Jim Palmer

Oliver Drake Orioles Postcard

Drake is a 2012 Orioles hopeful with nearly zero cards out there. The only thing listed in Beckett was a 2010 Frederick Keys team card, that I couldn't find. So I had another empty handed trip.

Dana Eveland Orioles Postcard

Yet again, empty handed. The free session tapped me out.

Tommy Hunter 2007 Tristar #55

This minor league card came over via a 50/50 for Amy and is up for trade.

Jim Palmer 2003 Topps World Series Highlights

I tried to sell the session, recoup some money, but there were no takers. Kinda sad I couldn't sell a Hall of Famer autograph session for $15. I don't do premium items so this card was the best I had. Anyone want it? Make my $15 "investment" worth it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Getty Ready...To Wait

At 2pm I was prepared for my next paid signing, beginning four hours of standing in lines.

Session 3, Station 1:
Chris Tillman
Clay Rapada
Chris Hoiles
Matt Wieters

Chris Tillman 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter Mini A&G Back #166

Chris continued the trend of disobeying orders and signed two cards for me. The second I have looks exactly like it, just bigger. The base version is making its way across the country as part of a trade I made before leaving for FanFest. I just love the mini aspect of this card and am throwing it in the collection. I do have a personalized 2009 Topps Update for any other collectors named Kirk.

Clay Rapada Orioles Postcard

I misplaced Rapada's 2007 Topps 52 rookie so I went up to him empty handed. I asked for blue sharpie as always and he obliged as they all did. His RC was as a Cub so it would never have supplanted his postcard in the collection. I am figuring this will be in the collection forever. How often do specialized middle relievers make their way into sets? Pretty much never.

Chris Hoiles 1994 Upper Deck Electric Diamond #77

Sit down, Stan Javier.

Chris Hoiles 1999 Fleer Tradition Warning Track #W-437

My second showing with Hoiles accounted for two more signatures, although reluctantly. Apparently he had been getting the business from his handler about keeping lines moving and told me I was gonna get him in trouble. I told him I had his back. He chuckled and signed away. Both are up for trade if anyone is in need.

Matt Wieters was next and I had something special for him. Actually, Chuck did. I was just the vessel to get it signed. It was a sweet 11x14 of Wieters to be signed in gold paint pen.

Not an exciting line, except for the fact that my brother and nephews showed up. The weather delayed them from Frederick and as true Nationals fans, the boys seemed disinterested. But for me it was a second wind as I was able to think about anything but standing in line some more.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Freestyle Graphing

After I finished my 11:20am autograph session at 11:25am, I had more than two hours to kill before my next paid session. I evacuated the autograph area and met up with Mark to exchange some helping autograph items. I was getting an Adam Jones Magazine and he was snagging a Matt Antonelli card for me.

I didn't need any free bobbleheads of Brian Matusz, foam fingers or tee shirts on the third level. I went back to the main floor to try my luck with hounding a few players entering and exiting the main stage.

Many of the players declined as expected, but four relented.

Brady Anderson 1989 Fleer #606

Anderson was mobbed as he left the green room and actually stopped. There were a dozen people when he grabbed the first pen, signed at least 30, and declined another dozen. Side note: Brady looks no older today as on this cards from 20+ years ago. No wonder the ladies still swoon over him.

Zach Phillips 2008 Bowman Prospects #BP-23

Phillips' handler did a good job of deflecting would be autograph seekers but my persistence paid off, halfway across convention center. A well placed, "Please? Just one more?" worked.

Zach made his debut at the end of last season and was lights out. Hopefully he can maintain for an entire season. That would be a special 2012 campaign.

Joe Mahoney 2008 Bowman Prospects #BP-74

Mahoney declined a few autograph seekers as he was walking to the green room. Apparently it was too crowded for the 6'7" first baseman of the future. As he waited his turn to be barraged with interviewers I politely asked for a signature. He willingly took my card and signed. I don't think anyone noticed as he wasn't berated with requests. This will probably be the year Joe cracks the major league roster and I will be waiting to add his name, then cross it right off. Either this card, or an identical twin are up for grabs.

Matt Antonelli 2009 Bowman #191

Antonelli was a difficult guy to pick out. First, cause I've never seen him before. Second, he's a quick little guy. He was darting in and out of people. Bobbing and weaving. I'm not as nimble as he, but I took the right angle of pursuit. This card is actually available for trade. You will see why later on.

Monday, January 23, 2012

FanFest 2012: Paying for It

After the freebie session I bee lined to my next session to get in line. The event had not even opened up to the general public and I wanted to put myself in a position to maximize my graphing time. I was the fourth person in line and it played to my advantage.

Session 1, Station 3:
Zach Britton
Ryan Flaherty
Tommy Hunter

As I walked up to the stage one of the handlers bellowed, "Only one autograph per person". I have never liked being told what to do.

Zach Britton 2011 Topps Lineage #61

Zach Britton 2011 Topps #418

Zach Britton 2011 Topps Lineage Rookies #10

Zach was very pleasant and happy to sign all three cards I dropped in front of him. Out of the first four of us, Zach signed at least 12 items. So much for one per.

When I pulled the Lineage Rookie card from a pack this year, my first thought was how good it would look signed. I was right. I already had a signed 2010 Bowman Platinum that I really liked, but that is now in the trade pile. As well as the other two base cards shown above.

Ryan Flaherty 2011 Topps Heritage Minors #111

Flaherty doesn't like to follow directions either as he signed two of these bad boys for me. The other is available if anyone needs to add him to their collection.

I bring my own blue sharpie and ask for my graphs in that color and Ryan was the first of five players to ask me why? I said because of all the black in uniforms and cards, the blue stands out more. That and I like blue better. Why do you use blue, black, red, silver or paint?

Flaherty was so new to the team he didn't have a personalized Orioles Postcard. His postcard was of an Orioles hat. I didn't need one of those. Hopefully he has a chance to show up on an Orioles card, if not, this will do just fine.

Tommy Hunter 2010 Topps #268

Tommy Hunter 2006-07 USA Baseball #16

Hunter was last in the procession but was just as quick to disobey direct orders. The Topps card is available for trade if anyone needs. The USA version was my first 50/50 I completed for someone. It felt good to help out for once. I got caught up talking to Tommy and forgot to grab a postcard at this point.

Next up: a little freestylin'.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Was It Worth It?

Getting up at 6am?
Driving through snow and ice?
Standing in line for seven hours?
Never sitting down?
Getting awesome autographs?

You are damned right it was worth it. I am sure my back will feel otherwise in the coming days, but today, it was worth it.

I arrived at the Convention Center at 8 am and was #93 in line for the free autograph session. Unlike last year, the line started inside wo we were able to stay warm and keep our memorabilia dry. When I received my voucher, step one was accomplished.

I went straight for the line and was one of the first 40 or so waiting for Jake Arrieta, Brad Bergesen, Dana Eveland and Chris Hoiles.

I did well.

Jake Arrieta 2008 Frederick Keys Advertising Strip

A few years back my brother got this promo strip from a Frederick Keys games. Since he has turned his back on the Baltimore Orioles franchise, instead choosing to follow the Nationals, the strip became mine. I have been carrying it around with me ever since. Jake had signed for me a few times before but I was too slow on the draw. Now I can leave it at home. That is until I track down the other players on the strip.

Jake Arrieta 2010 Bowman Platinum #11

Since it was so early, Jake would have signed pretty much anything laid in front of him. I wasn't greedy, just asked for two. It seemed realistic. And with Jake signing both items, it must have been reasonable.

Brad Bergesen 2010 Topps #423

Brad Bergesen 2009 Topps Update #UH211

I dropped tow on Brad and he signed them all. He too would have signed more, but I was tapped out with those tow cards. I should have grabbed a signed postcard as well, but it was early. I blew it.

Dana Evelnd Orioles Postcard

Dana Eveland 2009 Topps #521

Eveland is one of the new guys I will be needing at some point this season. As long as health isn't an issue, I should be able to cross this name off the list shortly. The Topps card is available for trade if anyone is looking.

Chris Hoiles 1991 Orioles Crown #198

Chris Hoiles 1990 Score Rookie Traded #T96

Chris Hoiles Orioles Postcard

Last was Hoiles, my favorite of the session. I can't pinpoint one particular thing about Hoiles that made it fun. I think he just seemed to care a little more. He seemed excited to be there. 10am makes it difficult to get too excited, he did an excellent job.

Not a bad way to start the day. Nine autographs from 4 players, I will take it.

Stay tuned over the next week to see how the rest of the day panned out.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Longest Day-2012 Orioles FanFest

I am happy that it is over. It was a great day, with a lot of signings, a few names crossed off the Master List, lots of good people and only one altercation (no fist-a-cuffs). I was not affected at all by the last minute changes and no-shows so I pretty much knew what I was getting.

But I thought when I took a day off work to "relax" and get autographs, I wouldnt put in ten hour day. I was wrong. I got to FanFest at 8am and left at 6pm. Very workman-like. It was what I chose to subject myself to, so only I am to blame. But I would do it again. Maybe next year?

I will be spreading out my haul over the next few days to keep everyone on the edge of their seats. It will also give me time to actually compile the posts. Hope all graphers fared well and with that I bid you good-night.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Orioles FanFest Update

With Kyle Hudson being Deisgnated for Assignment and Brian Roberts being out, the Orioles shuffled their line-up a bit for autographs. I like that they added Brian Matusz to the early session, but Pedro Strop, Joe Mahoney, Alfredo Simon and Darren O'Day?

I know it is a pipe dream, but Manny Machado, Dylan Bundy or Tsuyoshi Wada would have made an impact. A big impact. These guys are the future stars on this team, not future role players.

The line-up was lackluster to begin with. Take out everyone's favorite Oriole, Roberts, and it just got bad.

I don't mean to take anything away from the guys signing though. I can use O'Day, or Strop on Postcards if anyone has extras. Also, I have a Jim Palmer slot available that I would trade for a Matt Wieters spot if anyone is looking to deal?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nicely Done Upper Deck!

Why isn't there a sarcasm font? A few of you probably thought I had a major hit from an Upper Deck product. Or maybe the company fixed an issue. Nope, they blew it.

Exhibit A:
Luis Aparicio 2007 Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Gold Stitch Black Ink /99 #LA

Yes, that is actually a signature on there. And no, it was no signed during his rookie campaign in 1956. According to the card back, it was "signed in the presence of a company representative and/or sent from, and certified as to its authenticity by, Luis Aparicio". Black ink? Not sure about that one either. In person the gold stitches match the signature. I don't have too many Sweet Spot Autos in my collection anymore, is this fading common?

But I am the one to blame for its addition to the collection. I just swapped autographs with William, mastermind behind Foul Bunt. He reached out because he couldn't stand the sight of this card anymore and I was happy to take it. I hadn't picked up an Aparicio yet, his Oriole versions are more scarce and all it took was Nolan Reimold. I did trade my personal collection Reimold for it, but I had a backup. Anyway, with my season tickets I am hoping to coax a signature out of Mr. Reimold sometime this season.

William, thanks again for the trade. Hope to see you at FanFest.

Friday, January 13, 2012

One Year Ago

Can you guess what I was doing a year ago today?

If you said something about baseball cards and autographs that would be correct. But I was looking for something a little more specific. My memory isn't the best, I needed a little help figuring this one out.

I was sending former Orioles pitcher Mike Johnson a card to have signed. Today, that card came back signed. A full year, 365 days was all it took. It's kind of odd, in a cool way. Being that it is Friday the 13th, It was slightly creepy.

Mike Johnson 1997 Bowman #314

For those of you keeping score at home, Yes. Yes that is the same Mike Johnson I just traded for last week. At least this card upgrades from a 1992 Triple Play Camden Yards blank card.

The auto is signed in pen, which I hate, but looks better than most pen signatures I have. Mike is a coach for the Canadian National Team and I was contemplating an International request before this came back from California. Mike hasn't been in high demand on the TTM circuit, mine being only the 3rd reported request, 2 total successes. His short career only allowed for 4 cards to be produced featuring hm as an Oriole in 1997. One more upgrade to cross off the list.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


For the first time in my life I broke down and bought some USA baseball cards. I couldn't pass up a guaranteed autograph for $9.99. And who knows, the next Bryce Harper could be out there lurking.

I do feel a little weird though. Buying cards of teenagers to prospect their future? Kinda creepy. I will tuck this set away, hoping the Orioles can draft a few of these guys, making their cards important to me.

Jake Jarvis 2011 Topps USA U16 National Team Autograph

Hopefully the above card will be worth a ton in 2 years. OK, 8 years. Who knows. That being said, it is up for trade. Who needs it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bobbling Over

The basement is down to concrete and studs. My office is part card collecting sanctuary and part nursery. Soon my office and card collection will be in the basement and I am running out of room. Before the transition I was thinking of paring down the memorabilia side of my collection.

Listen up all you Bobble Heads out there. I have two Orioles Hall of Famers hitting the market.

Eddie Murray JB&A Southwest Airlines bobblehead

Cal Ripken 2000 SGA Bobblehead

Cal Ripken 2001 Bobblehead

There is only one Cal Ripken bobblehead available. Why two pictures you ask? I actually have three Ripken bobbleheads, but can't remember if I have a duplicate black or a duplicate white jersey. With the renovations ongoing, one bobblehead is in storage, just not sure which. The Ripken bobble has the box, the Eddie does not.

I know it is unconventional to offer an item for trade without a detailed description. Well, back off. I do what I want here. Obviously looking to trade if possible for autographs I need. If not, I would entertain offers.