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, August 30, 2013

Time To Make A Run

No more waiting.  No more series wins.  The Orioles have to make a run and a big one, or they will be left watching the Playoffs this year. 

It has all been said already, but hell, you haven't heard it from me. 

They control their destiny.

19 of their final 29 games are against teams in the Playoff race.  6 against the Yankees and 3 versus the Indians can create separation with the pack, but that still leaves the front runners.

6 more with the Red Sox and 6 with the Rays can create an interesting race.  Or put a lot of distance between the wild card contenders.

The lineup has been able to produce and score runs all year.  That has continued in recent weeks but our once stellar bullpen has been awful.  Get the lead early and blow it late has been the way of the Birds.

So what do they do right before September call-ups?

Get another bat of course.

We could use a pitcher to sure up the pen, someone like this guy:
Francisco Rodriguez 2000 Topps Traded Autograph #TTA38

Arms like his may be the difference, instead we get Mike Morse and his .227 batting average and poor defense.  Perfect fit.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Feeling Lucky: 1982 Edition

The last time I had busted a vintage pack of cards, it wasn't vintage at all.  It was new, fresh exciting and it was probably 1987.My brother has been a little more adventurous in his pack ripping.

Recently he picked up a bunch of older packs from somewhere and had some good luck.  He has been working on the 1978 Topps set and was hoping to pull an Eddie Murray RC in good condition. He did.

 He snagged a 1982 Topps rack pack for my birthday, hoping I could do the same with a Ripken RC.

It was my birthday, I was feeling lucky and I though it could happen.  It did not.

I don't know if these are the best cards from the bunch, but I thought they were cool.

The Fisk is pretty damn sweet.  I got  thrill from opening up some old school, even if it didn't pan out.

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Perfect Angle

Matt Angle 2009 Frederick Keys Team Set #2
Angle is a former 7th round pick of the Birds that found his way into the lineup during the 2011 campaign.  He appeared in 31 games patrolling each of the outfield positions but with little pop at the plate.  He hit under .200 for the year and was relegated to the minors for the majority of the season. 
Following 2011 he was claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Dodgers and has been in AAA the last two years.  He has hit around .300 for the Isotopes the last two years and has shown the most power of his career.  If the Dodgers are contending come September, he should get another shot to bolster a lineup and add some depth to their outfield.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ugh! A Red Sox Autograph

Anyone who has ever looked to add a Luis Exposito autograph to their collection has run into this card.  And it is so damn ugly.  A hat logo, emblazoned jersey and dirty sweat sox add up to a trifecta of stink. 
So why do I have it? 
This card once again completes the letter E in my collection.  At last, I can breath E-zier (lame I know).
Luis Exposito 2010 Bowman Prospects #BP21
I do like the autograph on this particular card.  It covers up the silver facsimile signature printed on the front of the card quite well.
Because of nine games during the 2012 baseball season.  He had one hit, one passed ball, one wild pitch, one caught stealing, one stolen base against, and I have another name off the list.
Exposito is still in Norfolk looking for an opportunity to come back up.  If Taylor Teagarden continues to be the statistically worst catcher in the Majors, Exposito may just get that chance.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Life of a Journeyman

Nine years and seven teams is definitely a journeyman career.  But a journey millions of us men would gladly have gone on.  From Cleveland to Chicago to Baltimore to California to New York to Atlanta to Philadelphia and back to California was Dave Gallagher's journey.  Gallagher made his way to the Orioles after three years in the Major Leagues in August and September of 1990. 

For his efforts, he was given an Orioles card in every major release of 1991 and a cameo at the end of the 1991 Orioles Crown set.  So of course he never appeared in a game as a Bird in the 1991 season.  He was dealt to the California Angels for two minor league players that never made their way to the big club. 

My 1991 Dave Gallagher.
Dave Gallagher 1991 Upper Deck #508
Dave has parlayed his playing career into a very successful post baseball career at nearly every level of competition.  He has penned a book entitled "The Little League Hitters Journal" geared to youngsters and fundamentals. He had been the hitting instructor for the Trenton Thunder before becoming a General Manager in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League.  Now he works with teenagers in his baseball training academy, having three players drafted in the 2013 amateur draft. 
Pretty nice journey.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Starting a Trend

Of more frequent posts, hopefully.  I have snagged a bunch of new names recently and hopefully a card by card recap will get me into the swing of things again.

First up:
Mike Cook 1991 South Carolina Collegiate Collection #84
Cook was drafted by the California Angels in the first round of the 1985 Draft.  He shot through the minors and made his debut less than a year later.  He was not received well, even though his ERA declined with each major league season.  Mike made his hay in the minor leagues.
After a stint with the Minnesota Twins in 1989, Cook was exclusively a minor leaguer for more than 150 appearances over four seasons.  Then he got a shot with the Orioles in 1993.  For two games.  Three innings.  Zero earned runs.
In 1993, those stats earn you a spot in the 1994 U.S. Playing Cards Orioles deck of cards.  The two of clubs.  Really?  Two games and he gets his own card as an Oriole.  I am tracking down this set and will be working to get an Oriole upgrade into the collection. 
He hasn't had a TTM success that I can find, but I am not sure how many guys out there are looking to add a Mike Cook minor league auto to their collection.  Maybe just maybe this blurry black and white auto from his college newspaper will be able to find a new home. 
Time to hunt him down, in a nice way of course.

Monday, August 5, 2013

I've Been a Bad Blogger

Again , I have been consumed by life.  I spent nearly a full week moving our home across town, with very little help.  Wifey was consumed with the Kid and cleaning the new place and I was charged with getting everything moved.

My old man spent an afternoon hauling some big furniture with me, but about 80% fell on these shoulders.  These broad, yet sore shoulders.

With all that was happening in life, I forgot that Google Reader no longer exists.  I went to catch up on my favorite blogs and nothing.  I was lost.  I have had limited success with Bloggers Dashboard that I find clunky and slow. 

So I am asking for help.  What do you use?  I am looking to get back in touch and keep up with the best baseball card bloggers out there.  Help me be a better blogger.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A New Adventure

With the pending purchase of house #2, Wifey has decided to create a blog chronicling our progress at turning the house into our home. 

She loves to read DIY blogs and is following a couple who rehab and blog for a living at Young House Love.  That will not be us.  We just are not handy enough.  We pay people for the tough stuff and bicker about the little things, that's how we do.

The blog she follows did give us one good idea, co-blogging.  Make no mistake, this is her blog, MC Modern.  I will try and shed the male perspective on things and bring my humor to the fray.  Check out my first contribution here.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Bevvy of Beauties

I have been busy lately trying to add the new Orioles from 2013 as soon as they debut.  Then I wait weeks or months even to post them on my blog.  I am pretty awesome, I know.  Here are a few.

Yamaico Navarro 2008 Tristar Productions #11
 Josh Stinson 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP153
Both Stinson and Navarro have made multiple visits to the big club this year.  Each player has helped when roster moves were necessary, making a trip back to the minors without playing in a game.  But each do have an official appearance.
Stinson has one appearance and a 7 plus ERA to his name.  He was brought in for a spot start and looked like a minor leaguer pitching in the bigs.  He was overmatched but was not crushed.  We may see him again down the stretch, hopefully with more success.
Navarro had more success in his time with the big club.  He appeared in eight games, hit .286, drove in 2 and showed his speed with a triple.  Navarro is in a poor situation having three second basemen ahead of him.  Oriole hero Brian Roberts, veteran Alexei Casilla and streaky hitter Ryan Flaherty are taking up valuable real estate on the roster.  When Roberts has another injury, Navarro may see more time, but carrying three power starved infielders on the roster might not be the best idea for Buck.

Friday, June 21, 2013

There's An Autograph On There

I promise.

It is really difficult to see but I do have the newest Oriole in my collection.
Travis Ishikawa 2010 Topps Wal-Mart #493
OK, it scans pretty well, but in person not clear at all.  I had to double check once I received this card, just to make sure it was actually signed.
Travis has never been known for his offense, mainly his defensive prowess.  But this year it was different in the minors.  Travis was tearing the cover off the ball in Norfolk and got himself noticed.  That and the clause in his contract allowing his release if he wasn't called up.  There isn't a daily spot in the lineup for Travis, but his release would probably help the Yankees.  So today, Steve Pearce has a mysterious wrist injury and Ishikawa remains on the roster,  We will see how he fits in to the picture moving forward.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Cal Ripken Portion of the Sale

I was a Ripken Super Collector for nearly five years and amassed quite the large collection. I sold much of it to help buy my first home and purchase an engagement ring for Wifey.  I have maintained the memorabilia and advertising portion of that part of my life.  I will be keeping my Coke bottles and Lay's Potato Chips on display, along with a few other items.

Here are a few items I am willing to part with.
Cal Ripken 1993 Upper Deck #555 T-Shirt (worn)
Sorry, can't right the picture no matter how I have tried.
"The Streak Ironman" T-Shirt, 1995 (worn)

Cal Ripken January 1995 Beckett Baseball Card Monthly
Cal Ripken Commemorative Streak Book (1995)
2001 Yankees Magazine Cal Ripken Yankee Stadium Exclusive

Cal Ripken Outside Pitch Magazine
Cal Ripken Baltimore Sun Final Edition, October 7, 2001

Cal Ripken 2130 The Washington Times, September 6, 1995
Cal Ripken 2131 The Washington Post Final, September 7, 1995

Cal Ripken 2131 The Washington Post Early September 7, 1995
Cal Ripken The Baltimore Sun Commemorative Final July 7, 2007

Cal Ripken Oddball Lot
1992 Post Canadian (Complete)
1985 True Value (Complete)
Metallic Impressions 2131
1985 and 1987 Donruss All-Star Jumbo's

Cal Ripken Uncut Oversize Oddballs
1989 Topps Box Bottom (Nolan Ryan, Jim Rice, Mike Schmidt)
1997 Ultra Promotional Sample (Base, Gold and Platinum Medallion)
1988 Grenada Baseball Stamps (Roberto Clemente, Cal Ripken, Bob Feller, George Bell, Mark McGwire, Alvin Davis, Dan Quisenberry, Babe Ruth

Cal Ripken 4-Card Coca-Cola Pack (x2)
Classic 4-Card Commemorative Pack

Cal Ripken 2131 VHS (opened)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cleaning Up, Moving Out

Even though we move in over a month, Wifey and I have started the packing process.  A box here.  A crate there and we will eventually be ready to move.  Hopefully.

I have started to go through a lot of my sports stuff and have separated out stuff that needs a new home and stuff that will make the trek across town.  Much of this has been in a box since the last move.  The collection does not look the same as in 2007, but hopefully you may be looking to add to yours.
Dan O'Brien 1996 Olympics Unopened Wheaties Box
8 First Issue Comic lot from the 90's.  Cage, Brigade, Sabre Tooth, WildC.A.T.S., Deathblow, Pitt, Supreme and The Maxx.
 Classic Baseball Cards by Bert Randolph Sugar
Contains 98 Reprinted cards

Players of Cooperstown, Baseball's Hall of Fame 1993
20th Century Baseball Chronicle Updated 1993

Lance Armstrong 2004 Discovery Cycling Tour de France Yellow Jersey Replica
Never Worn (Large)

1995 Upper Deck Mickey Mantle Metallic Impressions 8 Card Set w/tin

Mark McGwire 70th HR MLB 5x7 Framed Hologram

1997 Pinnacle Inside Cans (11)
Griffey (x2), Maddux, Vaughn, Chipper, Andruw Jones
Piazza, McGwire, Lofton, A-Rod, Bagwell
 Collector Tin Lot
Babe Ruth Timeless Treasures
1994 Fleer Platinum (Soriano & A-Rod)
1997 Donruss Preferred (Griffey, Maddux, McGwire, A-Rod)
Randy Johnson 1997 Topps Screenplay Card + Tin

Please let me know if interested in anything at all.  Will have another post up tomorrow.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Battery of Debuts

My two newest additions to the collection.  Both are short timers that may not see any more time with the Orioles so needing to upgrade will be highly unlikely.
Alex Burnett 2008 Bowman Prospects #BP64
 Chris Snyder 2007 Topps #131

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Moving Things Around

I have been paring down the collection bit by bit over the past few years.  My focused need makes it easy to part with cards that don't fit.  I have tried selling lots and singles with OK success and have been able to add quite a few needs from eBay.  The budget has been tight and is getting tighter.

Wifey and I have just purchased our second home.  It is much closer to work for each of us and is in one of the better school districts.  I am expecting to get nearly two hours a day back with my family.  But, it is also a second mortgage.  We will be renting our current home in hopes of recouping our investment once the market fully rebounds.  I am extremely excited about the opportunity to own our "dream home" and become a landlord at the same time. 

I am not however, excited at the opportunity to move all my cards, memorabilia and sports junk.  Again.  My Orioles collection is manageable.  Everything else, not so much.  In order to get

Over the next month I will be listing some cards, lots and assorted sports goodies for sale.  eBay, my blog and a final yard-sale will hopefully spare my back during the move.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Bending to Temptation

I never set out to avoid 2013 products this year, it had just worked out that way.  My small card budget got smaller and new cards don't exactly fit into the collection.  Even the thrill of ripping packs couldn't break my budget.

Then along came 2013 Bowman.  On Freedom Cardboard, everyone was busting case after case and I got jealous.  Jealous of the $800 orange auto hits.  Jealous of the budget it takes to buy in bulk.  Jealous of the new and shiny cardboard others were calling their own.

I broke down. 

Three hobby packs, one blaster and two blister packs from Target ended on my desk.  I beat the odds but didn't hit it big. 
Gioskar Amaya Bowman Purple Ice #'d /10
 Anthony Meo Bowman Prospect Auto

I even threw in a couple of Gypsy Queen packs and pulled a Adam Eaton Autograph, not pictured.  Everything is available.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Autographs of Abnormal Size

In my hiatus from blogging, I have been working on tracking down more autographs I need via eBay, and  I have had good luck on eBay with the harder to find guys and some deceased players, whereas SCN is great for the new 2013 roster guys.

Here are a couple that are of the postcard variety.

Danny Valencia 2013 Orioles Postcard
OK, I misled a bit.  All of these came from eBay, Valencia here being the most expensive.  These postcards usually do well, especially if it is a player with limited time in the Majors.  I was able to pick up a
Danny Valencia 2010 Bowman Draft Picks
Which is for trade.

Bob Alexander 1955-57 Jim Rowe Postcard

Even though he finished his career with a 1-1 Major league record, Bob was a minor league pitcher.  He played in 19 minor league seasons and only 9 games in the big league.  He spent the twilight of his career in the Pacific Coast League' Portland Beavers.  See photo above.  I am a huge fan of old postcards and index cards.  It wasn't as easy as picking up a lot of 1000 cards on eBay of your favorite team and sending out for requests.  You had to truly want it
Leo Hernandez Rochester Red Wings Photo Card

A lot like Bob, Leo was always more of a minor league kinda guy.  He spent 9 years in the minors after being drafted by the Dodgers.  Four of those were with the Birds AAA affiliate in Rochester before he was sent to the Yankees as a "Player To Be Named Later".  He finished his career in the Mexican league and is a notoriously difficult signer with no known addresses, successes and only minor league cards.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Truth About Sammy Sosa

Truth is, I'm not sure if the card I featured last month is real or fake.

No one seemed to think it was real and it very well may not be. I bought it on the cheap on eBay from a reputable seller with over 8K feedback and 99.8% rating.  These stats bode well for its validity but the autograph itself just seems off.

I paid about $10 for the autograph, so that is a red flag.  But, the overall market for Sosa is down, and this is an ass ugly set.

The autograph looks too legible and is slightly different from recent DNA/PSA autographs, yikes.  But, how many transformations does a signature make over the course of a 15 year Major League career.  This could be Sosa version 2.0.

Sosa being a high profile player makes his autograph susceptible to forgery.  But, he has hundreds of other in person autographs for sale, many no name ballplayers.  I also received a certificate of authenticity.  From the seller.  Personally guaranteeing the validity of the autograph.  50 years ago that may have been enough.

Could it be fake?  Sure.

Could it be real? Sure.

I don't know and really am not too concerned with it.  When I have sold a few in person autographs on line, I was never questioned and accused of being a forger, so I will chalk this one up to good timing on an ugly card that was signed when Sammy was honing his autograph.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Real? Or Fake?

Not going to give any information that could sway, just want to see what y'all think.

Sammy Sosa 1991 Fleer #136
I will weigh in later with specifics.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Subtraction By Addition, or Something Like That

My opportunities to get in front of the coming wave of Orioles happens rally only at FanFest.  I haven't graphed at a minor league game since the AA All-Star Game in Trenton NJ, 1999.  I also haven't picked up minor league team sets online.  About once a year I snag a lot full of new "Oriole prospects" and send some TTM requests.

Last week marked the second time this year a player debuted, then was summarily crossed from my needs list.

Thanks Zach Clark.

I wish he would have signed a little larger, but overall a nice legible autograph. 
Hopefully this week will mark another autograph I can take off my list by adding it to the collection.
Fellow Oriole Blogger Ryan has discussed Clark's current pitching project here.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Freed Up Some eBay Funds

I have been spending more time on eBay recently, just got the app for my phone, and have been looking to cross some tough names from my list.  The majority of the players I need from the past have passed. 

Most autograph traders don't have cards from the 60's and 70's laying around for me to scoop up.  If they do, they are looking for a deceased player in return, which I only have a few.  So I pull some scratch together and buy a few of the cheaper ones out there.
Roger Freed 1972 Topps #69

It's not the best autograph, the best pen or even the best card, but it was the one within my price range.  He has two cards as an Oriole, both dual players cards with other rookies that I hadn't seen available.  I had the choice between a multitude of '72 Topps and some Index cards and settled on this one.  I am happy with it.
I have tried to save the index cards for players from the 50's and 60's, but have been known to make an exception as needed.
Roger would definitely be classified as a journeyman.  He spent parts of eight seasons in the major leagues, over 10 seasons, with six different clubs.  He was signed by the Orioles in 1966, making his debut four years later in 1970.  He was traded in 1971 to the Phillies for Grant Jackson, Tim Hutto and Sam Parrilla.
He got a shot to play everyday in 1971 and 72 but couldn't hold on.  He was dealt a few more times, bouncing between franchises and all levels of the minor leagues.  Following the 1980 season he extended his career playing in the Puerto Rican Winter Leagues.
Roger passed away on January 9, 1996 at the age of 49, from heart related issues.