Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Training Autographs- Minor Leaguers

Now that I've been back from my Spring Training trip for well over a month and the regular season is nearly three weeks old, I think it's about time that I make it through all of the autographs I got in Spring Training. So here is another post that is heavy on pictures and light on words.

Don't act like you mind. 

I'm gonna start off with some players who have actually played for the Orioles at some point over the years. 

Jack Cust was a late Spring signing who headed directly to minor league camp and never had much of a shot to make the O's. He was attempting a comeback but I think might have retired after being cut.

T.J. spent the 2013 season in the O's bullpen as a Rule V pick from the Indians but is back in the minors attempting to stretch out and become a starter down the road. 

Henry also spent some time in Baltimore last year but was edged out of the OF competition during Spring Training. 

This group of players were all at the O's camp during Spring but didn't make the team. 

You've most likely already seen signed custom Orioles OMC cards of most of they players here and I don't have much more to say about them.

 Stupid chrome cards. I even "prepped" this one. Obviously not well. 

I have to give Quintin props, he is a good signer.

 Two consecutive players with B.B. initials whose signatures largely consist of two large B's. Just an observation.

Kelvin's stock in the organization seems to have dropped pretty quickly. He signed a Major League deal, but has since been outrighted off the roster and is sporting an 11.37 ERA through six appearances with the AAA Tides. 

Now that's a proper chrome card signature. 

Could this be the year that Caleb makes the jump to the Majors? At least he's already progressed to AAA after a bunch of years at AA.

Johnny is another good signer, and I like to give respect where it's due. 

Xavier didn't seem like much of a fan of signing, but I still got him a few times. 

I heard from some other collectors that Eduardo was tough but I've never had problems with him. 

Jemile was sooo close to making the O's roster, but David Lough avoided a DL trip. 

The players below all signed for me on my one morning spent at minor league camp.

For whatever reason, Kalina has already decided that Ronald is the player she is going to root for at Bowie this year. 

Chih-Hsien is also with Bowie. 

That's a nice orange uni. 

And these two guys are already out of the organization.

Thanks again for taking the time to sign Alfredo!

Scott, we hardly knew ya!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

An Assist From Russell- Mark Lewis Knocked Off the Need List

I am very happy with where my collection stands these days since I (currently) have an autograph of every single player who has ever appeared in a game for the Orioles. And there are only a small number of  upgrades I need; it's a number that currently sits at 15, and of those, 9 are guys who have been dead for quite some time. I know that those 9 might always stay on that list. I'm relatively OK with that. But the living players who remain on my list are the ones that frustrate me. Freddy Garcia, Stan Jefferson, K-Rod, David Wells and Jaret Wright are the current 6 living players who continue to elude me. It's frustrating because I know that they are out there, and could theoretically sign an Orioles card for me, if I could just get one in front of them. 

Well, my long-time Orioles autograph collecting buddy, Russell, recently removed one of those long-time living player needs from my list. When he was able to track down this signed copy of Mark Lewis's only Orioles card. 

In a post I wrote way back in October 2009, I displayed the signed Indians card of Mark's that has been in my collection ever since; at the time I wrote the post, I was blissfully unaware that Mark was featured on an Orioles card, and thought I had everything covered. It was only after that post was up on my site that someone alerted me to the existence of this pesky 2001 Pacific card that commemorated Mark's 71 games in Baltimore over the 2000 season. Shortly thereafter, I bought a stack of this card, and sent off a few into the TTM abyss, never to be seen again.

But then, as he is apt to do, Russell sent me an email a month or so ago, letting me know that he had gotten a hold of an autograph that I might be interested in. And not long after that, this awesome Mark Lewis signed Orioles card arrived at my house. (Unfortunately, the USPS seems to have eaten my "thank-you" package, but I am still holding out hope that it eventually will make it to him. But that's a story for another day.)

Thank you so much for your continued help Russell! I really appreciate it, and will make sure to get you a replacement thank-you package if the original never finds its way to you.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The 2014 Orioles Walk-Up Song Project- UPDATE 1

This walk-up song project is something that I've enjoyed doing this the past three years (201320122011), although I admitted slacked off on it last year. But I am once again going to try to keep track of the songs that the Orioles players use as their walk-up/warm-up music. I really stayed on top of the songs in 2011, and updated the list six times throughout that year. In both 2012 & 2013, I only wrote the one, original post, but the funny thing is that I continued to take notes on the songs used throughout the season, and then just never got around to writing posts about the updates.

Since this list is something that changes any time a player is added to the roster, or they want to change things around, the list is fluid, but here is what I have at this point in the season. The Orioles website also has a list up, but some of the players shown are injured, so I can't say how accurate it might be right now. From my own observations at games of 12 players on that list, only 6 of those currently playing for the O's seem to have the correct song listed from the O's link, so I am taking the Orioles list with a major grain of salt.

If anyone has any information to add or update from what's listed below, please let me know!

*I attended Wednesday's O's game and have amendments for Britton, Davis & Gonzalez

Note-some YouTube links might contain explicit lyrics, if you're offended by that sort of thing.

Zach Britton- "Seven Nation Army" The White Stripes (O's site incorrect )
Wei-Yin Chen- "Meng Xiang Qi Dong" Jay Chou (O's site incorrect)
Steve Clevenger- No song yet
Nelson Cruz- "Para Ti" Juan Luis Guerra
Chris Davis"The Moment We Come Alive" Red, "I Get Wicked" Thousand Foot Krutch (O's site now correct)
Ryan Flaherty- "Bottoms Up" Brantley Gilbert (O's site incorrect)
Miguel Gonzalez- "Return of the Mack" Mark Morrison (O's site incorrect)
J.J. Hardy"Flower" Moby (Hasn't changed it once in three years)
Tommy Hunter- "Welcome Home" Coheed and Cambria (O's site incorrect)
Ubaldo Jimenez- "Rie Y Llora" Celia Cruz
Adam Jones- "Lose My Mind" Young Jeezy ft. Plies, "Ballin Out" French Montana ft. Diddy & Jeremih (O's site incorrect)
Steve Lombardozzi- "Barefoot Blue Jean Night"  Jake Owen (per O's site)
David Lough- "Till I'm Gone" Tinie Tempah (per O's site)
Nick Markakis"Deliverance" Bubba Sparxx (Probably his fourth or fifth year with this one)
Brian Matusz- "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" Jimi Hendrix (O's site incorrect)
Evan Meek- Possibly either "Master of Puppets" Metallica or "All Summer Long" Kid Rock
Bud Norris- "Nightcall" Kavinsky
Darren O'Day"Thickfreakness" The Black Keys (Also third year using this song)
Steve Pearce- No info on site or from game
Jonathan Schoop- No info on site or from game
Josh Stinson- No info on site or from game
Chris Tillman"Kick It In the Sticks" Brantley Gilbert (Fourth year using it)
Ryan Webb- "Hysteria" Muse
Matt Wieters- "Raised On It" Sam Hunt (O's site incorrect)
Delmon Young- No info on site or from game

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Training Autographs- Old Man Cards

I've said it before, and I know that I'll say it again, but I really appreciate the time and effort that my dad puts in to create his awesome Old Man Cards. I know that he enjoys doing it, but it's quite a time-consuming process and it makes having these signed cards in my collection mean that much more to me. Thanks dad!

Today, I'm going to start with a player who will almost certainly never appear in a game for the Orioles after he didn't make the 25 man roster out of Spring Training and opted out of his contract. For all the stories, I have heard about Alfredo Aceves over the years, I had no idea what to expect from him on the autograph front. Turns out that he was about the most approachable player I've dealt with on the O's in Spring Training, short of Pat Neshek, but he's nearly incomparable in his fan friendliness. 

Alfredo pulled out of the player lot one day, and parked on the side of the street, and got out of his car to sign autographs. Neshek was the only other player I've ever seen do that. And when I thanked Alfredo for signing, he said thank you for giving me the opportunity to do it. Pretty awesome. So I'm sad that things didn't work out for him and the O's, but I will definitely remain a fan of his after our interaction in Sarasota. If only more players acted that way, at least from time to time!

You might recognize some of these other OMCs, as I had many of these personalized in addition to these unpersonalized versions. But you might notice some subtle differences in the design, as my dad stepped up his game and added the year and some other bells and whistles on some of the cards.

There is a dated version...

And another with the year kind of highlighted. 

I just now realized that Ivan and Eddie kind of look like each other.

With Johnny Monell, he even did a few versions of his cards.

I was anticipating that Suk-Min might sign in Korean, and while I'm not exactly sure what he signature says, I believe it is his last name and number.

Thanks again for your help Dad! I look forward to our yearly Spring Training trips!