Friday, February 19, 2010

Finally! A Koji Autograph Enters the Collection!

Koji Uehara 2009-

Thanks to some help from my dad, I was finally able to add a Koji Uehara autograph to my collection. He was one of only two players still with the Orioles organization (the other is Alfredo Simon) that had played for the O's and who I still needed an autograph from. I had just missed out on him when he signed a few times at Camden Yards over the '09 season but I labeled him a "I Don't Think He's a Good Signer" in my 2009 Year in Review post last fall since I only saw him sign 2 or 3 times all season.

I also sent him a TTM request towards the end of the season but think that it probably reached the O's after he had gone home to Japan for the offseason. So I was 0-2 to that point.

I was hoping that he would attend O's FanFest so that I could get his autograph there but the the team didn't have him travel to Baltimore from Japan just for that one event. 0-3.

My next step was to check online and I found that he had quite a few certified autograph releases in last year's Topps & Upper Deck sets. One would think that I should be able to find something for about $10 since there were 5-10 different autographs and most were numbered into the 100's right? Wrong! Most of them sold for no less than $20 with a few that I specifically liked going for upwards of $50. I hate the thought of paying that much for a player who is still on the team that I could theoretically get to sign for me at a game. I think the prices on all of his certified autos have remained so high since collectors in both Japan and the US are interested in buying his cards. 0-4, man I wasn't catching any breaks with Koji.

But then my Dad came through and found a seller who was open to bargaining and he got this awesome card for a good price. Koji is even wearing a sweet Baltimore jersey in the shot on the card. And his signature is pretty awesome. I think that I see some exclamation points in there or something. It's also pretty legible which is surprising for a veteran player like him.

So I can finally scratch Koji off of my needed list! It's nice to have him under the belt.

Now watch out, Alfredo Simon! I'm gunning for you next!


Anonymous said...

Nice autograph. I've often wondered why the card companies didn't make more of an effort to get Asian players to sign for them, considering that you'd have both U.S. and Asian collectors seeking them.

Ryan aka Orioles Magic said...

Thanks Paul. I think they don't make more because that would make too much sense!