Wednesday, June 30, 2010

SCN Trade Success

I recently got these cards back in the mail after a successful transaction with SCN user, michaeland. He's a reliable guy and I'm very happy with these autographs. Both Adam Stern and Rich Hill are currently playing for AAA Pacific Coast League teams that michaeland has access to and I don't, so I was happy to send him a few dollars to get each signed for me.
I wish the Stern autograph popped a little more, but overall this went very well.

As far as I know, this is Adam's only Orioles card and it's the only card I've ever seen from this set(?). I don't know how many players were included but I was very happy to come across this on the bay a couple months ago. Once I bought it, I was a man on a mission to get it signed. Adam has a card in the 2007 Norfolk Tides team set that I had wanted to get signed but this card is perfect for my collection, not to mention that it's very unique.

Next up is former Oriole "great", Rich Hill, who was a great signer when he was in Baltimore but all of his Orioles cards were released after he had already been cut loose by the O's. This card replaces my certified Orioles A&G auto that was in the collection.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

2010 Orioles Bobbleheads

The Orioles have four bobblehead giveaways scheduled for this season and have given away 2 of them so far. I decided to write about this today because tomorrow is my most anticipated bobblehead of the year; Matt Wieters first Orioles stadium giveaway (SGA) bobblehead! Most people that read my blog probably already know this, but I'm a huge bobblehead fan and Matt Wieters is my favorite Orioles player, so I can't wait to add that bobblehead to my collection.

The first bobblehead giveaway of the year was of Nolan Reimold on May 26, part 1 of 3 in a mini-bobblehead set depicting last year's starting outfielders. As you can see in the picture below, the three mini bobbles will fit together to replicate Camden Yard's outfield.

I say last year's starting outfield because unfortunately, Nolan was sent to AAA Norfolk the week before this was given away so the timing was rather anti-climatic. He obviously didn't have a chance to have a great night at the plate on his bobblehead night since he was playing some 5 hours south of Baltimore at the time.

Nolan isn't exactly known for his outfield defense, but it's good to see that they showed him making a diving catch. The Orioles have since moved him to first base in Norfolk, so I don't think that he will need to worry about his outfield prowess moving forward.

Adam Jones' bobblehead was giveaway number 2, and was handed out at last Thursday's game against the Marlins.

Since Jones was actually playing for the team at the time of his giveaway, did he rise to the occasion at the plate? Yeah, you could say that. He went 3-5 with a double, HR, two runs scored and two RBI. Not too shabby Jonesy. There was a strange lady sitting in front of me at the game who would hold up the bobblehead and dance every time he came to bat. Since the Orioles won the game 11-5 and pounded out 17 hits, we might have found our new version of Wild Bill Hagy!

As you can see, the Jones bobblehead also shows him catching a ball, so maybe the trio is being depicted during batting practice. It seems unlikely that both Nolan and Jonesy could be in the same outfield both catching a ball during a game. I would like to note that Jones is not using both hands to make the catch, so at least the bobblehead is accurate.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Paul Adds to My Collection

Recently, I pulled off another trade with blog reader, Paul. And by recently, I mean about three weeks ago. Yep, it took me that long to get the cards scanned and posted. So without any further delay...

Eli Marrero played in only 22 games for the Orioles at the end of the 2005 season, but did manage to hit 3 HR over that time. He played 10 total seasons in the Majors, 7 of those with the Cardinals, and nearly had his career (and life) derailed by thyroid cancer in 2000. Luckily, he was able to win his battle with cancer and it didn't even cause him to miss a full season of games. I also found out that Eli is the uncle of current Nationals prospect, Chris Marrero.

Eli's 2005 Topps Update card shows him in an O's uniform and I sent that card to him in a TTM request back at the beginning of 2009. I don't think it's coming back at this point. I still hope to get his Orioles card signed at some point, but will have to wait for a private signing since he is only a 36% TTM signer.

Steve Reed pitched for the Orioles in 2005, the final year of his 14 season career in the Majors. He is a submarine-style pitcher, which is a major plus for me, however his 6.61 ERA over 30 games for the O's made it tough for me to like him too much.

Steve also has a card that shows him in an Orioles uniform, a 2005 Topps Total card that also features Aaron Rakers. I have a better chance of getting that signed TTM since Steve signs requests at a 85% success rate.

Chris Widger doesn't have any Orioles cards, likely due to the fact that he only appeared in 9 games for the Birds at the end of the 2006 season, so this card is now a permanent resident of my collection. I really like it too; the blue sharpie works great with the Expos colors on his uniform and on the card. Chris signed this at the perfect spot too, anywhere else the blue sharpie would've disappeared into the blue on the card.

Paul's trade also included orange uniform autographs of Nolan Reimold and Jeff Fiorentino, as well as Orioles player postcard autographs of Scott McGregor and Nate Snell. Somehow I failed to scan all of those, but figured it was about time to post this trade. Thanks again Paul!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

It's my mom's birthday today and a little research revealed that she shares her birthday with a number of former Orioles players.

"Did I catch a Niner in there?"

I guess that JJ is a former and probably future Oriole.

Oscar was only in Baltimore for a short time but was a favorite of mine.

Jackie is closest in age to my mom, but doesn't share her actual birth year.

This is the first time that Lou has been featured on here.

Happy Birthday Mom! I hope that you have/had a great day!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Unpossible Autograph: Sam Bowens

Sam Bowens played for the Orioles in 5 of his 7 seasons in the Big Leagues from 1963-67. He only appeared in more than 100 games in 1964, when he played 139 games and had career highs in almost every offensive category that season. He actually hit 22 HR, 25 doubles and 71 RBI, which are all solid numbers, but was kept from regular playing time behind the likes of Boog Powell, Paul Blair, Curt Blefary, and Frank Robinson over the remainder of his time with the Birds. Throughout his career, Sam's OF defense was regarded as being very good.

I picked this card up on the bay, so Sam didn't wish me "Best Wishes" but rather someone else. This is one of a very few cards that I have that's signed in red. Potzie over at Eutaw Street Cardboard did a post on player's signing in red a while back, if you are interested I'm sure that you can find it on his blog. I generally don't prefer it but the red works on the blue sky on this card.

Sam passed away in his hometown of Wilmington, NC in 2003 at the age of 64. Rest in Peace Sam.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Week Of Jake Fox

Unless Jake does something crazy over the next few days, I promise that this will be my last post about the Orioles new super-utility player for now. In his three games with the O's so far, he has appeared as a catcher, left fielder and DH. Now that's versatility! He got his first hit in an Orioles uniform last night too. Oh, and the Orioles crushed the Marlins, totaling 11 runs and 17 hits. It felt great to be on the right side of a lop-sided victory.

I was lucky enough to get Jake's autograph before last night's game, and I apologize for this crappy cell phone picture, but it's all that I had time to do before work. I will try to get an actual scan done tonight so you don't have to keep looking at this blurry thing.

Anyway, Jake seemed like a great guy and signed for a bunch of people. I met up with fellow O's collector Aaron at the game and we were both able to get him. I thought it was interesting that Jake has a pretty serious southern drawl for someone who is from Indiana.

From what I have heard, Jake has a much-needed happy-go-lucky attitude in the clubhouse and from what I've seen, he seems to be a free swinger at the plate. I guess that can be good if you can hit the ball out o the ballpark, but not so much if you strike out all the time. What's it gonna be Jake? I vote for the HR option.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Some Recent Orioles Autographs

Since I've been behind with almost all my collecting related activities for this entire baseball season, I haven't been able to scan or show off my current Orioles autographs as I've been getting them at games. So I am going to dump them all into this one post. Sounds like a plan to me. So here we go!

My new thing is trying to get these O's postcards signed, specifically by players who don't have any Orioles cards, like Ohman and Castillo (who has been sent to AAA Norfolk since he signed this for me). Berken's only Orioles card is from the 2010 Topps When They Were Young insert set, so I only give that card half credit as an O's card since the picture of him as a kid dominates the card.

And speaking of guys who are no longer with/on the team...

I intended to have this card scanned for my "Goodbye Dave" post. That obviously didn't happen, but here it is now. I wonder what Dave is up to these days?

Tillman is currently biding his time with the Tides. I was happy to get him to sign this card for my orange uniform collection.

Jeff Datz, the O's bench coach, signed for me for the first time all season. I don't think he's a tough signer, but he is just always in the dugout. I have a few more copies of this card, which is his one and only MLB card, and hope to get another signed since this J turned out very dry.

I got my first in-person C-Pat autograph too. I've seen him sign one or two other times but was in the wrong place to get him then.

Ty signed for me for only the third time since he's been with the O's. He's a tough autograph to get most of the time, and in retrospect, I don't really know what I chose this card to get him to sign. It's pretty blah. Oh well.

It's possible that any of these three guys are sent to Norfolk (or released in Albers' case) to make room for the starting pitcher needed for this Saturday's game. Garrett Atkins would be the most logical guy to get rid of in my opinion, but what do I know?

Luke was the man once again. I know that this is an 08 Heritage short print, and that I probably should have just kept it with my set and all, but look at all that orange! It needed to be signed. And now it's going with my orange uniform autograph collection. I know he's not wearing an orange uni, but it's orange enough for me. It's my collection so I get to make the rules.

Both Cesar and Julio Lugo signed at the same spot the day I got this card autographed. Since this is my 5th Cesar and I still need Lugo on my Orioles postcard, I would gladly have switched up which autograph I got, but that's not how it works. I hope to get Julio sometime soon though.

Guthrie continues to be a good signer. Again not sure why I chose this boring card to get signed, but I did. Can't do anything about it now.

I continue to get lucky with Jonesy. I've heard others say that they've had trouble getting him to sign but I seem to get him 4-5 times a season. I like how he looped his #10 in with his signature on the top card. Oh, and Kalina, I put Jones at the bottom of the post just for you. Let's just say that Kalina doesn't appreciate his "attitude", "hustle" or constant focus on chewing gum/blowing bubbles.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oriole #881- or Jake Fox Takes Me Backwards

Well that didn't take long, now did it? Only hours after the Jake Fox trade was officially announced, he made his Orioles debut as a pinch hitter, and nearly launched the ball out of the Yard. This trade is a good reminder that players and teams normally know about these transactions hours, if not days, before the news trickles down to us fans.

I know that I am reusing the same card/autograph of Jake that I used yesterday, but there is a good reason for that. I forgot to mention yesterday that this scan was lifted from ebay, and is unfortunately is not mine. So now the title of this post might make more sense, as Jake's debut decreased the percentage of autographs in my Orioles collection. The good news is that I heard from a few fans that Jake signed before last night's game, so I hope to add him when I make it to the game on Thursday.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Trading a Wolf for a Fox

According to reports from the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles traded AAA pitcher Ross Wolf to the Oakland A's for Jake Fox, who had been designated for assignment by the A's just over a week ago. I had the chance to briefly talk to Ross this spring training and he seemed like a great guy. He's never appeared in the Major Leagues, but has had a solid year for the Tides and I would guess that he will make his MLB debut for the A's sometime this year. I hope that he has a good future in Oakland.

Jake Fox has appeared in big league games for the Cubs in '07 & '09 and the A's this season. He showed some decent pop in '09 when he hit 11 HR in 82 games, but was struggling at the plate this year. My guess is that his arrival in Baltimore spells the end of Garrett Atkins' miserable stay in Birdland. Fox has some versatility as he can play both corner outfield and infield positions, DH, and catch. It will be nice to have a super utility player who can also catch in emergencies and I have to say that it's not too surprising to see MacPhail bring another former Cubbie into the organization.

Jake has cards in the '09 & '10 Topps Heritage, '10 UD & '09 Topps Updates sets. I'm hoping that I have at least one of those cards around the house for him to sign. According to SCN, he signs at a 53% return rate, but many of those were early in his career while he was still in the minors, so I hope to get him at the ballpark sometime soon.

I would guess that this is the first of many trades that the Orioles will be making over the next month or so, but only time will tell.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Recent Alumni Signing Additions

I haven't been doing a very good job this season with showing off my Orioles Alumni Autographs. I've been busier than most years and this has just fallen by the wayside. But today, I'm catching up (mostly)! Here are the players that have signed at the Orioles Alumni booth on Eutaw Street over the past 2 months or so.

In no particular order...
Jackie Brandt was a first time signer at the booth. He has a MD address, and I know that he's been to games, since he has been featured on the Jumbotron, so I've been hoping that he would show up. This was my first in person autograph of his and of course it came the week after

I bought this guy on the bay. Oh well, now I'm double covered. This one is now up for trade if anyone is interested.

This was also Mike Boddicker's first time to be lined up for a signing. Since he is working for MASN this year, it seemed like only a matter of time before he would be a guest signer.

These three guys are regular signers at the booth and I think I'm now officially out of cards for the three of them to sign.

Ron added the 1960 AL ROY inscription at my request since the card has the Topps All-Star Rookie trophy so prominently featured on it.

I could always buy some more unsigned cards for these guys to sign, but I probably have 3-5 autographs from each of them now, and I don't think I need any more than that. Until I start another new autograph project at least...

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I don't know why, but I really like Neftali Feliz. I don't care about the Rangers one way or the other, and I don't watch many of their games, so I guess I just got swept up in the prospect/rookie excitement about him last season. He throws 100+ and has a cool name, which honestly doesn't hurt the cause.

I got the Neftali card in a trade with Rangers fan and SCN user, thehalk. He also included this Jimmy Jones card from a signing he held with Mr. Jones since he felt bad for briefly forgetting to send me the Neftali. It was no problem at all, and I can highly recommend trading/dealing with thehalk if you are on SCN. He certainly didn't need to include the Jones, but I appreciate the gesture. I guess Jimmy is a tough signer, and since he never played for the Orioles, I don't need him for my collection. If you do, just let me know and we can work out a trade.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Collective Troll is Awesome

But you probably already knew that since he's one of the best traders/all-around good bloggers that I have come across in my 15 months in the blogoverse.

He recently displayed these Markakis and Battle of Trenton Cabinet cards on his blog and I got in touch with him quickly. You can't tell here, but these puppies are huge! I don't have the measurements but I would guess that are 10" by 6" or something like that.

Even though I'm not a Markakis collector per se, that card was too great to pass up. It looks like he is swinging his bat trying to ward off the coming apocalypse or something.

The Battle of Trenton card is for Kalina since she's a social studies teacher and likes that kind of thing. I have to admit, George Washington was a pretty awesome guy.

He also threw in this postcard sized Cal from his current group break. Troll's break isn't over yet, but since he was already sending me some other over-sized cards, he smartly took the opportunity to include this guy. Cal really was a Master of the Game. I miss him, and those Orioles teams he played on. If you look at the back of this card, which I didn't scan (facepalm), it seems to indicate that it is actually a postcard, not like I would put this through the USPS gauntlet.

And to top everything off, he threw in two giant stacks of Scott Kazmir cards for Kalina. She always gets so excited whenever she gets cards, so this package was double awesome! Here are some of her favorites:

Thanks again Troll for the awesome cards. If you haven't checked out his site, click one of this links in this post. He's all about the Rays, and is a great guy/blogger.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Goodbye Ryan

It sounds like the Orioles traded AA pitcher Ryan Oullette to the White Sox for something/someone. I suggest that it was a bag of magic beans...Kenny Williams can be sneaky...

Kalina and I enjoyed watching Ryan pitch for the Keys and Baysox over the past 3 seasons. He always seemed like a cool guy and was a great signer. He was even one of the few Baysox players to participate in the "Mustache Night" promotion last year.

Good luck Ryan! I hope that you make it to "the show" someday soon.