Thursday, August 26, 2010
Upgrading Matt Wieters
I have been a big fan of Wieters ever since the Orioles drafted him with their first pick (5th overall) in the 2007 draft. He's my favorite current Oriole and I was able to get his autograph multiple times during his time with single A Frederick and double A Bowie over the 2008 season. But back then, Matt didn't have any cards that pictured him in an Orioles uniform, so I've been in need of an upgrade for some time now.
Matt has some sort of exclusive deal with Tristar, or one of those companies, so he hasn't been included in either of Topps 2009 or 10 base sets, or any of their insert sets for that matter. Matt was included in a few high end 2009 Upper Deck releases like Icons and he was also included in the mysterious 09 UD "Update" set. A quick search of ebay will show that these cards are in the $20-30 range unsigned, so that's too much for me to buy just to have him sign. Give me the cheap stuff. So I waited, and then 2010 UD came through; even though they actually did a good job hiding any Orioles logos on this card, I still consider it an O's card.
I've had this card with me at every O's game since Spring Training, hoping to get Matt to sign it, but he is a pretty tough signature to get these days. Since he starts about 6 days a weeks and helps to warm up the starting pitchers, there isn't a good time inside the stadium when he signs. I hear that he occasionally will sign on days that he's not starting, but I like to see him play and typically go to games when he is starting. I run into a Catch 22 with that problem.
Anyway, I was finally able to get my 2010 UD card signed on Saturday August 7th. Matt was scheduled for a signing at an AT&T store in Columbia, MD, which is about 15 miles southwest of Baltimore, and I knew that it was my chance to get my card signed. Luckily, I didn't have any plans that morning, and since the signing was scheduled from 12-1, I knew I should get there early. I arrived around 10:30am and was around the 50th person in line. By the time the signing started at noon, the line wrapped the entire way around the strip mall, so I was happy that I got there when I did. Matt was really nice and briefly talked to each fan as they got his autograph.
I had hoped to get my Wieters Sports Illustrated signed too, but it was a strict one per person limit. Maybe next time...
Labels: Matt Wieters