Monday, November 8, 2010
Andy Van Slyke Private Signing
Recently, a fellow autograph collector on Sportscollectors.net hosted a signing with Andy at a golf tournament and I was very happy to knock him off of my need list. If you're an autograph collector and you've never checked out SCN, you are missing out. They don't pay me anything to say this, but it's my favorite site for researching TTM information, trading with fellow collectors, and learning about private signings that are being held around the country. So click the link, and then come back to finish reading my post!
Anyway, Andy is only about a 1% TTM signer and never returned the request I sent him in April 2009, so I don't think that one will ever come back. At the time I sent it, Andy was in his fourth season as the Detroit Tigers first base coach. I also tried to get his autograph when the Tigers were in Baltimore for a series during that season, but even though Andy was standing next to the left field wall at one point during batting practice, he didn't sign for me, or anyone else.
I was a big fan of the Pirates growing up, which I know isn't very common for older O's fans who experienced the Orioles heart-breaking World Series losses to the Bucs in 1971 & '77, but that was before my time, and since Sid Bream was from my hometown of Carlisle, PA, I was a Pirates fan back then. Besides Sid, Andy was one of my favorite players on the the team and I still have a cracked bat of Andy's that I bought at a Pittsburgh collectors store back in the day.
Andy played in the Major Leagues for 13 season with the Cardinals, Pirates, Orioles & Phillies and is best remembered for his 1988-93 seasons during which Andy was a three time All-Star, five time Gold Glove winner, three time MVP vote getter, and two time Silver Slugger. He also had one of the most powerful arms in all of baseball, and supposedly could reach 100 mph from the mound during batting practice.
His time in Baltimore was very short; he only played in 17 games at the start of the '95 season before being traded to the Phillies, but he was a big enough star that there are four or five cards that depict him in a Orioles uniform. And now his autograph is a part of my collection, after all of those years, I'd say it's about time.