Friday, December 31, 2010

Unpossible Autograph Friday- Ken Lehman

Of course 2010 couldn't end without the news of another former Orioles player passing away. About a month ago, I broke down how bad 2010 has been in regards to deaths in the O's family, and I had to add an unfortunate addendum to that when Walt Dropo died 2 weeks later. Little did I know at the time, but Ken Lehman had passed away on December 4th.

If you read his obituary that ran in the Seattle Times, it sounds like Ken was a great guy, and extremely humble. His wife had passed away on November 11 and it sounds like the grief of losing her might have been too much for Ken to handle. No cause of death is mentioned, but that's the implication.

From a personal standpoint, it's hard to lose the players who were nice enough to sign my TTM requests, as it gives me a very brief connection to them; Ken signed this card specifically for me. He returned my request in only ten days back in the summer of '09, which is especially impressive as the card had to travel to Washington State and back.

Ken pitched five seasons in the Majors from 1952-61, including the '57-58 seasons with the O's.

RIP Ken.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wrapping up the Trade- Signed Index Cards

Here's the rest of the autographs from my recent trade. These are all cut or signed 3x5s, so I would still like to find signed Orioles cards of these guys, but am happy to add these to my collection for now.

Del Rice was a catcher who played from 1945-61 for the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Braves, Los Angeles Angels, Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles. He appeared in only one game for the Orioles in 1960, and had just one at-bat with the Birds. He was a member of two World Series Championship teams, the '46 Cardinals and the '57 Braves, and was elected to the 1953 N.L. All-Star team as a reserve.

Del was a baseball lifer and immediately following his playing career jumped to coaching, and later managing, eventually rising through the ranks to manage the 1972 Angels. He passed away from cancer in 1983. The Orioles Crown card, which was released in 1991, is his only "Orioles" card, so this cut autograph will stay in my collection.

Dave Pope played four seasons in the Major Leagues from 1952-56 for the Indians and Orioles. He briefly played in the Negro Leagues before his time in the Majors, and had an older brother, Willie, who also played in the Negro Leagues. He passed away in 1999 from leukemia.

Kelly played parts of five seasons in the Majors from 1982-88 and spent parts of 1985-86 with the Orioles, appearing in five games each season. He played at least ten games (of the 92 he appeared in during his career) at each infield position.

I sent him a TTM request in October, but haven't got anything back yet, so traded for this 3x5 in the meantime. A private signing with Kelly was recently announced through MLAM, so I will try to get his Crown card signed that way.


Gordon Dillard pitched two games for the Orioles in 1988 and five for the Phillies in 1989. I sent him a TTM request in July 2009, but he never sent my card back and has signed for at least one other collector since then according to SCN. Maybe he didn't like my letter. Who knows?

Happy Birthday Kalina!

My wonderful fiance is celebrating her birthday today, and I wanted to wish her a very Happy Birthday.

Kalina, did you know that you share your birthday with three former Orioles?

Jose Morales

Archie Corbin


and Jim Hoey, who you certainly know the best of your fellow celebrators

From the way things are going, Grant Balfour could become the 4th Oriole to share your birthday, if they end up signing him this offseason as rumors have it.

Also, HOFer Sandy Koufax was born today in 1935 and is definitely the most accomplished player who shares your big day. I'm about $200 short of Sandy's signed HOF plaque card, so you'll just have to picture what it looks like in your head.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Part 2 of the Trade- The Other Signed Cards

I'm back in town after spending a few days in Florida at the future in-law's house for Christmas. I hope that everyone got everything, or at least some things, that they wanted for Christmas.

Back to the trade that I wrote about in my previous post. These are the non-Crown signed cards that I received in the trade. 

Somehow I hadn't yet added Mark's autograph to my collection, so I was finally able to remedy that. He is probably one of the most known Orioles who was still missing from my collection. He passed away in 1998 but I've seen a number of his autographs for sale over the years, I was always just trying to find the best deal and hadn't pulled the trigger on any of them. 

The "Blade" played for the Orioles from 1965-81 and was one of the best fielding shortstops of all-time, winning eight Gold Gloves from 1969-78, including six consecutive from '73-'78. However, he wasn't so great with the bat, hitting only .228 over his career; even coming in last in all three Triple Crown categories in 1970. He overcame his offensive shortcomings through his superior glovework and made the All-Star team in 1976, received MVP votes three times, and was a member of the Orioles 1970 World Series Championship team. 

After his playing career ended, he stayed involved with baseball through his work with the MLB Player's Association. A lifelong smoker, Mark passed away from lung cancer at only 54 years old in 1998.

Way back in July 2009, I purchased a Donruss Greats certified autograph of Dwight's, but he was wearing a Red Sox uniform in the card. Almost all of Dwight's cards and I think all of his certified autographs picture him with the Sawx, but it makes sense as he spent 19 of his 20 MLB seasons in Boston, and only the 1991 season with the O's. So for the past year and a half, I've been on the lookout for a signed Orioles card. And now I have one, and he's wearing an orange uniform to boot. I like orange uni's, if you didn't know.

Thank goodness for this card; if not for it, Izzy's autograph would be much harder to track down. It's not a great looking card, but it's perfect for me, as he doesn't have any cards showing him in an Orioles uniform. He doesn't seem to sign TTM requests, and hasn't played professionally since 2003, so this card is likely going to be a permanent member of my collection.

Izzy played with the A's from 1996-98 and appeared in a single game for the Orioles in 2002, going 1-3 with a run scored. He's somehow not related to the catching Molina brothers (Bengie, Jose &Yadier), nor former Oriole catcher Gustavo Molina. At this point, I think that somewhere there must be a compound of people, all with the last name of Molina, whose sole purpose is to procreate and produce baseball catchers. I can't be wrong, can I?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Following Up on Bad Traders- Part 1 "The Crowns"

Almost three weeks ago, I ranted about my dealings, or lack thereof, with a fellow Orioles autograph collector. Shortly after the post, the trader in question contacted me and we were able to hash out our issues. I will admit that I'm not the most patient person in the world, and I think that factored into the situation, but he also admitted some fault in not keeping in touch with me over time.

Well this story has a happy ending as we were able to work out an epic trade to push my collection even closer to completion. The trader in question specializes in obscure Orioles players from the past, specifically O's Crown signed cards, while I would say that my specialty is O's autographs from the past three seasons. As you all likely know, I enjoy getting autographs almost as much as watching baseball. This might be different if the Orioles were competitive, but for now, that's the situation.

In exchange for 21 mostly current Orioles autographs, I obtained 10 new-to-me former Orioles autographs, including five O's cards and one card of a player who doesn't have any Orioles cards, and 3 upgrades over cards that were in my collection. At this stage in my collection, being able to add 13 items in one trade is a tough accomplishment!

Over the next few days, I'm going to group the new autographs into three categories. Today is the Orioles Crown autographs, tomorrow will be the other signed cards, and Wednesday will be the signed 3x5s. 

John pitched 11 seasons in the Majors from 1958-68, appearing in 326 games, but only played in seven games for the O's in the middle of the 1967 season, so this is his only "Orioles" card. He passed away in June 2008 at the age of 72. 

Joe played four seasons in the Majors between 1947-56, and spent the last half of his final big league season with the O's. After his playing career ended, Joe was a long-time minor league manager, eventually becoming the New York Mets manager in 1976-77. He has twice ignored my TTM requests, the second of which included a small donation, so I'm glad to knock him off of my list. 

Tom played in six games for the Orioles in September 1979. He only amassed three at-bats and unfortunately went hitless for his brief major league career. I sent him a TTM request almost a year ago but have yet to get anything back, so was again happy to add this autograph to my collection.

I did a post about Marty just about a year ago. You don't remember "Marty Brown Wednesday" after almost a year? For shame. The autographed card in that post is now up for trade. 

And one update since then, it sounds like Marty will be the manager of the Las Vegas 51s next season, so his autograph should be marginally easier to get now then when it was when he managed in Japan.


Babe pitched three seasons in the Major from 1955-58, including four games for the '56 O's. Back in September, I obtained a signed 3x5 of him in another trade, so that's now available for anyone who might be interested. I've sent this card in two different TTM requests to Babe at two different addresses, both which sound like the names of nursing homes, but haven't had any luck getting the card signed that way, so had to go another route.

Wade played 78 games for the Reds, Cubs & Orioles from 1984-88. I recently sent him a TTM request but he's a hit-or-miss signer, so I went with the sure thing by trading for this card.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Orioles Christmas

 I hope that all of your Christmas Shopping is (Alan) Dunn

 That all of your Jingle (Josh) Bells 

And (Wayne) Garland are hung 
 Around your (J.R) House

And that everyone's stockings are filled with Dollar Bills (Scherrer) 


Friday, December 24, 2010

The Christmas Season


I don't know about everyone else out there, but I'm a big fan of Christmas. I like the music, I like shopping for presents, I like getting presents, and I enjoy being with my family and friends. Yeah, some of it can be stressful and the month seems to fly by every year, but it makes me think how lucky am I. Things are good in my life: I'm getting married to an amazing woman in April, my parents have always been there for me, I've got a bunch of great friends, my two dogs seem to behave better each year, and somehow this little blog has kept rolling for almost two years thanks to all of you readers. Some days I might only have a few people stop by, but the conversations and interactions with many of my fellow bloggers and readers has kept me interested in the hobby and my collection. Thank you all. I hope that everyone gets cards in their stocking tomorrow. Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

TTM Success- Lonnie Smith

I have to start by saying that Lonnie had a much longer and more interesting career in the Majors than I remembered. It's probably because, by the time he arrived in Baltimore in September 1993, he was mostly a part-time DH who played in just 44 games over almost a full season with the Birds split between the 1993 and strike-shortened 1994 seasons.

While doing some research on this post, I learned that Lonnie played 17 MLB seasons from 1978-94 with the Phillies, Cardinals, Royals, Braves, Pirates & Orioles, received MVP votes for three of those seasons, made the 1982 NL All-Star team, and came in third in the 1980 NL ROY balloting. He is also the only player in baseball history to play in the World Series with four different organizations (the '80 & '81 Phillies, '82 Cardinals, '85 Royals & '91 & '92 Braves) and to win a World Series Championship with three different teams in the same decade (the '80 Phillies, '82 Cardinals & '85 Royals). It has to have been a fun experience to be a member of so many great teams.

Lonnie's career also had it's share of dark times. He battled drug problems during his time with the Royals in the mid-80s and felt that he was being blackballed by the Royals GM, John Schuerholz, after his stint with the team. In a 2006 interview, Lonnie admitted that while he was depressed and high, he purchased a gun and briefly considered killing Schueholz, but luckily came to his senses and didn't act any further on it.

Lonnie was also nicknamed "Skates" due to his often awkward footwork while playing the outfield. Baseball historian Bill James suggested that Lonnie should teach a class in "defensive recovery and cost containment" since he spent so much of his time working on it.

Lonnie was kind enough to sign and personalize this card for me in only 17 days, even adding "Best Wishes". As far as I know, this is his only Orioles card, otherwise I would have sent him one that wasn't so dark; the black jersey and dark background don't make this very ideal for a signature but I need my O's cards signed. Thanks for signing Lonnie!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Unpossible Autograph Wednesday- Walt Dropo

(I'm moving this week's unpossible autograph feature up from Friday since I don't think it seems right to do a sad post on Christmas Eve)

The Orioles family painfully lost another former member when Walt Dropo passed away on Friday, December 17 of natural causes after a long battle with Alzheimer's. It has been just under a month since Tom Underwood died and I examined how bad 2010 has been in regards to former O's passing away. Walt is the 13th former Oriole to die this year, further extending the record number of former Oriole deaths in a single calendar year.

Walt played for the Red Sox, Tigers, White Sox, Redlegs & Orioles over his 13 season MLB career from 1949-61. The highlight of his career was being selected the 1950 A.L. Rookie of the Year and leading the league in RBI and total bases, also making his only All-Star team. He would never find that level of success again, but forged a solid career as a first base platoon player.

Walt earned the nickname "Moose" because he grew up in Moosup, Connecticut where his parents had emigrated to from Yugoslavia. He was a three sport star at UConn, also excelling in football and basketball, before he decided to pursue a career in baseball.

RIP Walt. Let's hope that 2010 ends without anymore sadness in Birdland.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

An Upgraded Cesar Devarez

Cesar played with the Orioles for a combined 16 games during the 1995-96 seasons. He has been a coach for the O's short season A New York-Penn League team, the Aberdeen Ironbirds, since 2005, and has faithfully signed cards for me on my yearly trip to Ripken Stadium. Here's the cards he signed on my trip in 2009. You might notice that they are both Minor League cards, and I realized after that trip that I had never had Cesar sign an Orioles card in-person for me, so I decided to rectify that on my 2010 trip to Aberdeen.

Cesar played during the boom years of the card industry so he probably has .5 Orioles cards for every game that he played for them. I'm not joking. And he wasn't even a prospect. Ah, the mid-90s were a crazy time.

So there it is. Now you can all go back to your lives, knowing that the Cesar Devarez autograph in my collection was signed in front of me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Guest Blog: Merry Christmas, Troll!

Dear Troll:

Thank you SO much for the VERY generous Kazmir and Pena collection! I love them all, and it was a wonderful surprise! Thank you also for the kind Merry Christmas note...I don't have many cards that Ryan doesn't, but whatever I have that you need/want is yours. Thanks again, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Also congrats to Troll who just announced that he's going to be a GRANDPA soon and is having a contest to celebrate. Go check it out!

Need A-ccardo of Jeremy

On Friday, the Orioles announced that they had officially signed former Giants & Blue Jays righty Jeremy Accardo to a one year contract.

If you can excuse my bad play-on-words in the title of the post, I need some cards of this guy. He doesn't have many cards overall, especially not in sets that I've collected, with the exception of 08 Topps.

And if someone really wants to make my Christmas, this autograph from 08 Topps Finest would look great in my stocking. It might not be the most visually appealing of his autographed cards, but it's the only on-card autograph that I could find. (Picture clearly and obviously stolen borrowed from COMC.)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Random Sunday Autograph- Dorn Taylor

Dorn pitched in 27 games over parts of three seasons in the Majors. He appeared in 23 games with the Pirates in 1987 & '89 and pitched in four games for the Orioles in 1990. On June 25, 1990, the Pirates traded the O's for Jay Tibbs for a player to be named later (PTBNL). On September 5, they sent Dorn and an additional PTBNL to the O's to complete the trade. After pitching for the O's, Dorn seems to have hung up his spikes. I guess he figured that 245 Minor League games with only 27 MLB appearances was enough.

This is, I guess somewhat obviously, his only Orioles card; he also appeared in the '87 Fleer Update set as a Pirate and was included in a number of Minor League sets over the years. I recently bought this card and was excited to find it as there isn't much supply of or demand for Dorn Taylor Orioles autographs.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Unpossible Autograph Friday- RIP Rapid Robert

I don't have much to say that many of you don't already know about Bob Feller. Sadly, he passed away on Wednesday from complications of pneumonia. He was 92 years old, but had remained fairly healthy and active until August when he was diagnosed with leukemia. Since then, he has faced a number of medical problems and the numerous issues became too much for his body to take.

For years, he has been the longest tenured member of the Hall of Fame, having been elected on the first ballot he appeared on in 1962. That means that Bob had been a member of the Hall for almost 50 years when he died. That's amazing. I could be mistaken on this, but I think that Stan Musial (elected in 1969) now becomes the Dean of the HOF electees.

I wish that I had an awesome story as to how I got this HOF postcard signed. So many of you seem to have met and conversed with Bob at some point over the years. Unfortunately, I only starting collecting signed HOF postcards recently and I bought this one off of a fellow collector on a few months ago. I guess that I at least have his autograph in my collection, but it would have been nice to have met such an interesting and historical figure. RIP Bob. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nearly Perfect

Autograph- check
Sidearm pitcher pictured mid-motion- check
Full-bleed photograph- check

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Does Dave Skaggs Look Real to You?

His autograph that is...

This autograph has been in my collection for some time now, and I don't exactly remember how or where I got it, but I either purchased it at a show or on ebay. Fellow O's collector Aaron mentioned to me that he got a TTM request back from Skaggs recently so that made me turn my attention to my Skaggs autograph.

The pre-printed signature looks similar to the autograph on the card, and neither is likely to earn Dave any penmanship honors, but the autograph just looks a little off from the pre-printed signature, chiefly the s at the end of his last name. The pre-print is printed while the autograph s is cursive, which seems to be a fairly large difference. I could only find one picture of Dave's autograph online and that s doesn't look exactly like either of these but is more similar to the printed one, so my "autograph" might not be legit. 

Can anyone offer their opinion on my card? What do you think?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Recent TTM Successes*

I've mentioned before how I was a Pirates fan growing up. (And I've disclosed that I know this is strange for most O's fans because of the major Pirates-Orioles rivalry in the 1970's. But I wasn't born yet, so it didn't mean much to me growing up. And Sid Bream was from my hometown. Boom. Case closed.) 

Anyway, Doug was the best pitcher on those late 80's/early90's Pirates teams that I followed because of Sid. My parents would take me out to Three Rivers Stadium once every few seasons and I would watch the Pirates and try to get autographs. I have a few signed Drabek Pirates cards from back then, but I finally upgraded to an Orioles card. I know that Doug was pretty much dried up by the time he pitched for the Orioles in 1998 in his last season in the Majors, but I collect what I collect.

And yes, I find this card to be as ugly as you do, but it's his only Orioles card that I own, and he's a great TTM signer, so off it went. I also sent a few ticket stubs from his son Kyle's Major League debut against the Orioles in Baltimore, a game that I just happened to attend.

Doug signed and personalized my card in 49 days. I didn't get any mention for the tickets, but hey, I'm just glad that he signed the card. And an interesting note, Doug seems to personalize almost everything he signs, I guess as a way to prevent people from selling his autographs. I always request personalization to make the items in my collection mean more to me, so that 's great for me. Of the two signed Pirates cards I have from almost 20 years ago, one is personalized and one is not.

Randy Miller pitched in one game for the Orioles in 1977 and five games for the Expos in 1978. Let's just say that his brief Major League career didn't go as he might have preferred. The stats aren't pretty. But I'm glad that Randy is kind enough to sign TTM autograph requests.

*Typing the word successes feels funny. It just seems like a constant stream of c's & e's & s's. It's like it will never end. I get the same feeling typing the word bananas. I never know when to stop.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Continuing the Reynolds Trend

Since the Orioles traded for Mark Reynolds this week, I figured that I would show off my newest Reynolds autograph. Nope, it's not Mark. He's been a member of the Orioles for 3+ days and I don't yet have his autograph, which is a travesty, I know, it's something that I hope to rectify that soon. But I finally have Harold Reynolds' autograph on an Orioles card.


The early-mid to mid-late '90s were the wheelhouse of my first foray into collecting autographs at baseball games, so I have autographs from many of the players who were Orioles during that time-frame.  Harold was a notable exception, and I didn't have his autograph at all until I picked up a signed Mariners card at the National back in August. If you don't click on that link, I mentioned that not having Harold's autograph in my collection was bothersome as I've seen him on TV on ESPN and now MLB Network for most of the last decade. He was so close, yet so far away as he doesn't seem to sign any TTM requests. At last, I have his signed Orioles card so I can now sleep better at night. No seriously, these are the types of things that keep me awake. I got a fever and the only more cowbell Orioles autographs.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Unpossible Autograph Friday- Gene Green

Gene spent parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues from 1957-63 and played for the Cardinals, Orioles, Senators, Indians & Reds. In December 1959, the Cardinals traded him, and minor leaguer Charles Staniland, to the O's in return for Bob Nieman. Gene appeared in just one game for the Birds, and went 1-4 while playing right field. He spent the rest of the season with the Miami Marlins, the O's AAA affiliate at that time. After the season, the Washington Senators selected him with the 52nd pick of the 1960 expansion draft so his time in Birdland was over.

I have to mention a few things about this card.
1) I highly doubt these pictures are of him in an O's uniform considering he played in only a single game for them. To further support my theory, check out the size of the Oriole Bird on his hat in the small picture. That thing would be huge if the picture was full-sized.
2) It's not often you see a player's position listed as "Catcher-Outfield", but Gene played 170 games in the OF and spent 146 games behind the plate during his career

Gene passed away at the way-too-young age of 47 in St. Louis in 1981. I couldn't find a cause of death anywhere, but would guess that he might have died suddenly. Does anyone know anything about it?
RIP Gene.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Another Orioles Trade, A Re-Signing & Rule V Draft Results

The Orioles completed their second trade of the Winter Meetings, this time acquiring JJ Hardy, Brendan Harris & cash from the Twins in return for relievers Jim Hoey & Brett Jacobson.


Hoey pitched for the Orioles in 2006 & '07 and was recently re-added to the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule V draft.

Jacobson was traded to the Orioles from the Tigers for Aubrey Huff in late 2009. He had a solid year at single A Frederick, but is 24 years old and has yet to play in AA.

The Orioles also re-signed their past and possibly future closer, Koji Uehara, to a one year deal with a vesting option for a second season. I haven't heard what Koji needs to do to get the second year to vest, but I like it. The team is protected if he breaks down like he did over his first 1.5 seasons in Baltimore and we get two years of awesome Koji if he is lights-out like he was for the last half of the 2010 season.

The Rule V draft also went down this morning. I know that it doesn't matter for many fans whose teams are successful on the field, but for the teams that are re-building, it can be a painless and nearly risk-free way to add talent to the organization. It's also a good indication of how other teams view your farm system, as certain teams constantly have their players taken which shows that they have more talent than they can protect. This season the Orioles had four players taken, which is as high of number that I can remember being picked from the system. They also selected four players from other organizations.

In the first round, the Brewers snagged Pat Egan, who finished 2010 with AAA Norfolk. Egan has steadily risen through the O's organization and I will remember him for being exceptionally tall, something like 6'10".

Pedro Beato was selected by the Mets in the second round of the Major League phase. He finished the 2010 season as Bowie's closer and was an Orioles supplemental first round pick, I believe in 2005.

Both Egan & Beato must stay on the Brewers' & Mets' Major League 25 man roster for the entire season or they will be heading back to the Orioles organization. In the minor league phases of the Rule V, the O's lost pitcher Brent Allar, who I have an autograph of but never got it scanned, to the Marlins and catcher Daschenko Ricardo, who I honestly have never heard of, to the Giants.

The Orioles selected Brewers' relief pitcher, Adrian Rosario in the Major League phase of the draft. In the Minor League phases the O's took 2B Dale Mollenhauser & RHP Jacob Rasner from the White Sox and LHP Casey Rasner from the Cubs.

All-in-all, this past week has been one of the most active and exciting in recent Orioles history. We still need a first baseman and some relief pitchers, so I would expect that a few more moves will be made in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Back to My Happy Place- Dave Nicholson TTM Success

After blowing off some steam yesterday, I'm back to my happy place with a TTM success from Dave Nicholson.

Dave played for the O's in 1960 & '62 as a fourth outfielder and played at least 20 games at left, center, and right field over his 151 games over his two seasons in Baltimore. He also played for the White Sox, Astros & Braves during his seven seasons in the Big Leagues. In 1963, he led the AL with 175 K's while playing for the White Sox. 

Dave signed this card for me in only 8 days and was kind enough to personalize it as I requested and to inscribe "Best Wishes" too. Thanks for cheering me up Dave!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bad Traders- A Rant

I'm sure that most of you fellow bloggers and some of you readers have come across a bad trader during your time collecting cards. Whether it was a kid on the playground who always wanted Ken Griffey Jr. for Chris Sabo, someone who never fulfilled their half of a trade, or a collector who thinks that their cards are worth so much more than yours, unfortunately, bad traders are out there.

Over the past fourteen months or so, I've been trying to work with a very difficult trader who somehow thinks that his cards are worth much more than mine. And on top of that, it takes a few months and multiple emails to get any sort of response from the guy. He seems to think that he's the only person in the world who has a Jim Hutto Orioles signed card.

 Well he's not. Now I have one too.

After months of emails, I was able to work out a trade for one player I needed last December. Since then, it's been fruitless emails & trade requests, some of which were replied to, while others were flat out ignored. I've attempted to work out another trade but calling his communication sporadic would be a compliment.

 Oh look, another tough Orioles autograph. (This is a drab looking card, isn't it?)

I'm above naming names, but I would imagine that some of you other Orioles autograph collectors know who I'm talking about. After about two months of non-response following one of his emails, I sent an ultimatum to my frustrating trade partner last week. I either wanted to trade or be done with "our" discussions. If you don't want to trade, that's fine, but just say it and stop jerking me around. You might have a few tough Orioles autographs that will be hard to find elsewhere, but I can find Pete Burnside Crown cards elsewhere brotha.

He surprisingly responded to my final attempt to contact him and it looks like we won't be doing any more "trading". But you know what, I'm glad. I'll let some other poor sucker waste a year of their life for a single autograph. You just keep hoarding all your cards and I'll be a happier person without your three emails a year. 

Anyone feeling me, or did I go off the deep end?

Monday, December 6, 2010

The O's Trade for Mark Reynolds

I called it last week. Here's proof. I know that I wasn't the first person to bring it up, but I'm still pretty proud of myself since I'm normally wrong on these things. Anyone have a Reynolds autograph that they want to trade? The one up top isn't mine as you can see by the watermark.


To get Reynolds, the O's had to give up David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio.  Hernandez has a legit arm and could possibly be a closer for the D'backs while Mickolio wasn't good at much besides being exceptionally tall (he's 6'9") and having awkward mechanics.

I give this trade 3.5 out of 5 O's.  The O's needed to do something. The fans were getting restless.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Random Saturday Autograph-Victor Santos

Victor pitched in the Major Leagues from 2001-07 for the Tigers, Rockies, Rangers, Brewers, Pirates, Reds & Orioles. He was only with the Orioles for the final month of the 2007 season but, along with Victor Zambrano, formed the Craptastic Dueling Victors. Even in a typically lost September, the Victors stood out for their consistently bad performances on the mound. Santos appeared in only four games, but gave up 5, 4, 3, & 1 run in those games. I guess you could say he was improving with each outing, but I don't want any reliever on my team who ALWAYS gives up at least one run. His 0-2 record with a 8.16 ERA weren't exactly flattering either.

As far as I was able to find, he spent part of the 2009 season with the Newark Bears in the independent Atlantic League, and hasn't pitched professionally in the US since then.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Unpossible Autograph Friday- Tom Underwood & A Breakdown of All Former Orioles' Death Years

The Orioles family lost it's twelfth former player this year when Tom Underwood died on Monday, November 22 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. After doing some research, 2010 has seen the most former O's pass away while 2004 had the second most deaths, when 10 Orioles players died. After only one death in 2008 and three in 2009, I guess that the numbers were bound to even out, but it's been hard to see so many guys that I've been following and collecting die in such a short time span.

Since the modern Orioles franchise began playing in 1954, many of the players who played in the '50s & '60s are now getting old and no one lives forever. As I mentioned, I did some research into the years that former O's passed away and here's what I found:
1950s- 2
1960s- 3
1970s- 9
1980s- 18
1990s- 31
2000s- 48
2010s- 12 (in 1 year!!)

I expect that this decade will easily see a record number of deaths. I'm not exactly going out on a limb considering that we're already a quarter of the way to total number of deaths in the 2000s. Prepare for the worst, O's fans.

Back to Tom. He pitched 11 seasons in the Majors from 1974-84 for the Phillies, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Yankees, A's & O's. He was mainly a starter for his first seven seasons, but was chiefly a reliever by the end of his career. His last professional season was 1984, which was also his only season with the Orioles; he had a 1-0 record with a 3.52 ERA over 37 appearances. His brother, Pat, also pitched in the Majors, and they faced each other at least once, with Pat coming out the victor. RIP Tom. And let's hope that the Orioles family doesn't lose anyone else over the next 29 days.