Monday, February 7, 2011
C'mon Spring Training & Thanks David Newhan
After watching the team I dislike more than any other win the Super Bowl last night, I've been "in a mood" all day, so figured I would turn my thoughts toward something happy like Orioles Spring Training. Pitchers and catchers report on Sunday and I'm excited for more realistic reasons than any other season in recent memory. I don't think the Orioles will necessarily win the World Series or anything, but they should be competitive and might finally break their nasty consecutive losing seasons streak.
So how does this autograph of a player who hasn't been with the Orioles since 2006 and hasn't played a game in the Majors since 2008 tie in to Spring Training? Well David is partially responsible for my autograph renaissance. I had actively collected autographs for years growing up before high school & college made me think that autographs weren't cool anymore. (A few of my jerky-er friends still insist that's the case, but I'm pretty sure they're wrong.) I piggy-backed on a Florida vacation with my parents and grandma during Spring Training 2006 and we went to an Orioles-Cardinals game. I had a few Orioles cards from packs that I had occasionally bought over the years and this card was one of those few that I brought to that game.
Even though I had repressed them for so many years, my autograph instincts were still in decent form, and I got a number of autographs at the game. Most were on the game program and I've been able to identify most of those signatures, but David was one of just a couple cards that I got signed. It marked my slow but steady ascent back into the realm of Orioles autograph collecting.
David put together a decent career as a super-utility guy and had a pretty amazing 2004 season with the O's. As far as I know, he is still a player-coach in the Phillies farm system and also writes a blog called Newhan on Baseball with his dad Ross who is HOF elected scribe. This card will always hold a special place in my collection.
As baseball approaches, I will once again be holding a Spring Training Contest like I did last year, with just a few tweaks from last year's edition. Info will be coming over the next few weeks, so be on the lookout!