Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Oriole #764- Eli Marrero

Eli Marrero made his Orioles debut on June 10, 2005 after a midseason trade brought him to Baltimore from Kansas City. Through the remainder of the season, he appeared in 22 games for the Orioles, mainly playing as a fourth outfielder. Eli provided some power off the bench, hitting 3 home runs in 50 at-bats, but also struck out 20 times over that period.

Eli played for the Cardinals for his first seven years in the Majors before bouncing between five teams over his final three big league seasons. He was only a regular one season, in 2002 during his time with the Cardinals, and spent the rest of his career as a back-up player.

This 2005 Topps Update issue is Eli's only Orioles card (along with some color and chrome variations) and it took me a few years to get it signed. I sent him a TTM request way back in March 2009 that has yet to make it's way back to me, and I doubt that it ever will at this point. In June 2010, I swung a trade to add one of his Cardinals autographed cards to my collection, but you wouldn't believe how hard it can be to track down a specific signed card.

Many of the players I am still trying to upgrade in my collection have had one or two Orioles cards produced of them, and signed copies of those cards seem to be very scarce. In many cases, you can easily find an autograph of just about anyone, but it can be very hard to find the specific autograph you want.

Luckily, Eli was a signer at the 2011 Cardinals Winter Caravan last year, and a fellow collector was able to help me to get my card autographed with whatever chicken-scratch that is that Eli calls his signature. I'm just  happy to knock Oriole #764 off of my need list.

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