Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Luis C. Garcia Finally Joins My Collection

About a month and a half ago, I showed off a long-awaited signed Orioles card of Bret Barberie, and teased the fact that I had added another long sought after autograph to my collection. Well I hope that no one was holding their breath waiting for me to show off that other signature, because six weeks is no short wait.

Without any further ado, I present to you my signed Orioles card of Luis C. Garcia. His has been one of the autographs that had remained just out of my reach since I restarted collecting Orioles autographs in 2008. I was able to track down a signed custom index card back in September 2011, but I had never seen one of his signed Orioles cards available until last November.

Once I saw this card available for sale, I recall being ridiculously excited, and pulling the trigger on the deal right away. There is still at least one other of his signed cards for sale online, and only a handful were available, so that kind of shows me the limited demand for his signature, but at least I know there are other Orioles autograph nuts out there.

There are a few factors that contributed to the difficulty of tracking down Luis's signed Orioles cards. First, he appeared in just six games for the 2002 Orioles, and played exclusively in Mexico after the '02 season. While he continued to play in Mexico through the 2011 season and seems to still be involved with baseball in his home country, there are precious few 'graphers who take care of former players in Mexico, and fewer still who are truly reliable.

Secondly, Luis Garcia is a somewhat common name for baseball players from Mexico, and why I list his name as Luis C. Garcia. Luis R. Garcia played in a handful of games for the 1999 Tigers, and Luis A. Garcia pitched for the Phillies in 2013. Not to mention the additional eight Luis Garcia's who have played in the minor leagues over the years. So even figuring out which Luis was the one who played for the Orioles was a challenge.

Lastly, Luis C. appeared on just two cards as an Oriole, this 2002 UD 40 Man card, and a 2002 Fleer Box Score card, of which both sets were relatively limited. So the simple matter of having an Orioles card of his to be signed was no simple matter.

All of these things worked against me for a long time, but I have to admit that made it all the sweeter once I finally had this card. Welcome to the collection, Luis.

(I plan to get back to my FanFest autographs soon. I would like to show them all off before I head down to Spring Training, in case you care!)

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