Thursday, April 30, 2009

Current O's autograph list added, Luis Hernandez TTM & pics from Tuesday's game

Since this is something I should have done a while ago, you will notice that I now have a link to my Orioles autographed cards on the upper left hand side of my blog. It shows all the Orioles players I currently have autographs from and which team's card is signed; if that column is blank, that means I have an O's card signed. If I don't have an Orioles card signed of a specific player or you have any autographs on my want list that could help me out, please let me know. I am always ready and willing to trade and hope to list all of my autographs for trade (mainly from late 80's through mid 90's) on the site soon.

Also, when I was on my way home from work yesterday, I was thinking that a returned TTM request waiting for me in my mailbox would be a nice way to end a crazy day. I hadn't got one back for almost two weeks but Luis Hernandez came through for me. I sent the request to his attention with the Omaha Royals and he signed in about 2 weeks for me! Thank you Luis! Although you weren't on the Orioles for very long, I appreciate the nice autograph.

And here are some pictures that Kalina and I took at the O's/Angels game on Tuesday night. I had an 0h-fer night with autographs but got some cool pictures in another close loss by the O's.

Here is Torii Hunter posing with a kid's Flat Stanley (I had never heard of him either but Torii seemed like a really nice guy)

Cool pre-game presentation of Lou's 2008 Eastern League(AA) Triple Crown award LOOOOOUUU!

And yes, Dave Trembley, this is pretty much how I felt about that BS balk call too
We should ask Jamie Walker what he thought about it...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


In case anyone watches my blog very closely, you might notice that my project status is updated pretty frequently. I am now just over 40% which is not too bad I suppose.

And if you do closely observe that section, you might notice that my total # of Orioles players went from 864 down to 863. I somehow had Tony Muser listed in both the autos I need and the autos I have. I imagine that I would be the only one to notice such a minute change but didn't want anyone to worry!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday's O's Alumni Autos

Hoiles, Etchebarren & Hansen

First and foremost, I am glad that I was prepared with my Ron Hansen cards for Monday's autograph session. As he was on the list of players scheduled to appear, I had two of his cards with the rest of the potential signers with me so I would be ready. Ron was very nice and was shaking everyone's hand that walked by in line.

Kalina even charmed him into personalizing one for me!

I wanted to start with my upbeat paragraph about my successful Ron Hansen autograph before I got into my issue with last night's signing. Chris Hoiles and Andy Etchebarren were the other two O's alumni, which is totally awesome, but as they weren't listed as possible candidates to appear, I didn't have their cards! So I got these postcards signed instead...
These aren't bad but since I have a multitude of Hoiles cards and at least a couple Etch cards at my house, I would have much preferred to have them sign my cards than these over-sized postcards. Oh man, I was kind of disappointed since the information is never released as to who will be signing on any given day and I was caught with my pants down!

It is good to know that some additional players will be signing over the course of the season than those originally listed, but it would be even better to know who would be signing every week. I hate when I'm not prepared for these things; I know it's not a big deal but it's one of those things that gets to me for some reason.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A win on a Sunday?!

It was a great day for a baseball game...very hot, but a beautiful day nonetheless. And the Orioles won on a Sunday. And for those of us who suffered through last season's months long Sunday loss streak, it is definitely a good thing! It was a great come from behind win, too. B-Rob, Jonesy, and the bullpen saved Brad Bergesen from his first career loss. B-Rob hit his second HR of the series and went 4-5. Roch Kubatko reports that the O's are 5-1 this season when Roberts starts the game with a base hit. Not too shabby!

To top off the nice W was the fact that it was a great day for autographs. Sundays are the best day to get most of the pitchers, especially the bullpen guys as most days they shag some fly balls in the outfield and then head out to the bullpen. But on Sundays, they throw around on the field since there's no BP. A majority of the O's pitchers signed for me today.

Here are the cards I got:

Kalina actually got Mark, who was also the first completely new-to-me player auto I got today

The above statement isn't 100% true since I didn't have Rich Hill's auto, but since he has yet to play for the O's I can't really count him toward my goal yet. I also dropped the ball on this one as I thought he was on the DL so didn't have his card. O well!

I already had JJ and C-Ray autos but I got them on Ebay so these are the first cards I got them to sign in person

This is the second time I got Sarfate to sign but the first time I got Dennis to sign a card of his own. He signed for me in Tampa last season (see below for proof) but it was a team card that I also had Rocky Cherry, Fernando Cabrera and Lance Cormier sign, so I don't know how to catalog or use it.

Here is the card I got signed today, ending months of turmoil and sleepless nights caused by not having his card last year...

Luke Scott signed again for me for the 2nd time in as many games

I was also very close to getting B-Rob's auto, but I was ok with that since he signed for 50 other people. I was even closer to getting Cesar Izturis, which wasn't as cool since he literally signed for 3 people and I was probably the next person he would have signed for. Step it up Cesar, maybe if you signed a little more your fielding would improve!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

O, what should have been

I wanted this to be a happy recap post about the game tonight, but the "Brim Reaper" really screwed that up. So I hope to be in the mood to recap a few things I saw at the game tonight sometime this weekend. But the pain is too fresh right now, I don't have anything nice to say about what happened, so I won't say anything at all...

On a positive pre-game note, I did get 3 autographs! I got Luke Scott and Gregg Zaun, both of whom I already had autos from but had never got a Luuuuke in person before tonight.

Although you can't see the borders of this card, how perfectly located is that autograph? Luke used my sharpie to sign about 20 other autos too.

And Zaun was wrapping up signing for the fans and pointed to three people to sign for, and I was luckily the last one he picked out. He still seems like a good guy after all these years since he last played for the O's.

The player whom I still needed an autograph from and really lucked out getting since he is on the 15 day DL is Kris Benson. He was in town with the Rangers since he had to fulfill some of his charitable obligations from his Oriole days. Anna Benson was there too, and she was wearing only a mildly inappropriate outfit!
How great is this card?!? That is a perfect orange color for an O's card and a great signature to top it off!

Friday, April 24, 2009

New card pics as promised

Kalina came through quickly on this one. Not only did she get me the Orsulak and Nordbrook autographs yesterday when I couldn't make it to the Orioles Alumni Autograph series signing as I was sick, but she scanned them and even had Joe personalize it for me!

And I bought this Eider Torres on Ebay for cheap since he hasn't really had much of a career. It's pretty awesome that he somehow has 4-5 certified auto O's cards since he only played like 8 games for us. But hey, it is a good looking card!

Boring post about Oranganization

Sorry that I really don't have much to include in this post. I wish that I had some exciting new information about autographs or the O's but I don't. I am heading to the O's game tonight so that should be fun and could possibly yield some autographs.

I have been trying to organize all of my unsigned Orioles cards alphabetically to prepare to send out a wave of TTM requests since I haven't sent any out for about two weeks. This has been much more time-consuming than I originally anticipated so that has contributed to my infrequent posting. Also, I was sick.

If anyone has any unsigned Orioles common cards, the more obscure players are specifically what I need, and would like to trade them or send them to me, it would be greatly appreciated.

It was great to see the O's take the series from the White Sox, finishing off with a dominating 8-2 win, which was thankfully controlled by Adam Eaton. Phillies phans eat your heart out, I guess he's better when he is getting paid less than $8 million per.

And as a tease, I have a few Orioles Alumni autographs from yesterday along with one card that I bought online and hope to post pictures later.

Have a nice weekend and I hope to see you at the Yard!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Brad Bergesen's successful debut

Brad Bergesen, the first in hopefully a long string of Orioles prospects to play in the bigs this season, made his Major League debut last night. And it was a great one! He started the game and pitched 5 2/3 innings, only giving up 1 earned run which was enough to earn the W in his first major league appearance. Even after a 90 minute rain delay there was still a nice crowd that was very pro-Bergy and cheered heartily for him throughout the game. Orioles fans have really been waiting for the wave of young talent to finally start reaching Baltimore and Brad was a great glimpse of things to come.

Brad's 1st strikeout-see ya Carlos Quentin

Kalina, my buddy Mark and I started our night by driving to Bowie right after work to catch Jake Arrieta's start (this is the first time any of us have to see him pitch) and we got there right in time for the 6pm first pitch but Jake didn't have his "A" game. He walked a batter and then gave up a HR in the first inning; giving up 3 earned runs in 3 innings. BUT then came the bad-start erasing thunderstorm; since the game wasn't completed Jake's ERA stays at 1.00 and the game doesn't count. We are going to try to get back to Bowie for his next start. And hey, at least we finally got to see Kalina's favorite prospect pitch in a game!

Due to the rainout in Bowie, and the rain delay in Baltimore, we made it to the O's game just in time to see Brad Bergesen's first major league pitch around 8:35.

Brad's 1st pitch

Kalina and I saw him pitch 3 or 4 times at Bowie last year; it seemed like every time we went that Bergy was the starter. It was just a strange coincidence but luckily I managed to get his autograph the few times we went and he wasn't starting.

Brad is the second minor leaguer, after Lou Montanez, whose autograph I got in the minors last year that has now played for the O's.

Good luck to Brad in the future and let's hope for many more wins for him and the Birds!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Cards bought at the show & some new TTMs in!

Due to the request by the ladies at Dinged Corners, I decided to get my most recent cards pics up tonight.
I told you they weren't that exciting. I have current, but not-for long, Oriole Brian Bass and former Oriole Denny Bautista. They were cheap authentic autos so couldn't pass them up. Also, I'm positive there aren't any Bautista Oriole cards and was under that impression about Bass until I discovered an orange and black jersey card tonight.

Also, in the past few days, I got TTMs back from three great guys who all took the time to personalize them too! Thanks to Bob "Rocky" Johnson, Bobby Floyd & Tom Shopay. Floyd looks like he was pretty excited and gave me the full card auto.

And finally, here is the Steve Trachsel auto card that Paul's Random Stuff sent me last week.

Good times at a card show on a Sunday

Yesterday I went to a card show sponsored by the Dugout Zone, my local card shop, at the Pikesville Hilton and bought a bunch of cheap cards to send for autograph requests and some cards of the O's current minor league players to try to get signed. I also bought a couple of inexpensive signed cards of guys that I didn't already have autographs of. I will update that later with pictures of the cards.

However, I couldn't wait to pass along my highlight of the day, meeting Earl Weaver! He was very nice and graciously accepted my request to have my picture taken with him. It was great to meet "the Earl of Baltimore" and one of the most memorable HOF managers of all time! And he didn't swear at me once even though I kept calling pitches outside.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Quick Update

I have kept myself busy the past two nights by going to both the Bowie Baysox home opener on Thursday and the Frederick Keys home opener last night. And, oh, how I missed the ease of obtaining Minor Leaguers' autographs! Half of them are actually excited to sign, which is a nice contrast from the pulling of teeth that is the quest to obtain Major Leaguers' signatures.

A third of the O's top 30 prospects are in Frederick and a few are in Bowie so I was able to get a ton of autographs from guys that will hopefully be in the majors at some point. Two guys on the Baysox team, Jim Hoey and Jeff Fiorentino, have already played for the O's and the Hoey was new to me so that was cool.

It was also great getting to meet Brian Matusz (pronounced Matis, the O's 2008 #1 draft pick) in Frederick; he seems like a great guy and said that he was excited to finally be at a home game. Seems like a good guy, now I need to see him pitch!

And Kalina would be mad if I didn't mention that Jake Arrieta was a nice guy and signed some cards for us in Bowie. He is pitching Monday so we are looking forward to finally getting to see him pitch in person!

And I need to thank Paul at Paul's Random Stuff for sending me 4 signed cards; 2 Keith Reeds, a Ryan Minor and a Steve Trachsel. The Trachs was another card for me to check off my list so thanks a million Paul!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Back to the B's

I know that I have gotten away from updating my current autograph collection due to FanFest, incoming TTMs, Opening Day and the O's Alumni Autograph excitement but now I will get back to it and finish off all of the "B" players. Sorry for the long post!

Mike Bordick (97-00, 01-02)
I need to start by saying the Mike Bordick is awesome. I was always a big fan of his, mainly due to his slick fielding. He set records as a SS for most consecutive errorless games (110) and chances (543). At the most demanding position on the field, that is a crazy accomplishment! The O's liked his fielding so much that they moved Cal from SS to 3B to accommodate Bordick; and if you aren't familiar with the O's organization in Cal's latter years, it is amazing that they did anything to displace him. Another interesting note about Bordick is that when the O's traded him to the Mets during the 2000 season, Melvin Mora was one of the players the Orioles got in return from the Mets. Bordick then re-signed with the O's after the season so it was a win-win!

Phil Bradley (89-90)
Phil's playing days were a little bit before I was old enough to appreciate his great fielding. He only played about 1.5 seasons on the O's, coming in a trade from the Phillies and then being sent to the White Sox.

Leslie Brea (00-01)
He pitched in only 8 games for the O's and amassed an ERA over 12. That's why I don't have much else to say. But I want to add that I feel it's a stretch to refer to any of the three guys on this card as "Vintage Rookies". Brea also came from the Mets in the Bordick-Mora trade.

Chris Britton (06)
Chris was a "big" reliever for the O's in 06, and by "big" I'm referring more to his girth than his clutchness. He is listed as one of the heaviest players in baseball history at 275 lbs.
In all fairness he had a pretty good '06 season, appearing in 52 games and sporting a 3.35 ERA. After the season he was traded to the Yankees, for Jaret Wright and a cool $4 million, since the Orioles had plenty of bullpen help but not enough starters. Anyone recall how Jaret Wright worked out for the O's? Neither do I...

Jim Brower (06) auto on Giants card
Brower was another reliever for the O's during the '06 season. He wasn't nearly as successful as Britton, sporting an ERA of 13+ and lasted only 12 games.

Kevin Brown (95)
This version of Kevin Brown is (most likely) the pre steroid user, and obviously a predecessor to the guy the Dodgers made baseball's first $100 million man in the late 90s'. I got this autograph at a game and from what I recall he was pretty approachable and accommodating with fan requests. Good on ya Kevin.

Damon Buford (93-95)
I must first address that this is one of my first autograph experiences with a glossy card. I didn't know to rub it down, erase it, or do anything else to prepare it for an autograph. And this still bothers me fifteen years after I got this at a game. Sad, right? Damon was a great signer and how excited does he look on this card?
He never did too much on the field but was part of trade with Alex Ochoa to the Mets that brought Bobby Bo to the Orioles in '95. Damon was later signed back to the O's as a free agent in 2001 but never got into a game.

Don Buford (68-72)
Damon's dad Don had a much more accomplished stint in the black & orange than his son did. He finished in the top 30 in MVP voting 3 of his 5 years and he is regarded as one of the better lead-off men the Orioles have ever had.

Freddie Bynum (07-08)
Fr-EDDIE was a super utility player for the past few seasons. As I recall it, he hit a HR in one of his first at-bats leading to high expectations from me. Things didn't really work out but I was able to get his autograph at a BaySox game last summer.

Tim Byrdak (o5-06)
Since Tim wasn't ever featured on an Oriole card, I figured that using his Lynx card was the second best thing. He was a pretty good middle reliever in '05 but not so good in '06. He is still pitching in the Majors, and is currently on the Astros.

Eric Byrnes (05)
Since the O's were one of 3 teams that Byrnes played for in '05, I was pleased to find a signed Orioles card of him. He was pretty awful during his time on the O's with a batting average below the Mendoza line (.192). Byrnsie has been an exciting player over the course of his career but couldn't get things going in Baltimore. He has had some up and down years for the D-Backs but had a stellar 2007 season.
Also interesting that the O's traded Larry Bigbie to the Rockies for Byrnes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Dad's O's autograph collection

This is something that I should have written about well before this, but my dad has been trying for the few years to put together an entire autographed set of (preferably Orioles and/or '83 Topps) cards from the '83 Orioles World Series Championship team. He is trying to get the entire roster of players, not just those who were on the field for the last out. Many of the guys don't have '83 Topps cards, so he is substituting them with (in order of preference, at least I think I have this right) an '82 or '84 Topps, an '83 card by another card manufacturer (Donruss, etc.), or a Minor League card from 1983.

I know that he is getting close to his goal and just received a signed TTM Dave Huppert card today. That is actually what motivated me to blog about his project since it was his first successful TTM autograph. He also was sending requests to Mike Boddicker, Bobby Bonner, Leo Hernandez, John Lowenstein, Dan Morogiello, Allan Ramirez, John Stefero & Bill Swaggerty. I will be able to get his Stefero & Swaggerty autographs thanks to the O's Alumni Autograph series at OPACY, but if anyone else might be able to help him out, please let me know. He also still needs an Aurelio Rodriguez autograph, but that is tough since he died in 2000.

Let's hope the O's can take another game from the Rangers tonight in that bandbox of a ballpark in Arlington! Three series wins in a row sounds really nice to me...

Monday, April 13, 2009


So while I was back in PA at my parents house over the weekend, I was going through a bunch of my old baseball cards and came across a stash of signed cards that I had forgotten about. Included in these were a bunch of autographs of former O's, but the cards that were signed were when they were on other teams. I know that I said that I wouldn't generally share the pictures of these cards, but since this was such a pleasant surprise, I decided to show them via collage.

Al Reyes, Jeff Reboulet, Ryan McGuire, Lenny Webster, John Wasdin, Jerome Walton

Jim Corsi, Shawn Boskie, Mike Boddicker, Tito Landrum, Mike Fetters, Terry Crowley

Also, Joe Altobelli, who never played for the O's but nevertheless is on an O's card:
The Reyes & Boskie are upgrades over autographs I already had for both players, but the rest are new to me. So that is 9 new O's autographs there and then with the addition of the the three returned TTM requests below from Duane Pillete, Don Lenhardt & Bob Hale my total number of O's autos up to 336! That is 38.9% of my goal and a nice increase for a weekend!

Dave Trembley was also nice enough to sign for me at Friday's game!