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.
Team sets are for suckers - I had to grab the 2023 Topps Dodgers team set for a reason only team collectors can explain, and probably do it sheepishly. The Topps team sets aren't a...
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