Throughout the offseason, I'm going to count down Orioles players from more recent years all the way back to #1 in 1954, based on whose autographs I have yet to display on this site. Up today is Oriole #797 Paul Bako. (I got ahead of myself when I listed #790, Fernando Tatis, yesterday. Whoops!)
A month or so ago, I purchased a lot of signed Orioles 8x10s on ebay. I focused on players who either never had an Orioles card produced of them or that I still need a signed Orioles item of, and Paul falls into that latter group. The Orioles back-up catcher during the 2007 season was included in two late season card sets as an Oriole; Topps Update and Upper Deck Series 2. I've tried a few different avenues to get one of those cards signed but I haven't had any success, yet at least.
Paul was a big league catcher for 12 seasons from 1998-2009 and played for 11 different teams during his time in the Majors so could accurately be deemed a journeyman. He only played in more than 81 games three times during his career, in his 1996 rookie season with the Tigers, 2002 for the Brewers, and 2008 for the Reds. In true journeyman fashion, his time with the Orioles lasted only one season; he was behind the plate for 60 games for the O's in 2007.
Way back in March 2009, in only the 9th post I ever wrote, I featured Paul's autographed Old Judge card, along with a few other autographs. (Please forgive my writing style from those days, I was still trying to develop my voice.) That card will remain in my collection, along with this 8x10, until I'm able to add his a signed copy of his Orioles card to my collection.
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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