Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Orioles FanFest is always a great time, and I'm generally able to add a majority of the autographs to my collection that I would like to add. But sometimes, I just can't take care of everything and a few guys slip through the cracks. That's why it's great to have a friend like Aaron who was able to help me fill in a few of those gaps at the 2014 FanFest. 

First up is Bud Norris, who signed his first, and to date only, Orioles card. Bud was included as an Oriole in the 2013 Topps Update set and was one of my main targets for FanFest, but disappointingly, and somewhat confusingly, was not scheduled for any of the paid signings held throughout the day. 

Oh well, I figured that he probably had a preexisting commitment and wasn't able to be in town. But then as FanFest approached, Bud's name was included as one of the three signers at the free 10am season ticket holder signing, which I wasn't able to make. That made me scratch my head a little bit. Why wasn't one of 2013's biggest trade acquisitions scheduled for any of the other signings over the course of the day? But no harm, no foul, Aaron came through and got this card signed for me. 

He was also able to help me add this signed, personalized Wayne Kirby OMC to my collection. Wayne has been a decent signer over the years, but I had yet to get him on one of my dad's cards, so Aaron was able to hook me up yet again.

Thanks for your help, Aaron!

Monday, February 24, 2014

2013 Orioles Autographs- Chris Snyder, Jairo Asencio, & Jason Pridie

Before the 2014 baseball season really gets rolling along, I figured that I should play some catch up with the 2013 Orioles autographs in my collection. I might have shown some of these at some point, but I wanted to compile their O's stats as well.

All three of today's autographs were obtained by collecting friend in Norfolk who gets autographs at the AAA Tides games throughout the season. And these cards are my dad's Old Man Card creations, which obviously enabled me to have signed Orioles cards of these three players who appeared in a grand total of 17 games for the O's and will certainly never be pictured on any Topps issue as an Oriole.

Chris Snyder, Oriole #948
9 games, May 3-September 28, 2013
20 AB, 2 hits, 1 RBI, .100 AVG

Jairo Asencio, Oriole #957
4 appearances, June 12-27, 2013 
2.1 IP, 7.71 ERA, 3 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

 Jason Pridie, Oriole # 965
4 games, September 25-28, 2013
10 AB, 2 hits, 1 RBI, .200 AVG

As always, thanks to my dad for his awesome work on the Orioles cards. So many of these players like to see them, and I love having their only Orioles cards signed!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Rest of the FanFest Autographs

Wow, look at me go. It's my 5th post of the month (my most since last August), and I'm showing off the rest of my Orioles Fanfest autographs, within three weeks of obtaining them. I'm on a freaking roll here. Maybe I'll get this blog back up to full steam one of these days. But for now, I'm pretty pleased to just be moving along at a medium pace.

FYI- This is probably the most scans that I've ever had in a single post. At times in the past, I would have split this into a few different segments, but I'd rather just knock them all out at once. So that's how I'm gonna do it.

Also, my scanner got a little weird while scanning some of the postcards, but whatever. It has a mind of it's own.

This first group of cards are joining my collection. Mainly for the orange uniforms, but I was really happy to finish off the Davis/McLouth celebration card too. McLouth signed it for me during Spring Training last year, so it got carried around for quite some time before it got signed. And, I can't seem to bring myself to tradeaway any of my Wieters' autographs.



These cards are all extras that I got signed and are available for trade. If you see something you like, let me know and maybe we can work something out!


These postcards are available for trade too...

I got this group signed for some other collectors, so they are already spoken for, but I wanted to show them off anyway, if for no other reason than to prove that I got them signed. Or something like that. 

Finally, Liam Hendriks get his own grouping in the "we-hardly-knew-you category". Liam was DFA'ed to make room on the roster for the exciting free agent signing of Ubaldo Jimenez. But the Blue Jays selected him off of waivers from the O's, so the likelihood of his appearing in a game for the Orioles, at least in the near future, took a major hit, so these Orioles autographs become somewhat of an unneeded item. No complaints here though as Jimenez is certainly an upgrade.

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!)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

FanFest Additions: New Orioles

One of my favorite things about Fanfest is having the opportunity to add some signatures from the players who are new to the Orioles organization before they even play in a game for the team. If I can get them at Fanfest, I never need to add them to my need list if/when they make their Orioles debut. 

Obviously this season didn't see too much Orioles action on the free agent market so there weren't any new big names, but I'd say that at least Ryan Webb and David Lough are near locks to make the O's Opening Day roster, with a couple other of these guys being fairly likely to appear in at least a few games over the course of the season. 

Since I specifically target the new players at FanFest, as I already have signed items from all the returning players for the most part, it leads me to make some interesting selections regarding which stations to buy. I don't intentionally go after the big names, but more often then not I end up with quite a few anyway, due to how the players are spread out. 

Here are the five stations that I purchased this year:

And I can quite confidently say that I am the only person who bought those stations for David Lough, Ryan Webb, Steve Clevenger, Liam Hendriks, Jemile Weeks, Larry Bigbie, Kelvin De La Cruz, and Brad Brach, and not for Dylan Bundy, Chris Davis, Matt Wieters, nor JJ Hardy. I know, I'm weird. And I'm obviously happy to add additional signatures of the stars to my collection, but I'd rather target the new guys. 

Johnny Monell was the only new player whose autograph I did not get, and I still need personalized upgrades of Calvin Maduro and Nate Snell, but I will take care of them at some point.

Without further ado, here are the new Orioles players, who all signed and personalized some awesome new Old Man Cards.

Webb is virtually a lock to make the O's Opening Day roster, and to date, is their most expensive off-season signing. And I've said it before but will say it again, I always enjoy getting other Ryans to personalize cards to me. Not sure why, I just do.

Lough is also pretty likely to start the season on the O's 25 man roster, and seems to be the front-runner for the every day LF position. But the O's have like 10 potential LFs in camp so you never know. 

I think Kelvin has a solid chance of playing for the O's at least at some point this season, mainly because he's signed to a big league deal.

Pure speculation, but I'm guessing Liam is a member of Norfolk's rotation but joins the club in a swing role or as as spot starter at some point. 

 Brad (who unfortunately spelled my name wrong, probably because I'm a mumbler) will likely be crowded out of the O's spring training bullpen group and start the season with the Tides. But I predict he will be a regular out of the Birds' 'pen later in the 2014 season.

Which brings us to Jemile Weeks, who I sadly predict will be this year's Matt Antonelli. Both seemed like nice guys but just couldn't crack the roster. Between Ryan Flaherty, Alexi Casilla, Alex Gonzalez, and Jonathan Schoop, I think there will just be too much competition for Jemile, who might even get slotted at AA Bowie for some playing time.