Thursday, April 29, 2010

People Needed for Case Break

Hi guys.
Chris and I still need people to sign up for our case break. Click here to get to my post about the break. 2006 UD Epic. Lots of HOF autos and relics. If your favorite team has already been called for, think of someother HOFers who you'd want. Its not a bad price ($40-$45). Help a brother out.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April 28, 2010 Kinston Indians vs Lynchburg Hillcats Game

My wife thought that we should surprise our son yesterday by taking him to Grainger Stadium for a game. He has been pretty good lately and did an awesome job during his first T-ball practice last week, so I thought it would be a good idea as well. It was also $2.00 Tuesdays so we definitely didn't mind making a night of it.

Yesterday was by far Chris' most productive trip to a baseball game, yet. We entered the park with three baseballs to get signed and left the stadium with 7 baseballs and a bat. Not a bad haul.

When we got to our seats, a ball was laying on the ground near the seats that must have been left over from batting practice. I, naturally, picked it up and put it in my glove. We took position by the visiting dugout and waited for the Hillcats to come out of the clubhouse.

When the players finally emerged, about half an hour before the game, several of them walked straight up to Chris and signed his baseball. He touched fists with the Hillcats right fielder Justin Reed after Reed signed his ball.

About halfway through the game, Reed caught the final out of the inning and tossed the ball to Chris (I went to catch it for him, it deflected off of my glove and hit me in the head... I never said I had any talent).

After one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, I took Chris to the visiting dugout again to watch the final two outs so he could see the players as they came off the field. The final two outs were made (the last one coming off of an amazing running catch by the Hillcats center fielder) and the players trotted off of the field. Chris asked an injured player who was charting pitches for a bat, but he told Chris that he didn't have a bat, then handed him a ball. The center fielder who caught the final out then tossed Chris that ball. Finally, the Hillcats right fielder, Josh Fellhauer, handed Chris his cracked bat. The bat has a hairline crack along the barrel. Fellhauer is ranked by Baseball America as the Reds' 26th best prospect this year, and has him projected to be a solid major league contributor in the future. I'll pick up a bat tube this weekend when I head to the card shop.

The upper left baseball is the ball from the game ending catch. The three balls behind the bat were either found at the stadium or thrown to us by players. The three underneath the game ball were the ones we brought in and had signed.
I was really happy that Chris was able to interact with the players and go home with some cool stuff. I'm ready to go back today.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Come and Join Our Group Case Break

Hi guys. Chris over at on card autos asked me to pair with him to do a group box break. I've never done one before, but I'm excited to try it. Basically, you claim one or more teams for $40-$45 per team (the price is based on the total price of the case we purchase and the cost for shipping out the final cards to each claimant).

Since Chris and I want this to be special, we chose a set that was close to both our hearts (and something that has some sick hits) and that would be 2006 UD Epic. If you don't know about Epic, check Chris' blog for a synopsis.

Don't forget, there are a LOT of hall of famers in this set. So, you know, just because the Pirates are not so good right now, wouldn't a Clemente relic be sweet?





Blue Jays:

Braves: Babe-O-Licious


Cardinals: Isaac and Tony (Ikescards)

Cubs: Chris (on card autos)


Dodgers: Max (Knuckle Ball Blues)



Indians: Babe-O-Licious


Mariners: Andy

Mets: Mike (BABenny's Baseball Card Buffet)

Orioles: Me (duuh)


Phillies: Jim (Phillies Room)




Reds: Scott (Mr. Scott's Baseball Cards)

Red Sox: Chris (On card autos)



Tigers: William (foul bunt)


White Sox:

Yankees: Pete (Dropped 3rd Strike)

I will relinquish my pick of the Tigers if someone wants to talk me out of them, lol.

The final price may depend on if we have filled all teams. Yes, you can claim more than one team. If you have any questions, email me at: or email Chris at

Also, comment here, or Chris' blog to sign up. We will try our best to keep this updated quickly so people don't miss out.

If your favorite team has been claimed, don't be discouraged, like I said, think of the hall of famers who are included and try to go after their teams (Killebrew, Brett, Yount, Clemente, etc.). Definitely check out the checklist!

Thanks guys!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Trying to Find Positives in a Sea of Negativity

The 2010 season is already a wash to me, only 18 games into it. The Orioles are inventing ways to lose. The past 2+ weeks have been beyond frustrating, especially because the Orioles were supposed to be closer to 0.500. Someone please tell them that they are going in reverse. It has been very hard for me to stay interested in blogging on a consistent basis with the epic downer that my team has created. I'm trying guys. Please bear with me.

There are a few positives to this season if you dig deep enough. As much as I like him, Dave Trembley will be gone soon. I now feel like he definitely is not the answer to the future of the club. Unfortunately, I have no idea who could take over during the season and cause a dramatic turnaround (Jim Tracy for the Rockies last year was an exception, not the rule).

There are some positives, however: The Oriole starters (which was a huge weakness last year) have been good enough to keep the games close.

Ty Wigginton has proven very useful given consisten playing time. He most likely will be moved by the trade deadline for more prospects. I'm ok with that.

The biggest positive from this season so far has been Brian Matusz. He will win more games than he will lose. He racks up Ks with great frequency. I still believe he will be a strong Rookie of the Year candidate, but he's going to have to get some run support.

So, that being said, I picked up something cool because of how good I think Matusz is going to be:

2008 Razor Lettermen Brian Matusz Auto, letter Z. #ed 5/20. Freaking sweet. I got this for a steal on Ebay and seriously think that its value will only increase.

Happy prospecting. Yeah. With Matusz, it's going to be very happy, I think. He has been a ray of light in a dismal season so far. Yes, it will turn around before the season is over, but damn it has been hard to watch. I'm waiting for the O's to shoot off a 12-game winning streak or something like that to get them back on the right track.
Please make some bullpen changes so leads aren't coughed up in the 9th inning, though. I blame the bullpen for at least 6 of the losses. If the O's had a competent bunch of relievers, the season would be markedly different.

Thanks for putting up with my bitching guys. Hopefully I haven't pissed too many of you off :) I'll be ok sooner or later.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mail Day - On The Rocks

Title fits the O's season pretty well, I think.

I bought a jersey from Ebbetts Field Flannels recently. If you haven't checked them out, please do. They are amazing. I got the 1938 Baltiomore Orioles Home Jersey. It was made to order and is 100% wool flannel. I was very impressed with the jersey. I can't wait to wear it to a game. Because it is 100% wool, its very scratchy, but I don't care. I'm still in awe of it, really. I hope you all like it. I have lost count of all the O's jerseys I have. I have a Cal Ripken from when I was 15, 3 Brian Roberts (a home white, a black and a 2005 All Star jersey).

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 15, 2010 Durham Bulls vs Norfolk Tides Game

If you remember, when I purchased tickets for the Rays-Bulls exhibition game, they also came with tickets to the Bulls' opening day vs the Norfolk Tides.

Norfolk just so happens to be the Orioles' AAA team. We were able to see some good prospects while we were there.We were able to get autographs from Robert Andino, Josh Bell and Lou Montanez. Andino and Montanez don't really qualify as prospects, but it was cool to get them. Andino had a conversation with my son Christopher, which was pretty cool. He seemed to be doing pretty well, seeing as he had just been DFA'd by the parent club and passed through waivers. Here is our autpgraphed ball. I got lucky that I had left a few in my car because I left my brand new box of baseballs on the table at home. That's what I get for leaving in a hurry. I'm glad I had a kind of back-up plan, haha.

We were able to see Brandon Snyder (who I am really pulling for to be called up), which was cool. Scott Moore was ejected for arguing balls and strikes; definitely created some excitement late in the ballgame.

Lou Montanez was called up by the O's after the game due to the injury to Felix Pie.

Here are Max, Chris and I watching a fly ball, that may have gone over the wall.
Another minor league game in the books, I hope to catch a bunch this year. Maybe see how many minor league parks I can hit in the area this year. Not a bad plan.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thanks Jim

My buddy Jim was in the area and decided to check out the Kinston game, that I happened to be visiting, myself. He texted me to make sure I would be there (why wouldn't I, for $2 Tuesdays). Turns out, he had a sweet vintage Brooks waiting for me...

1968 Topps Card Game Brooks Robinson. I definitely did not have this one yet, although I have seen it before. I never had the chance to pick one up. Thanks a lot Jim!! It was really good to see you at the game!!

Also, in case some of you may not have noticed, the Orioles won today behind the pitching of Brian Matusz and the bat of Ty Wigginton. I can breathe a little easier now that the losing streak has been broken. Maybe the team's bats have awoken and a win streak can begin! Woooooooooooooo!!

April 13, 2010 Kinston Indians vs Wilmington Blue Rocks

I have thought long and hard about the Orioles over the past few days and I have decided that, no matter what, I will continue to support them. It is ridiculous on my part to say that I wouldn't after all this time. I apologize to everyone who has had to listen to me complain the last 2 weeks...

Now onto your regularly scheduled blog....

We decided that if I got home in time from being out in the field (in South Mills, NC) my wife, son and I would catch a Kinston Indians game on Tuesday, April, 13 2010 due to it being $2 Tuesdays. $2 gets you in the game, any seat in the house, and $2 for hamburgers. Can't beat that. My buddy Jim also said he was in the area and was going to catch the game. I figured, why not?

It turns out, the Blue Rocks are a KC Royals farm team, and Alex Gordon was rehabbing there. We were able to meet Gordon and get him to sign a ball, which was pretty cool.

Here is Chris meeting the Kinston mascot. He had a good time.

Here is my Alex Gordon ball. Not too bad! He was rehabbing a fractured thumb, I believe.

We also got the night's starter for the Blue Rocks, Michael Montgomery. THis guy was unbelieveable. 13ks in 7+ innings, took a no hitter into the 7th. He was ELECTRIC! I was very happy when he came over and started signing for us after the game.
Since my buddy Jim figured I'd show up, he brought me a really sweet card, which I will blog next. Hope you all enjoyed!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Jumping Off Point?

The Orioles crapped the bed again tonight, leaving their record at 1-11 to start the season. They held the lead until one out in the bottom of the ninth. A series of bizarre (shitty) plays later, and boom, another loss.

I'm so disenchanted with this season, and we are only 12 games into it. I am ready for the season to be over.

I have no confidence that this incarnation of the Orioles will ever post a winning record.

I am certain Dave Trembley will not be the manager next week.

I am finding myself ready to pile all of my Orioles gear up and light a match to it.

I'm pissed off. I have every right to be. I have bled Orange for 21 years. I don't deserve this at all.

I am ready to file for divorce from the Orioles after 21 years of irreparable damage.

I'm almost past the point of not caring for them. Tell me I'm not a true fan? Try going through what I have been going through the past 12 losing seasons and having all hopes for the 2010 season dashed in 12 games and you tell me if I'm being unreasonable.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

On The Edge

As most of you have been able to tell, I have been kind of quiet lately blog-wise. The reason is simple. A 1-8 start to a season, including 2 games decided by blown saves from your new $12 million 'closer', 2 games affected by errors from your new 3rd baseman who has never played third base until this season, a non-existent offense, your favorite player on the DL, etc etc... I have been coming perilously closer to 'the edge.'

I got so mad, I dropped 2 Orioles from my fantasy team already, with some others soon to follow unless the start showing a pulse. Goodbye Garrett Atkins and Nolan Reimold. Cutting Reimold upset me the most because max and I both like the guy and we both sport our Reimold T-shirts on a regular basis.

I came close to dropping Nick Markakis (no longer referred to as STICK until he learns to take the stick off his shoulder), but I still believe he will bust out so I held on to him for a little while longer....

I will not drop Brian Roberts. Also, Brian Matusz will be on my team as long as he is in the majors. I think the kid will throw a no-hitter soon and is probably one of the better pitchers on the team.

I know it is early in the season, but I am already getting tired of people telling me that, and it will be ok, and blah blah blah.

I have watched the team collapse every september since 2001 or 2002. I have witnessed 12-straight losing seasons. I watched them let Mike Mussina sign with the Yankees. They let Davey Johnson go which started a revolving door in the manager's office.

I have invested at least 22 years of my life in this team. I have every right to be pissed off about the state of the Orioles. I have every right to kick my hat across an empty field (which I did yesterday). I have every right to be critical of the players I enjoy. I help pay their salaries.

Personally, I still believe it is just a crappy start and come June, the Orioles record will be much better. You can't argue that their schedule has been brutal 16 straight games without an off day. Playing in series this month against: Tampa, Boston, NY, Twins... Whoever makes the schedule needs to be shot.

Ok, enough complaining. I know they suck. They were supposed to be improved this season. What would really cheep me up would be to see them have a winning record over their 12 games coming up against New York and Boston. That would heal the wounds that the first week of the season had caused.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Check Out My Balls... Again

I love autographed baseballs. I really do. I'd rather have an autographed ball than I would an autographed card, photo, etc. If I met Sigourney Weaver, I'd probably have her sign a baseball. That is, if I were able to speak coherently enough to ask her for an autograph.

So, I finally got my hands on my case of UV protected ball cubes that I purchased from Taylor with CranesCard. Taylor is awesome, he can pretty much get any supplies you need. If you need anything from him, let me know and I'll drop him a line.

All of my autographed baseballs that I obtained prior to January 2009 are in a box in the storage building we are renting. These include 2 Cal Ripken, Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Brian Roberts, Matt Wieters, Brandon Snyder, Elrod Hendricks, Jason Johnson, Russ Ortiz, 2 Dave Trembley etc etc etc. I also have a Wofford College 2003 SoCon Champions autographed football in there as well (thanks to my brother Adam for that).

I have been sitting on all the autographed baseballs I got last year (including the hall of fame autos I sent off for recently) until I could get enough UV protected cubes to store them in. I am a big fan of UV protected cubes, since my wife's Jason Johnson auto we got in 2001 is pretty much faded out, and Chris' Matt Wieters/Brandon Snyder and Matt Wieters/Chris Tillman balls are fading rapidly (I replaced the cubes for Chris' baseballs today and will replace my wife's when I can get into the box at the sotrage building.

I took the non-UV protected cubes (the protected ones have a hologram at the bottom) and put the 2 foul balls I have in there.

Below is a photo of all the baseballs I had in my closet in my apartment: That's 20 baseballs. Scanning the photo real quick, you will see the 2 foul balls on the far right of the bottom row. My Bryce Harper (thanks P.A.) is at the far left of the bottom row. Stan Musial is in the middle of the top row; Bob Feller is directly below Musial. There are 2 Boog Powell and 2 Brandon Waring baseballs. One Boog went to Chris once I was done and one Waring will be sent to my brother Adam because Waring went to Wofford College; Waring was a freshman when Adam was a Senior and Waring told me at a Keys game that he remembered watching my brother play when he was at Wofford.

There are 2 baseballs which I was unable to identify the players. I have a couple emails out to some reliable sources who may be able to dig up a 2009 Frederick Keys roster for me (for some reason, google isnt helping me locate one).
There are 2 baseballs signed by NCSU players (thanks Max), lots and lots and lots of Oriole Prospects, 3 Hall of Famers (Musial, Feller and Al Kaline), one Oriole Hall of Famer (Boog) and one old-time player, former manager and bench coach (Don Zimmer). Pretty cool, don't you think?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Opening Day - and Opened Some Mail

Today should be a national holiday. Opening Day for baseball. Wooo. All teams (except for the Yankees hahahahaha) are starting out in first place. Optimism is high. I am so excited about this season. The Orioles are going to surprise a lot of people. I'm looking for Brian Matusz to dominate and become the Orioles' first Rookie of The Year since Gregg Olson was in 1989.

I also opened some mail Saturday and today. Here is a little bit from the two packages I received:

First off, I got a package from B. A. Benny in exchange for some Mets cards... I've been wanting this Montanez Red Hot Rookie for some time. I'm glad I finally have it. I REALLY want the Reimold next. If anyone has it, send me an email. I will definitely be up for trading for it!!! I love this shot of Lou. I sure hope he caught the ball.

Ooohhhh, a STICK relic. You can never go wrong with sending me Nick Markakis stuff. He is AWESOME! I'm sure I didn't have this one. If I did, thats ok too.

Hey, look, a Cal I didn't have! It is getting so hard to figure out which Cal's I have and which I don't. This is a 1986 Fleer mini. I'm not sure if I have the regular sized one either. For some reason, I don't think I have it...
I bought a few cards recently too and here are a few that I got...
A 1966 Topps Al Kaline. This Kaline was purchased for *ahem* a friend of mine ;). I think he will enjoy it...

A 2010 Topps Opening Day Brian Roberts. I don't anticipate buying any packs of OD, so I went ahead and bought a couple of the cards I knew I'd want.
Got another Nick The Stick as well. I've never been a huge fan of Topps OD. It just seems like an ancillary set (one we can do without).
Has everyone (other than Yankee fans) enjoyed Opening Day of the 2010 MLB season? It's too bad that the Os don't open until tomorrow... Soon enough, I suppose.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I Believe in The Church of Baseball - My Trip To Durham Part 3

We were able to get some autographs after the game, which was a nice part of the day. I am usually pretty good about getting autos before the game, but I epic failed on that end. Oh well. Chris was able to con George Hendrick out of an official 'practice' ball haha, only after Chris told Hendrick that he would pull for the Rays over the Orioles... Something tells me that won't be the case once the season starts on Tuesday...
Here's the big auto we were able to get, Don Zimmer!! Pretty damn cool. I have added a bunch of older players' autos over the past few months.
Here is Chris posing with Zimmer. I thought for a split second that Zimmer had visions of Pedro Martinez in his head and that Chris would end up in a head lock...

Chris got Matt Gorgen's auto as well. Seems like a really nice guy. I think he is a reliever for the Rays. I need to check the roster...
We also got Ben Zobrist's autograph by the team bus. I am going to have to send that one to a friend of mine whom I owe for my Eddie Guerrero autograph he got me a few years ago...

Candlesticks Are Always a Nice Gift - My Trip to Durham Part 2

Everyone liking the Bull Durham lines? If you have not seen the movie, I highly recommend you rent it. Especially for the scene where they all congregate on the mound and discuss wedding presents... classic stuff.

Still doesn't beat Cerrano sacrificing a bucket of KFC Chicken in Major League, though... What is everyone's favorite baseball movie? Mine has to be either Major League, Bull Durham or For The Love of The Game... Here is Chris shaing hands with The Blue Monster. Pretty cool. I thought he may be a little afraid of the mascot, but he did fine. It does look like Chris has a death grip on that railing though.
Bulls players attend to a fallen comrade. The outfielder dove for the ball and crashed into the wall. He made the catch, though. I missed the actual dive, I was looking through m backpack for something... I forget what.

Here is Chris with his lunch... er... I mean his cotton candy. He is such a sneak, I told him no, he couldn't have any, so he goes with his puppy dog look to Max's girlfriend and she fell into his trap...
I will post one more entry concerning my trip later. We were able to get some SWEEET autos after the game. Leave me some comments and let me know what you think...

Hit Bull, Win Steak - My Trip to See the Durham Bulls vs. The Tampa Bay Rays

After the card show, we all went to Durham Bulls Athletic Park to catch the exhibition game between the Durham Bulls and their parent club, the Tampa Bay Rays. I don't know if you have seen Bull Durham, but it is definitely one of the best baseball movies out there (a good bit of it was shot in Winston-Salem, where I grew up).

Since the movie, the Single A Bulls moved to Danville, Virginia and the AAA Bulls were created when the leagues expanded and allowed the Rays and Diamondbacks in. Durham Bulls Athletic Park opened soon after to replace the old park seen in the movie. One of my favorite parts of the movie is the 'Hit Bull, Win Steak' sign. Just a really cool thing, haha.

Cloud cover rolled in about halfway through the game, but that didn't take away from the fact that it was a beautiful day.

As you can see, we were able to catch some great players. Longoria was launching balls over the 'Blue Monster' on a consistent basis. I believe Gabe Kapler his one of the tiers that you can see on the building behind the wall. They need to send Jim Thome or Ken Griffey, Jr to this park and let them take aim at the building.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

April 3, 2010 Raleigh Card Show

Wow, it has been such a busy day. I will try to get to everything in subsequent posts, but first, I wanted to talk about the card show that Chris, Max, Alicia and I went to in Raleigh. Max and I have been looking forward to this show for a while, since it has been a long time since we had last been to a show together. Today was a one-day only Easter show, and it fit right into our other plans for the day...

First, here is a nice little gift from my best friend. I had come back from one of Chris' 2,000 trips to the potty and was handed this yearbook from Max. It was a nice surprise. He always knows things that I will enjoy. Here's to hoping there are some more moments like this one in the future...
Next up, we found a guy who had a bunch of old Bowman's for $2.00 a piece. I picked this up (a 1951 Bowman) because he was a St. Louis Brown (the team who moved to Baltimore to become the Orioles). I also bought another for Max because the player is listed as being from Lincolnton, NC, which is minutes down the road from Max's house.

I found these next 2 cards (Brooks Robinson Topps Tribute) for $1.00 each. I thought they were nice and shiny, so I got them. I believe they are from 2002.

I picked up 9 1948 Bowmans. Yep, I decided to put this set together. 48 cards total, and I already have 11 of them. Seems do-able, I think. Of course, the Berra and Rizzuto are going to be tough, but I was able to get the Musial, so I think I can do it.

I was able to pick up another Hall of Famer, though, Red Schoendienst. Not bad. The card is really nice. I am really enjoying this set.

I found this 1934 National Chicle Diamond Stars for $5.00. Its a rough looking card, but that is why I liked it so much. What do you think?

Here is the reverse of the Diamond Stars. I like the 'tip for young players.' Pretty cool. The words are a bit faded, but I think they are legible.

Hahaha, Harry Doyle himself. 2010 WWE Hall of Fame Inductee, Bob Uecker. My wife remarked the other day how she would like a Uecker card, and this was in a 75% off box. My one 'OH COOL' find at the show.
I don't need to tell you that I had an awesome time today, but the posts that will come later will definitely explain. Today was one of those days which you sit back and wish all could be like. I wish I could spend more time with my friends and family like I did today.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Rest in Peace Mike Cuellar

When I got home from dinner tonight, I was sad to see that Mike Cuellar lost his battle with stomach cancer today at the age of 72. Cuellar played in the majors from 1959 and 1964-1977 and played for the Reds, Cardinals, Astros, Orioles and Angels. He compiled a record of 185-130, had 4 20-win seasons and won a ring with the 1970 Orioles.

I'm too young to have seen Cuellar pitch, but from what I have heard and read, he was amazing. I'm really sad tonight to hear about the passing of one of the Orioles greatest pitchers in their history.

Mike Cuellar - 1937-2010

Spaceman, Spin the Black Circle

You have no idea how long I have waited to use a Pearl Jam title in a blog entry...

I am slowly chipping away at my 1970 Topps set. Here is the Bill 'Spaceman' Lee RC from 1970. It was the only card out of the 200s that I had left to get. Now, we are getting more towards the mid to high numbers. This set will be done before you know it! Has anyone ever watched Ken Burns' documentary 'Baseball?' Bill Lee is so nuts in his interview. I know that's why they called him Spaceman, but wow, he must have lived under powerlines as a kid or something...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Mendoza Line and Set Complete 1998 Topps

I would like to congratulate myself on post #200!!!!!! I am now at the Mendoza line. Yeeee Hawwww. I never thought I'd have this much to say about cards and stuff. Thanks everyone for reading! I hope you have enjoyed the 199 previous posts.

Now, I would also like to turn your attention to my completer card for 1998 Topps. I had no idea the last card I needed was the Boone/Beltre rookie card. I knew former Oriole Ryan Minor was on the card.
Anyone know the significance of Ryan Minor in Orioles history?
He is the person who started in place of Cal Ripken on the day The Streak ended. I remember catching some Orioles games in 1999 and booing Minor hard. I feel bad about it now, the poor guy didn't ask for the attention. Kind of like how Doug DiCences felt when he took over for Brooks... he could never measure up, nor did he want to.