Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Picked Up Some 1971 Topps

I have a friend of mine from Charlotte visiting Greenville for the first time, so one of the first things I did with him was take him to the card shop here. We didn't plan on staying long, that is until the torrential downpour came. So, we stood and talked to the shop owner, looked through some stuff and talked some more.

We discussed how the Stephen Strasburg mania was getting on our nerves in that you can't find any new stuff to open. I won't be able to do Allen & Ginter this year mainly because the prices are already shooting up. We talked about how I had just started my 1971 set, and the shop owner pulled out a bunch of card pages of 1970-1972s he had just bought off of somebody.

I grabbed over 100 1971's I needed for my set, which was a big chunk. The biggest card/name I got was this Bert Blyleven RC.
I still need the Garvey RC, but it was nice to get the Blyleven out of the way. A lot of what I found were higher numbers, so I think I got a pretty good deal.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

2010 Topps Series 2 by the Numbers

I'm back. I've been really busy with work and planning my vacation. I appreciate the well wishes, everything is fine. I'd let you all know if something major was going on.

I haven't been able to buy too much new stuff because I'm saving up for my vacation, but I do have some things in the queue to blog about. I split a box of 2010 Finest with Max a few weeks ago, the results of which I will get on here. I also got 2 autographed balls recently that will go in the Memorabilia Museum - Ray Durham and Don Newcombe. I bought the Newcombe myself and the Durham was given to me by my friend Corbin.

So, in order to play catch-up, I need to do my Topps by the numbers:

I opened 3 jumbo boxes at All About Sports, my friendly neighborhood card shop with Pete. Here is the breakdown of what I pulled:

30 - Million Card Giveaway Redemptions
2 - Topps Black (Jayson Werth and Aaron Hill) Both are up for trade
30 - Topps Gold
2 - Do it Yourself Sketch Cards
3 - 4th of July Hat Logos (Jason Varitek, Ian Kinsler and Stephen Drew) All up for trade
30 - Cards Your Mom Threw Out
3 - CYMTO Original Back SPs (Jim Bunning, Juan Marichal and Derek Jeter)
6 - Autos/Relics (nothing special)
30 - History of the World Series
30 - Peak Performance
30 - Legendary Lineage
30 - Turkey Red
30 - 2020 Topps
30 - Topps Attax
30 - Vintage Legends

and ONE SP - The one and only Eddie Murray!!! Wooo for me. I love this card. This is an awesome shot.

I ended up with 3 different Brook's in Series 2. Really happy about that.

Pete gave me this 2131 Topps Gold. Really sweet card. I also got Chris Tillman and Nick Markakis Gold.

Here is the Stephen Drew Hat Logo. I like the D-Backs logo in red white and blue. Pretty sweet.

I'm always a fan of the Turkey Red. Getting Brooks made it even better.
My favorite part of the Series 2 bust was looking for the Vintage Legends. This was a really cool concept showing legendary players on Topps designs that they hadn't originally appeared on. I wish they had more Orioles, but its ok. I'll do a blog on those shortly.
I hope you guys enjoyed. I also hope you like the new blog design. I appreciate the comments from everyone. Please send me some emails looking for trades. I'll try to get on some.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Taking a Break

I will be taking a break from both blogs for an undetermined amount of time. Thanks guys.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Something Completely Unrelated to Baseball

So, I have been VERY busy lately; planning my upcoming vacation, trying to get caught up at work, etc etc. Also, since this season sucks so bad for me, and not a whole lot of product has come out, I have really had nothing to blog about. Lame. Anyway, my younger brothers came up this week. One of the things we wanted to do was ride to Aurora, NC to the Aurora Fossil Museum to dig for shark teeth.

It is free to pull up and start digging, my son Chris, my brother Adam, his daughter Harper, my brother Andy and I all picked spots and started digging.
Here is a sample of what I found. Note the quarter used for scale. Some pretty big teeth. The circular thing is a fish vertebrae, and the straight thing in the bottom left is a ray barb.

Here is the biggest tooth I found. It has serrated edges and is still sharp as crap. I'd hate to have one of those embedded in a leg bone...
We also found a bunch of coral and some whale bones. For a place that doesn't charge admission, we really had a good time. I plan on going back regularly, it was a really nice way to spend a Saturday with the family. It also got my mind off of a lot of things.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Meeting Nolan Reimold

My main goal when going to the Tides games was to try to get an auto of Nolan Reimold. Max and I both became fans of him last season when he made a legitimate run for Rookie of the Year.

We both have Reimold shirts and had big expectations for him this season.

Nolan had offseason heel surgery (he played all of last year in pain) and had hoped to be full go this month. For some reason, he was rushed back (probably because the Orioles have had so many injuries and are depleted as far as outfield depth) and has had a horrendous season.

Reimold has been optioned to AAA Norfolk and is carrying around a .180's batting average. Being the true fans that we are, Max and I still like Reimold and hope he regains his 2009 form and gets back to the majors quickly.

After Wednesday's game, I was able to meet Nolan and have him autograph two baseballs. He was really nice and chatted with me for a bit. I asked him how his heel was, he said it was fine but still sore. I told him my best friend and I were big fans and hoped he made it back to Baltimore. He said 'I hope its soon...' I imagine that he has to be scuffling because he wants to desperately help the team, and may be pressing too much, especially is his foot is still sore...

After Thursday's game, I waited again forn Reimold, this time with the intention of getting my picture taken with him. When he emerged from the clubhouse, I asked Nolan if he would indeed pose for a picture with me. He agreed and I was able to get the below picture taken. Thanks to Kam Mickolio's wife for taking the picture for me. She's hilarious by the way.
So, this concludes my posting on my trip to Norfolk; I hope you all enjoyed. It was a tough trip because I worked my tail off during the day in order to make it to the games at night. I am really lucky I have a supervisor who cares enough about me as a person that he worked it out so I would be able to go. That really meant a lot to me.

6-9-10 Norfolk Tides Game

My boss is really cool. Knowing that I love the Orioles and baseball, when making out the schedule for this past week, he remarked that I would be out of town for a night (turned out to be 2 nights), but I would be at a site about 30 minutes from Norfolk, VA and that we had a direct bill hotel for use in Norfolk. He then says 'Dont the Orioles have a minor league team in Norfolk?' Why yes they do.... he knew that already. He then tells me to make sure I get my work done early enough to catch a game (which is cool for any boss to do). I got to the game 30 minutes late (my fault), but still had an amazing time.
I usually reserve the autographed baseballs for our Memorabilia Museum, but I had to include them in this post because of how awesome my trip was... I have: Brandon Snyder, 2 Nolan Reimolds and 2 Jeff Salazars. The Snyder and 1 each of the Reimolds and Salazars go to Max.

Here is a shot of Harbor Park, which is easily accessable in downtown Norfolk. It costs $5 to park and you can't bring in backpacks. I had to carry all my stuff in a Sheetz bag.

Here is the view from my seat. Like I said, I got to the park 30 minutes late and the two guys beside me were already trashed. They behaved, though...

I walked down to the net and snapped a couple pictures. Here is a good one of Brandon Snyder. I stuck the lens of the camera through the net to get this one.

Here is the man I came to see, Nolan Reimold. I ended up meeting him, but I will post that separately.
Here is Reimold batting. He is still mired in an awful slump, but he is still a really nice guy and I hope he gets back to the bigs sooner than later...
After the game, I was able to get the autographs in the parking lot beside the clubhouse door. I was amazed at how easy it was to get players in Norfolk. I think this park ranks #3 so far in my favorite minor league parks to go to. #1 being BB&T Park in Winston-Salem, #2 being historic Grainger Stadium in Kinston and #3 being Harbor Park.

Monday, June 7, 2010

June 6 2010 Winston-Salem Dash Vs. Kinston Indians Game

Usually it takes me 30 minutes to get to a Kinston game, but on Sunday, it took me almost 4 hours hahaa. That's because we decided we wanted to take in the new BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem, NC.

Max, Chris and I decided to go to Winston-Salem since no teams were playing close to Greenville or Raleigh, and since we hadn't been to the new field, we figured it was about time...
Here are Max and Chris after the game. We got baseballs signed by a good number of the Indians' players. Max and I had a really good time discussing the game and other general things that best friends talk about, lol.
We couldn't resist getting up in the middle of the game and taking a stroll around the park. Oh man, is this place beautiful. I like how they have plaques up of some of the stars that have passed through the Carolina League like the above Jim Thome.

They have an area called The Blue Rhino Backyard where you can walk right up to a wall adjacent to the bullpen. We stood here until a foul ball almost wiped out some kids... we got our gloves out and went up a level. One of the pitchers (#20) handed Chris a ball that he would get signed later on.
Here is a shot we took as we were coming into the stadium. There wasn't a bad seat in the house and everywhere you went, you couldn't miss the game.
Of all the ballparks I have been to, this one ranks right at the top. I mean, WOW. I can't wait to catch plenty more games in Winston-Salem.
It was also nice to see P.A. at the game doing some fellowship with a friend from his church. If you don't already, go give P.A.'s blog a read over at he's a good man who is always great to chat with about life and baseball.

Picked up a 1971 Topps

I got a 1971 Topps card in the mail from a regular reader who prefers his anonymity. He hooks me up and I definitely owe the guy. I plan on reciprocating in some way, once I can figure out what exactly I want to do. The scan doesn't do the card justice, I think it shifted a little on the glass and caused what you see (the off-sidedness). The card is actually nicely centered, so I am really happy with it.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

June 4, 2010 Greensboro Grasshoppers vs Delmarva Shorebirds

I was afforded a chance to go the the new Greensboro park to watch the Greensboro Grasshoppers take on the Delmarva Shorebirds (Orioles Low A team) on Friday, June 4, 2010. I met up with my good friend who knows a thing or two about baseball and we watched the Orioles 2009 1st round (5th overall) draft pick Matt Hobgood pitch. He kind of disappointed me a bit in that he struggled in his start (although he did go 7 innings) and seemed to be overweight. His fastball was ranging between 87-91 MPH and seemed to have trouble repeating his arm slot.
I met and spoke with Hobgood after the game and let me tell you, the kid is a real pleasure to talk to. He shook my hand twice and signed a ball for me. I was able to meet Hobgood after Steven Bumbry (son of Al Bumbry) let Hobgood know that I was interested in meeting and talking to him. Bumbry signed a ball for me also and was very nice to track Hobgood down for me. I won't forget that.
I also met and talked to Mike Devereaux, a former Oriole who I watched when I was a kid growing up as an Oriole fan. He was a good player in the early to mid 1990s. I'm glad he is back with the organization. He definitely seemed appreciative when I told him that I grew up watching him and appreciated the effort he gave on the field. He also signed a ball for me.

I got a cool autograph from former Oriole Ryan Minor. He is significant in that he played in place of Cal Ripken the day The Streak ended. With me being a huge Cal fan, this ball is going to hold special significance to me. Also, because I thought it was a good conversation piece, I got him to sign a ball for Max as well.

Here is a look at the Greensboro field. I really liked it there. I liked that instead of bat boys, they have bat dogs (dogs trained to retrieve the bats). That was really cool to see. The park was easily accessible and I plan on going to several more games there in the future.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Time to Say Goodbye

I met Dave Trembley in 2007 while he was still interim manager for the Baltimore Orioles. I was impressed at how well the Orioles had been playing since Trembley took over and as he signed the baseball I handed him, I told him so. I also told him that I had hoped that the Front Office would keep him as the manager full-time soon after. He smiled and said... 'Thank you, and if they don't, then that's ok too.'

In my mind, that was a classy answer from a very classy man.
It is not Dave Trembley's fault for the bowling shoe tendencies that this season has shown. Sometimes change for changes sake helps a team (see last year's Colorado Rockies), but all signs point to more of the same as this season progresses...

I was not sad at all when Lee Mazzilli was removed in 2005 (I never wanted him here in the first place) and I was calling for Sam Perlozzo's head after the Mother's Day Massacre of the 2007 season. When I began to see the reports today that Trembley is about to be removed as manager, I felt nothing but sadness.

Part of me feels like they are doing Dave a favor. This team is bad. I mean Ashton Kutcher movie bad. He can take the rest of the summer off and reflect that it wasn't his fault that he was handed a team that was to be measured on wins and losses, but lacked talent in a lot of areas and carried a lot of IFs into this season.

The Orioles players should be ashamed of themselves. Some random thoughts on the 2010 Orioles:

  • Mike Gonzalez should not be allowed near the bullpen ever. He should have let someone know he was hurt in Spring Training.
  • Koji Uehara needs to go back to Japan. Period. He gets winded opening up the paper in the morning.
  • Garrett Atkins is done. Time to release him and call up Brandon Snyder. Even if Snyder is batting .220. That's .019 points higher than Atkins. One home run out of the 1B position. Are you kidding me?
  • Matt Wieters may not be the next Joe Mauer.
  • Brian Matusz may not be the next Greg Maddux.
  • Adam Jones has regressed and needs to be sent to Norfolk to learn the game again.
  • I'm afraid we may not see Nolan Reimold in the majors again. Makes me sad.
  • Miguel Tejada, Kevin Millwood and Ty Wigginton need to be traded. Do these guys a favor and ship them to contenders and land a few more prospects.

This season was a wash after the first two weeks. It has been very hard for me to watch. I have been losing interest all around. The blog, fantasy, any other games, etc. I haven't even voted for the all star team. I started the other blog with Max to try to keep interested and that is slipping too.

If it weren't for Max, I think I'd have given up already. Thanks buddy.

Anyway, back to Dave. Apparently the Orioles plan to replace Trembley with 3rd base coach Juan Samuel. I have been unimpressed with him as a coach so far.

Something that really has bothered me was that certain people in baseball have criticized Dave Trembley because he never played baseball. He has a Masters in education and started out as a high school teacher and baseball coach in the late 70's. He moved on to coaching a small college in LA and then became a scout for the Cubs in 1984. He worked his way up through the minors as a manager, specializing in the development of younger players (a key in his hiring as the Orioles manager). This is a guy who spent 20+ years in the minor leagues as a scout and manager who finally got to realize his dream and become a Major League manager.

I'd really like to see him get reassigned in the organization, but I highly doubt that will happen.

I don't feel too bad for Dave beacuse for almost 3 years, he got to realize his dream and be one of only 30 managers in MLB. I do feel bad for him because is has been a very classy person and deserved much better from the Orioles players and their Front Office. The players and Andy MacPhail better lose some sleep over this.

I now close with an exceprt from Roch Kubatko's blog on "I will say before turning off my laptop, that Trembley is a good man who loves the Orioles as if he grew up rooting for them. He lived and breathed this job. He also cares a great deal about the fans. It isn't just for show. I hope that means something to even his harshest critics."

Good luck Dave. I hope the past few months haven't quieted your love for the game as they have for me. I hope to run into you one day and offer you a beer. Also, thanks for being nice enough to sign a ball (2 of them) for me and talk to me for a few minutes. That, I will never forget.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Winston-Salem Card Show Part III

I picked up a couple random cards while at the show for a dollar a piece...
Here is a 1986 Topps Jumbo Cal Ripken. I found a couple Dodger jumbos also for Max. I kind of like going through the dollar boxes and seeing what can be found...

I was able to knock out 3 cards for my 1970 set, all in really good condition.

I also found this 1954 Topps Howie Fox. Don't know who he is, but I LOVE 1954 Topps. I love the bright colors. Forget Chrome technology, give me a nice, clean, brightly colored card any day of the week... 1954 Topps are so nice. I may try to get a few more soon...