Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hall of Fame TTM Success -- Steve Carlton

I came home from work today and the first thing my son told me was "You've got a surprise Daddy, you got something in the mail!"  He made me close my eyes as I came in the house, when I opened them, there was one of my mailers on my desk.  Inside my mailer was a ball that I had sent off on November 28, 2011 to Hall of Famer Steve Carlton.
I was beginning to worry about my ball, as I had sent it along with a check.  The check was cashed on December 8, 2011, so I guess Carlton was holding the stuff and signing all of his requests at once.  No big deal, as I now have my 63rd Hall of Famer and my 45th TTM success!

Carlton signs baseballs for a fee of $35.00 made payable to 'The Grace Fund,' which is Carlton's charity.  So, the autograph fee goes to a worthy cause! 

Steve Carlton (b. 1944) pitched in the majors from 1965 to 1988 for the Cardinals, Phillies, Giants, White Sox, Indians and Twins.  He has a career record of 329-244, 4,136 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.22.  He won the Cy Young Award four times (1972, 1977, 1980 and 1982) and won the World Series in 1967 and 1980.  He was traded by the Indians to the eventual World Champion Twins in 1987 but was left off of their playoff roster.

Carlton was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1994 (his first ballot) when he was named on 95.6% of the ballots cast.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Trade With Blog Reader Oliver

I got an email last week from a blog reader named Oliver asking if I would like to swing a trade for some Oriole 2011 Topps Cognac parallels.

I traded him a 2011 Topps Lineage Johnny Gomes Auto for ten Orioles.  Here are a couple:
 I am going to try to get as many of the Nolan Reimold parallels as I can.  I doubt I will be able to find the Canary Diamond as it is a 1/1, but I will definitely keep an eye out for it.  I have seen the diamond and Hope Diamond parallels going really chaep on Ebay, so I should be able to add those pretty soon.  I also want to get his base parallels, so I will be looking for the Target Red Exclusive, Gold and Black parallels, as well as anything else I'm missing.  If any of you have them, I'd love to trade!
Speaking of my PCs, I also want to do the same for my Brian Roberts PC.  Might ought to go ahead and do the same for Markakis as well, since I have his Hope Diamond.  I think these are really cool looking cards.  I hope 2012 has some nice parallels as well.

Thanks for the trade Oliver.  I would definitely love to trade again and I'll keep you in mind if I come across more Reds autos and relics.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Trade With Ryan From O No Another Oriole Blog

When we went to Orioles Fan Fest last weekend, Ryan was gracious enough to let us stay at his place so I wouldn't have to get a hotel.  I'm really glad he did.  I am always curious to see how others maintain their collections and set up their 'man caves', etc.  Ryan has a very nice house and a dog who is almost a carbon copy of the one we used to have.  After putting my son Christopher to bed Friday night, we both went through each others' Orioles boxes for trades.  Man, he has a lot of awesome stuff that I wish I could get.  A lot of newer inserts of Orioles, etc.  We both picked out the cards that we wanted and pulled off the deal.  Here are but a few of the highlights of the huge stack of cards he let me go home with:

A 1996 Pinnacle Aficionado Roberto Alomar.  Ok, out of the overproduction era, this has to be the most awesome looking set there is.  I really love it.  Sadly, I can't find a box of this ANYWHERE to bust.  If anyone knows where I can get a box of this stuff, please shoot me an email.  I would love to complete this set.

I picked this 1992 Classic Minor League card of Jason Alstead because he was the first ever player I remember meeting in person.  My mom would take us to Ernie Shore Field in Winston-Salem to see the Spirits play the Frederick Keys since she knew the Keys were an Orioles farm team.  I remember Alstead talking to us a couple times before each game.  He was a really nice guy.  I wonder what became of him?  According to Baseball-Reference.com, he made it all the way to AAA Rochester for the Orioles in 1993 at the age of 24.  After that, who knows.  He had career minor league numbers of 218 hits, 8 home runs and a .249 batting average.  I wonder if he got injured or something like that because he only played 4 seasons in the minors.  If anyone has any information, please let me know.

I picked up a LOT of Nick Markakis cards that I didn't have in my collection.  The first is the above Upper Deck X - Xponential.  It looks pretty sweet in person.  I remember being really underwhelmed by Upper Deck X, but this card looks really sharp.
 Here is a 2007 Topps Finest Markakis.  Finest always looks great and this one is no exception.
I picked up this sweet Upper Deck USA Baseball Manny Machado.  I've met Machado several times now, and he has always been nice to us.  He is the Orioles' top prospect now.  I hope he lives up to the hype and gets to the majors really soon.
 I had been watching this Bowman's Best Zach Britton for a long time and finally was able to pick it up.  I like the retro look to these cards.  I'm hoping for a big year from Zach.  The Oriole sure need it.
 Finally, I got this really cool acetate card of Brian Roberts.  Topps Hot Button Baseball.  It looks like a precursor to Topps Attax.  I hope Brian makes it back this year, but concussions are tricky things.  I hope he is doing well.

Thanks again Ryan for the trade and your hospitality.  I definitely want to get together again!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Trade With Eutaw Street Cardboard

I completed a trade with Kirk over at Eutaw Street Cardboard when I tried to help him knock an Oriole off of his needs list of autographs.  I traded him a card that, originally, I really liked, but over time, I couldn't bear to look at it anymore.  I'm talking about my Sweet Spot Classic Luis Aparicio Autograph.  Upper Deck really crapped the bed with those, issuing cards that would ultimate fade and become unbearable to look at.  I have a Wade Boggs/Cal Ripken dual auto from that set that is fading just the same and it really makes me mad because that was an amazing card, when I got it...

I sent Kirk a scan of the card and told him I didn't want to fleece him over it, but he agreed to send me this card in exchange for it:
A 2009 Topps Chrome Blue Refractor Nolan Reimold Autograph.  I really appreciated this card!  I have two of Nolan's base autos from 2009 Topps Chrome, but I didn't have this one.  I will definitely have to get more of his parallels from this set.  My Nolan Reimold PC is really taking shape.  I'm going to concentrate on him more seriously this year since Roberts is likely to be out this season.

Thanks for the trade Kirk.  I really appreciate you doing the deal and I hope to trade with you again in the future.

Speaking of trades, I have added a bunch of stuff to my for trade page.  I really want to flip a lot of stuff for new Orioles cards and inserts.  If you see anything on there, please feel free to email me!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Orioles Fan Fest - Final Thoughts and Free Stuff

I am just about ready to wrap up my Orioles Fan Fest posts and thought I would now take the time to talk about another signed ball I picked up, that of former Negro Leaguer - Jim Bland.
 I have been unable to dig up much information on Mr. Bland.  The Indianapolis Clowns continued to barnstorm long after the final Negro League season of 1951.  They later became known as more of a novelty or comedy act, kind of like Baseball's version of the Harlem Globetrotters.  The Clowns were the team that Hank Aaron played for before he was picked up by the Braves.
One of the really cool features of Fan Fest was the Giveaways room.  You can go through a line there and pick up some leftover promotional items from past seasons.  When we got through the line, they were giving away Brian Matusz bobbleheads.  Chris, Ryan and I each picked up one.  My bobblehead collection has really grown over the last 2 weeks.  Good thing I have a nice place to put them!

Well, that just about wraps her up.  I had a really great time at Fan Fest and it was something nice that my son and I could do together.  I hope to make it an annual tradition with him... that is until he discovers girls and then his dad will become less cool... Until then, I think we are going to try to get back there each year!

Thanks for reading all of my posts.  I will start catching up on mail and trades tomorrow!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Orioles Fan Fest - Final Autograph Station

We immediately went from our previous autograph station to our next one, the 4:40 meeting with Robert Andino, Nick Markakis and Brady Anderson after hitting the restroom and meeting up with Ryan, of course.  Ryan was in this line with us, so it made the wait so much more enjoyable having someone to chat with.

 The first player in line was Robert Andino.  I have gained so much respect for Andino following this season, firstly because he was always so awesome whenever I met him (this was the third time I have met him in person) and he is always really nice to my son.  He signed the above baseball for me and the below post card for Chris.

Chris slapped five with Andino, knocking his hand onto the table.  Ryan and I both told Chris "Don't HURT him!"  Andino laughed and signed our stuff.
 After Andino was a current Oriole whose autograph I have been coveting for a long time, Nick Markakis.  I got Markakis to sign an OMLB ball (Selig) on the sweet spot.  I have several of the Orioles' First Round Draft Picks: Roberts (supplemental round), Markakis, Brandon Snyder, Billy Rowell (should have been Tim Lincecum), Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz, Matt Hobgood and Manny Machado.

Nick was really quiet, but he did say hello to Chris.  He had abdominal surgery a couple weeks ago, so I'm sure he is still recovering from that.
 As much as I would love to say that Markakis was the highlight of this session, the reason I paid $40 for the voucher (they were all sold out, so I had to buy one off of Ebay) was so I could meet one of my childhood favorites, Brady Anderson.  I had Brady sign another OMLB (Selig) ball that I picked up before the show.
Brady also signed this post card for Chris.  Brady is remembered for his improbable run in the 1996 season where he hit 50 home runs.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinions on how Brady achieved that number, especially since he didn't get close to 50 before or after that season.  Your opinion is fine, but in my mind, I point to Roger Maris (39 homers in 1960, 61 homers in 1961 and 33 homers in 1962) and Davey Johnson (43 homers in 1973 and didn't hit more than 18 in any other season) among others...  Sometimes players have a great season.  Let me enjoy it.

This autograph session was definitely worth the $40.00.  I'm really glad I got all of these guys' autographs, for sure.

Stay tuned for my final Fan Fest Post on the miscellaneous stuff we got including a Negro Leaguer's signature and a Brian Matusz Bobblehead...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Orioles Fan Fest - Autograph Station 2

After our meeting with Mrs. Reimold, Ryan, Chris and I wandered around Fan Fest for a while until the next autograph session that we had passes for - the 3:20 session.  Ryan and I were set to go to different stations, so Chris and I had to wait in line without someone to chat with.

This session consisted of Orioles pitching prospect Oliver Drake, current Orioles pitchers Dana Eveland and Tommy Hunter and Hall of Famer and the Orioles' greatest pitcher of all time, Jim Palmer.

Meeting Palmer was one of my primary goals on this trip, so I was really excited about this station.

I got a baseball signed by Oliver Drake, but I traded it to him for  the above ball signed by Joe Mahoney.  I met Mahoney in 2010 at a Bowie game.  He had stitches in his lip and when I asked him where they came from, he toldme he got them from sliding hard into a second baseman while trying to break up a double play.  True definition of a 'gamer.'  Mahoney is one of the Orioles' few position prospects in the upper levels of the minors.  I think he has a good chance of being called up to the majors this season.

We got this signed post card from one of the newest Orioles, Dana Eveland.  He seemed like a really nice guy.  He took the time to compliment me on my replica 1938 Orioles jersey.  He said it looked awesome but probably wouldn't be much fun to play in.  Seeing as it is a wool jersey, he is right.
I was also glad to meet Orioles pitcher Tommy Hunter at this station.  He seems like a pretty colorful character, especially since he made sure everyone knew that he had just created a Twitter account (@TommyGoesBoom).  When I got to him, I told him the he should follow me (@FoulbuntWilliam).  I'm still waiting on him to follow me.
Finally, I got the chance to meet Hall of Famer Jim Palmer.  I had him sign my Bobby Brown OAL baseball that I picked up for $10 at a recent card show.  Definitely a good player to get on this ball.  I wanted to say a few words to Palmer, but he and Tommy Hunter were bantering back and forth.  That was a lot more entertaining than anything I could have squeaked out.  Seeing as I was pretty star struck and all...

Jim Palmer is now the third Hall of Famer that I have met in person (the others being Brooks Robinson and Bert Blyleven).  I already had him on a baseball; a gift that my former boss gave me for Christmas way back in 1999.  I will put this one with my other Hall of Famers and the other Palmer ball will be put away for safekeeping.

Stay tuned for my next Orioles Fan Fest post, the final autograph station.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Orioles Fan Fest - More Nolan Reimold Memorabilia

After we finished up at Autograph Station 1, Ryan, Chris and I headed upstairs in the convention center to check out the memorabilia room.  Before we could get too far, I realized that I had a message on my phone.  I checked and it was a message from Nolan Reimold's wife, Jenny.  I had let her know that we would be at Fan Fest and wanted to be able to say hello if she and Nolan were able.  She was kind enough to let me know where she was at, so we made a beeline to that area.

Unfortunately, when we got there, Nolan was busy, but it was really awesome to meet Mrs. Reimold in person.  We also met Ryan Adams' girlfriend.  They both remarked about my replica 1938 Orioles jersey and Jenny handed me a nice surprise...
 More batting gloves!!  It was really cool, since we were meeting her next to the forum stage.  On the big screen there, they were showing the ground rule double that Nolan hit to tie the final game of the season against the Red Sox.  Ryan said "Hey, look, your batting gloves are on TV!"  That was really cool, then to be able to get more of them was even better.  According to Mrs. Reimold, these gloves were also worn in that game.  I guess Nolan uses more than one pair of gloves in a game, which makes sense.  These are signed with a thinner sharpie than the other pair.  I have these put away in my safe while the other pair is on display in my man cave (attached to my awesomely made glove stands).  We parted ways with Mrs. Reimold and worked our way back upstairs to the memorabilia room.  Mrs. Reimold reads this blog, so I would like to thank her again for her generosity.  It can't believe how lucky I am due to this blog.  It definitely is luck and I hope she and Nolan know how much I appreciate this!

In the memorabilia room, you can buy game used merchandise at some ridiculously cheap prices.  I wish I had more cash on me because there was a bunch of stuff that I would have liked to have taken home like a game used jersey, a lineup card or a cracked bat.
I did pick up this game used baseball.  This ball was a foul ball from the June 30, 2011 game between the Orioles and Cardinals.  The ball was hit foul by Nolan Reimold off of Cardinals' pitcher Jaime Garcia.  Reimold hit a home run in that game, by the way...  I got the ball for $20; had I waited til the end of the show, I would have gotten one for $10 but there was no guarantee that this one from Nolan would still be available.  I do know that if I go next year, I will be bringing enough money to buy a lineup card.  I know one will look good on the wall in the man cave...

Next up for my Fan Fest recap will be our second autograph station and meeting a Hall of Famer in person...  Stay tuned!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Orioles Fan Fest - First Autograph Station

Our first autograph voucher was for the 11:20 signing that featured Brian Matusz, Alfredo Simon, Ryan Adams and Jason Berken.  Brian Roberts was supposed to be in this group, but he bowed out due to the lingering effects of the concussion he suffered in 2010 and re-aggravated last season.  It definitely is a shame he couldn't make it, but as someone whose family member suffered a sports related concussion, they are difficult to overcome and very easy to re-aggravate.  My brother suffered one in college in 2003 from Shawne Merriman (yes, THAT Shawne Merriman), and he still hasn't slept right since.  Anyway, on to our autographs:

I got another ball signed by Brian Matusz.  He was really nice, speaking to both Chris and I.  He let Chris come behind the table and take a picture with him.  I really appreciated it.  I really hope Matusz's time with Brady Anderson this offseason has helped him come into spring training in much better shape than last year and he makes it very hard for Buck and Co. to send him to AAA Norfolk to start the year...
 Is it just me, or does this Topps Heritage Rookie Card look great signed?  Alfredo Simon didn't say a whole lot to us as he signed our card, but it was still great to meet him and say hello.  I think he is vastly underrated and has done everything asked of him by the Orioles.  He has started, closed, pitched in relief, etc.  I hope last offseason's difficulties have been put behind him for good.
 Jason Berken was very nice to Chris and I also, and he also let Chris take a picture with him.  He was solid out of the bullpen in the 2010 season but took a couple steps back in 2011.  He ended up with a strained arm that limited his time late in the season.  He is a candidate to pitch out of the bullpen in the 2012 season.
Ryan Adams worked his way up to the majors last season after having a solid campaign in the minors.  He is a candidate to start at second base if Roberts isn't ready to go when the season starts.  If Roberts is healthy, look for Adams to be a reserve player on the bench.

We had a good time getting autographs from these guys and had two stations to go for the rest of the day, but the next session was about 3 hours from when we got out of line, so my next post will discuss my meeting with a friend of the blog during the break... Stay tuned!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Orioles Fan Fest Thoughts and Photos

Over the course of the next few blog posts, I will be showing off all of the stuff my son and I picked up at the Orioles Fan Fest on January 21, 2012.

Before I do that, I would definitely like to thank Ryan from "O No Another Orioles Blog" for letting my son Chris and I tag along with him to Fan Fest.  I wouldn't have gone had he not offered to accompany us and it really made the experience that much more enjoyable.  If you haven't checked out and followed Ryan's blog yet, you really should!

My son Christopher and I at the end of Fan Fest.  Take note that Chris is wearing my younger brother Adam's little league Orioles Jersey from around 20 years ago...

Here are Chris and Orioles pitcher Jason Berken.  Berken signed a 'before they were stars' card for Chris and also gave him a signed post card.
Chris with Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz.  Matusz asked Chris who is favorite Orioles were and Chris' answer was: "Brian Roberts and Tim Lincecum."  When I told Chris that Lincecum wasn't an Oriole, Matusz told him "That's ok, he is still pretty good."
Chris is getting a baseball signed by former Negro Leaguer Jimmy Bland.  He was really nice.  He asked Chris if he could keep the ball and of course Chris told him no.
Chris is now telling Chris Davis that they have the same name.  My son is 6 and still doesn't mind 'mining for gold' in public, so he turns around with his finger in his nose and I quietly whisper to him "Chris, quit picking your nose..." to which Davis responds "Oh, I didn't think anyone saw that... oh you meant your son, sorry."  Was pretty funny, for sure.
We got to meet Jim Palmer in person, which was one of the big highlights of the event.  I would love to say that I had a conversation with him, but I was too nervous to get a coherent sentence out and Tommy Hunter (seated beside Palmer) was busy telling Palmer about the virtues of his new Twitter account (follow him @TommyGoesBoom).
Chris had met Robert Andino back when we visited Durham Bulls Athletic Park for a game between the Durham Bulls and the Norfolk Tides.  He is seen here telling Andino "What's up!" which is a message Andino gave me to tell Chris when I talked to him in Norfolk a few months after our initial meeting.  Andino might be the most misunderstood Orioles player right now, but he has quickly become one of my favorites.  I think, given increased playing time, he will have a pretty solid career.

Another player that I was really excited to meet was Nick Markakis.  He was probably the most prominent current Orioles who I hadn't had a signed baseball of.  I got that taken care of at Fan Fest!

Speaking of Orioles autographs that I have been looking for, I finally got the chance to meet one of my childhood heroes, Brady Anderson.  I have been wanting an Anderson signed baseball for a long time and finally got it.
 Here is most of the stuff Chris brought home from Fan Fest.  I'll have to work with him on taking care of all of it.  Some of the stuff he had signed, he gave to me (without me asking him for it by the way).  One of the signed post cards we got went to Ryan for letting us stay with him and to help him with his Orioles autograph project.
Here is what I consider my haul from Fan Fest.  A few of the post cards and one of the balls were given to me by Chris.  He will probably get some of them back over time once he can show that he knows how to take care of all of them.  If you study the picture closely, you'll see two items that look familiar, but are different from what you might be thinking...

That being said, piece by piece (sort of), I will be posting all of the balls, etc, that I brought home.  I have enough stuff to keep me busy on this humble blog for some time to come, haha.  Also, having said that, I have a trade post with Kirk from Eutaw Street Cardboard that I will squeeze in somewhere along the way as well as any TTMs that come in...

So, you guys (hopefully) have a lot to look forward to on here.  I hope you all enjoy.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Completing the Trade With Dodgerbobble

I did get some cards from Dodgerbobble in the trade for my Sutter ball.  One was this 1997 Upper Deck Amazing Greats.  This card is, well, amazing.  I like that it looks like it is made out of wood.  The diamond photo of Cal is a clear acetate which was picked up beautifully on my scan.
 Here is the back of the card which is super glossy.  It looks really nice, as well.
 I also got this 2010 Topps Chrome X Fractor of Brian Roberts.  I can never tell the difference between Superfractor and X Fractor.  I'm pretty certain this is the X Fractor.  If I'm wrong, someone please help me out.  I didn't have this though, so it was a nice addition to my Roberts PC.
I commend Dodgerbobble on having 2 cards for my player collections that I didn't already have.  This is becoming a rare thing since I have so many Roberts and Ripken cards now.  Very refreshing to see some new ones being added, for sure!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Trade With Dodgerbobble - Cal Ripken Bobblehead

I forgot to post a link to Dodgerbobble yesterday when I did my Adam Jones post, so head on over and check his page out.  Especially if you like the Dodgers!
I remember when these Cal Ripken bobbleheads came out because I really wanted one, but never picked one up.  This bobblehead commemorates Cal's series clinching catch in the 1983 World Series.

The bobblehead looks great.  It is highly detailed and looks awesome in my other china cabinet.

I might have to look for a few of the other Orioles bobbleheads now that I added this and the Jones to my collection.  Might have to keep my eyes out for another Reimold one too!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Trade With Dodgerbobble - Adam Jones Bobblehead

I completed a trade with Josh from Dodgerbobble when I sent him my extra Bruce Sutter signed baseball in exchange for a couple cards and two bobbleheads.

The first bobblehead is this Adam Jones.  He is blowing a bubble with his gum while catching a ball.  That is kind of Jones' trademark.  He won a Gold Glove in 2009 (which, I think, is the year this bobblehead was issued).

I really hope that the Orioles lock Jones up long-term, because, if not, he definitely will be gone once he hits free agency.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thoughts on 1986 Donruss Highlights

I didn't get any mail today, so I thought I would put down some thoughts on an old box of cards I found in my collection.
I have had this box of 1986 Donruss Highlights for around 20 years.  I remember when I got it, it was worth quite a bit due to the Jose Canseco and Roger Clemens cards included.   Heh.  Little did we know...
Yes, when I bought it, I paid $14.00.  Probably worth around $5.00 now.  Oh well. 
 The first thing you see when you open the box is this Hank Aaron puzzle.  It is really cool, I think.
 Something really cool in this set is that they showed the players who were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986.  I think this is something that should be featured each year.  Above is one of the best TTM signers around, Bobby Doerr.
Here is another '86 inductee, Ernie Lombardi.  I wrote a post last year on Lombardi.  You can check it out here.
The last Hall of Famer featured is Willie McCovey.  I need to get more McCovey stuff.
Bo Knows
So, I really like the design of the cards.  There are a bunch of good players in the set.  The set is 55 cards featuring highlights of the 1986 season.  From record setting performances to individual milestones to players of the month for AL and NL for each month of the 1986 season.  Not too bad.