Friday, February 28, 2014

COMC Pickup - 2003 Topps World Series Highlights Brooks Robinson

I'm winding down on my most recent COMC package as I have only two cards after this one to show off.  I have done a pretty good job of catching up on things, so I guess that means it is just about time to queue up some stuff to keep me busy for the month of March.  I'm getting ahead of myself, though...

I actually had two of the 2003 Topps World Series Highlights cards, a Tom Seaver and an Ozzie Smith.  I didn't even think to look for a Brooks, until I happened upon this one during my last COMC purchase.  I got the card for $0.85, so I think I did pretty well.

The scan doesn't do the card much justice, though.  The 'photo' on the card is actually foil and looks really awesome, but you really need to see it in person.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ebay Pickup - 2013 Bowman Orange Ice Alex Murphy

I got a really cool card off of Ebay last week when I won an auction for this Alex Murphy card.  It is a 2013 Bowman Orange Ice parallel, numbered 4/5.  I've seen cards numbered to 5 for certain players go for hundreds of dollars, but this Murphy cost me only $16, including shipping.  Not bad, right?

It came in a Beckett top loader, labeled Beckett Raw Card Review, 9.  I guess it would qualify for a grade of 9 if I chose to send it in.  I won't, but it is nice to know.

I'm really hoping that Murphy breaks out and becomes a star.  Not that I ever invest in cards, but for $16, I think if he becomes a star, I'll make a good return on it, haha.

Really, though, I like the Orange Ice parallel.  I had no idea they existed until I was looking up Hunter Harvey cards on Ebay and saw them.  They really are nice and they go so well with Orioles.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ebay Pickup - 2014 Topps Chris Davis Printing Plate

I got a good deal on Ebay the other day when I got this 2014 Topps Chris Davis printing plate for just over $30.  I really needed it if I was going to pursue the rainbow.  I already have the purple, clear and a couple of the other variations.  I lost out on the blank back, which went off the other day at $121.  Yeah, I'm not going to spend that much.  I just saw that the 2012 blank back was listed on Ebay, so I figure maybe I'll see the '14 again.  I may even go after the '12.  I would like to complete one rainbow at some point, but those true 1/1 cards really kick my butt.

Anyway, this printing plate is really cool.  I actually have a quite a few printing plates in my various PCs, so they're not too tough to come by.  I'm still glad I got it and at such a good price.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mail From Judson - 2014 Topps Chris Davis Purple

I got a nice sort of surprise package from Judson the other day that had this 2014 Topps Chris Davis purple parallel in it.  I say sort of surprise because Judson told me it was coming.  His reasoning was very sound, though, because he was afraid if he didn't tell me that it was coming, I might buy it.  Well, he was right because not 5 minutes before he messaged me, I had added two different auctions to my watch list on Ebay for this very card.  I'm glad he jumped in because it saved me about $5.

Judson also included the 1989 minis of Davis and Manny Machado, each of which I needed in my PCs.

Thanks so much, Judson!  I really appreciate it.

Monday, February 24, 2014

COMC Pickup - 1971 Milk Duds Brooks Robinson

I was able to knock out a really cool oddball Brooks Robinson card the last time I made a purchase on COMC.  This is a 1971 Milk Duds Brooks.  I got it for $4.25, which is a pretty good price, considering I had never heard of them.  The card was the back of the Milk Duds box.  I saw a whole one while I was at Fan Fest and the asking price on that was $15, so I think I got a pretty good deal, even though this one was cut out.  That's how I would have wanted it anyway.  I don't really have room to keep the box, but this one can just slide into a top loader like normal and off we go.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

COMC Pickup - Familiar Faces In Strange Places

I bought these two cards off of COMC recently because I thought they were so cool.  These are 1975 SSPC cards.  The above card shows Hall of Famer, Duke Snider as a coach for the Expos.  It definitely is a funny sight to see him in the Red White and Blue Expos uniform.

I don't have very many Expos in my collection, so adding this one was a no brainer for me.
Finally, this card is weirder for me than the Snider.  Harmon Killebrew as something other than a Senator/Twim.  Wow.  I totally forgot that Killebrew finished his career in Kansas City.  The card is awesome and I'm glad I own it.

I looked at most of the '75 SSPC checklist on COMC and there are quite a few cards that I still want from there.  I might make this a mini PC, players in odd uniforms.  I could have Boog Powell as an Indian, or Frank Robinson as an Indian or Dodger.  Some stuff like that.  I used to have the Heritage card of Babe Ruth as a Dodger coach.  I wonder what I did with that.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

My FIrst (Successful) Instagram Deal - 2005 Sweet Spot Classic Brooks Robinson

I did a deal on Instagram recently where I landed this awesome 2005 UD Sweet Spot Classic Brooks Robinson autograph for $30, shipped.  The card is amazing.  I can't believe I haven't picked up one of these before now.  I felt like the $30 was a fair deal for the card (it also included shipping).

Before that moment, I had a pretty low opinion of trading on Instagram, and I'll explain why before I get into discussing how this particular deal was struck.  Instagram is almost like the wild west.  Everyone running around buying/selling/trading cards with some bad apples thrown in.  Most of the sellers/traders are kids and the age range is somewhere betwee 11-14.  I had made a trade on there where I gave up one signed baseball for another, but in the end, I never received my end of the deal.  The 12-year old kid (named Joe) kept my ball and said that the one he sent me was 'lost in the mail.'  When I asked him to send me my ball back, he said he did, but then could never produce a tracking number, so I knew then and there that I was scammed.  Well, I've blasted that kid's handle all over Instagram (king_cards15), so hopefully no one trades with him anymore.

So, as I was just about to end my trading days on there just as they began, I met Kyle.

Kyle (who is 14) had a picture of this Brooks up and I asked him about it.  When he told me the price, I felt like it was a good deal, so I decided to try again in making a deal on there.  I got to talking to Kyle quite a bit and decided to also send him a few Roy Halladay cards for good measure as well.

So, this card came in yesterday and I was really happy.  I subscribed to Kyle's Youtube channel (MrPhilliesphan04) as well, just in case he posts any stuff on there for sale or trade that I might like.  If any of you has an Instagram, you should follow him, he's a really good guy (sportscardsgalore) or go follow his Youtube.

Thanks for the deal, Kyle!  I know we'll be doing some more.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Ebay Pickup - 2009 Topps Sterling Jimmie Foxx Booklet

I won an auction on Ebay the other day of a card that instantly was propelled to the top of my card collection.  I got this 2009 Topps Sterling Jimmie Foxx booklet for a price much lower than what I thought it was going to be (I seriously thought I was going to be outbid), so I'm extremely happy.

The card is numbered 9/10 and showcases Foxx's 1932 season.
As you can see on the back of the card, it shows highlights from the 1932 season such as Foxx's first MVP award, career high 58 homers and more.  It's right there, you can read the card.
Finally, I thought I'd show the front.  The card is spectacular.  I'm also a fan of the candy apple red coloring of it.  Very sharp, indeed.

What do you all think?  I'm pretty much in awe to have this Foxx in my collection now.  I know it's worth far more than what I paid for it.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Unexpected Mail From James

I got a nice package in the mail the other day from James a. k. a. Chunter from the blog Chipp and Dale that I wasn't expecting.  Well, I kind of figured somethinf was coming when he emailed me asking for my address, but other than that, no I wasn't expecting it.

In the package was an assortment of Orioles cards, several of which I didn't have.  The above Matt Wieters is really cool.  I won't rehash again how mad I am about him not being included in Topps's offerings.  Its just a shame.
Speaking of being disappointed (in the player, not the card), here is an autograph of former First Round Pick, Adam Loewen.  Loewen blew out his arm, then famously reneged on a gentlemen's agreement that he would re-sign with the Orioles when they let him out of his contract.  Initially, he was to be let out of his contract, then re-sign to a minor league deal so the O's could bring him up as a hitter.  Instead, Toronto swooped in and signed him and the rest is history.

James also included a 2013 Topps Nolan Reimold gold parallel, which is a really nice card.  I've already got one gold parallel, but this one is equally as nice, and I didn't have to scour Ebay for this one.

Thanks for the cards, James!  I really appreciate it.  I hope everyone goes and checks out James's blog because he is a fantastic writer and deserves the recognition.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Facebook Trade With Brad Z.

I recently began talking with a guy on Facebook, Brad Zonghetti, because he was good friends with Scott, with whom I'm good friends.  I figured that if he and Scott were good friends, it would be a good idea to get to know him and see if I could help him out at all with his card collection.

I was able to meet Brad's needs pretty substantially right off the bat when I sent him a huge stack of Carlton Fisk, Adrian Gonzalez and Craig Biggio cards.  I can't remember the specifics, but I know his Fisk and Biggio PCs grew tremendously in size.

In return for the cards I sent Brad, he sent me a nice stack of Orioles stuff.  The above Cal Ripken Fleer/Skybox EX 2001 is really awesome, especially in person.  I think I'm a sucker for the clear cards.  He also sent a 2013 Panini Pinnacle clear card of Jim Johnson.  Man they look nice.
Brad also sent me this nice 2010 Topps Turkey Red Brooks Robinson insert.  I'm pretty sure I have it, but it still is an awesome card.  I definitely don't mind doubling up on this one.

Thanks for the trade, Brad!  I know we'll do this again because I found even more Biggios in a box and have already dropped them in the mail to you!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Another Trade With Alex

I got a huge package in the  mail the other day, another trade with my new friend, Alex. Alex writes the Dodger blog, Chavez Ravining.  He sent a huge stack of Orioles, most of which I needed, like the above Select Wei-Yin Chen.  I had never seen any of these cards in person and man, they look great.  Again, Panini hits one out right here with a solid product (based on the one card I've seen).  I know the price point for Select was pretty high, so I don't think I'll be opening much of this at all.  I may pick up a few other Orioles base cards from the product, though.
Alex also surprised me with this gold parallel Davis/Cabrera/Jones AL RBI leaders card.  I didn't have it yet and it will definitely go in my Davis PC.

Thanks for the additional trade and all of the cards, Alex!  I know we'll be doing more of this in the future!

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Big Package From Weston

I got a really nice package in tht mail from my buddy, Weston, recently that had a ton of set and PC needs.  He included 6 2013 Topps Emerald parallels that I needed for my set and bunch of Orioles.  He was able to do what not a whole lot of people have been able to do, he found me a Cal Ripken that I didn't already have in my collection.  The above 2012 Triple Play Hall of Fame card is really awesome, even without the O's team logo.
Weston really scored here with this awesome JJ Hardy All Star jersey relic.  I wasn't expecting something as nice as this, but I definitely appreciate it.  Weston really went above and beyond by sending this card.  I hope the Orioles can hurry up and extend JJ.  They both seem to want to get a deal done, so come on guys, lets get moving!
FInally, I wanted to show off this really sharp looking 2004 Donruss Brooks Robinson.  I'm really excited that Panini is bringing back the Donruss brand.  They were a huge part of my childhood, so it will be nice to see the brand come back.  Even without a license, I think Panini does a good job.

So, thanks for the package, Weston!  I really appreciate it.  Everyone, please go check out his blog, he works really hard on it and does a good job.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

We Have a Winner

The winner of my contest was Brad Zonghetti, a Youtube trader, new friend and follower of this blog.  He got all of the questions answered correctly.

Here are the final standings:

Brad - 40 points
P. A. - 25 points
Mom - 25 points
Alex - 25 points
Matthew - 20 points
Cerne - 2 points
Jeroen Bos - 2 points

The correct answers were:

1. Die Hard.  Said by the first henchman that Bruce Willis dispatches in the film.

2. Jeffrey Maier.  I'm pretty much over this by now, but I would hit him with a shovel, just on principle alone.

3. Rocky 4.  If I can change, and you can change, everybody can change...

4. The first set I completed after starting this blog was 1995 Donruss.  See the post here.

5. The first card I got in a trade with Drew was a UD Masterpieces Brian Roberts relic, seen here.

6. The ball was signed at a Carolina Mudcats vs Chattanooga Lookouts game in 2009 by Dustin Yount.  Son of Hall of Famer, Robin Yount.  He was a former Orioles draft pick who later played in the Dodgers system.

Congrats, Brad.  I hope you enjoy the baseball.

Thank you to all who participated.  I got a lot more of a response than I anticipated.  I might make up another convoluted contest again in the future!

Contest Update

So, I actually had a couple of folks sign up for my contest to win the above baseball.  Even my mom joined.  I don't know what she would do with this ball, except for maybe wrap it up and give it back to me for Christmas.

Anyway, here's how it shakes out so far:

Alex Markle is in the lead with 25 points

followed by a tie between Mom and Matthew with 10 points

followed by a tie between Cerne and Jeroen Bos with 2 points.

The questions are a bit difficult.  However, two can be answered by reading the blog, especially if you were to dig really deep into the history of the blog.

One can be answered if you know ANYTHING about Orioles history.

The movie ones, well, if you grew up in the 80s, then you would know those answers.  The movie that ended the Cold War is so easy.  You all remember who the Cold War was between, right?  Well, think about a movie pitting one of those countries against the other.  Come on now!

As to who signed the ball, well, a hint would be that it was signed in person locally.  Good luck with that.

There's still plenty of time for folks to sign up and submit guesses.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

So What If I've Never Had A Contest

This blog has run for five years and not once have I had a contest.  Never.  Well, today, I was looking around and saw that I have a good many baseballs sitting on my shelves and in closets that really need good homes.  So, I thought it might be nice to part with a few in fun ways.

I have one ball up for grabs on my Instagram account, so if you wanted to take a look, my username is: wregenthal.

For the above baseball, it can be won by the person who scores enough points. How do you score points?  Well, first, you sign up by commenting on my blog down below, which will activate your interest.  That's one point.  If you are already a follower of or become a follower of my blog, that's another point.

THEN, you must correctly answer (by sending me an email) the following questions, point values will be awarded based on the difficulty of the question. The individual who has the most points by 8:PM Eastern time tomorrow, will be the winner of the above baseball.

**You get a bonus point if you enter my Instagram contest as well.

Convoluted?  Well, this is why I don't have contests :)

I know some folks who don't have google+ can't comment on my blog entries.  You can email me with your interest.  Please follow the blog, though.

Ok, here are the questions (please EMAIL me with your responses.  My email is on my siderbar)

1. In what movie is the line said: "You're a policeman, there are rules for policemen." (3 points)

2. What New York Yankees fan would I hit with a shovel if I ever saw him in real life? (5 points)

3. What, in my opinion, is the movie that ended the cold war? (5 points)

4. What was the first set I completed after I started this blog? (10 points)

5. What was the first card I got in my first trade with Drew? (10 points)

6. Who signed this baseball? (5 points)

Thanks for playing guys.  I'm really looking to just have fun with this.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ebay Pickup - 2014 Topps Chris Davis Camo Parallel

Here's another Chris Davis parallel from 2014 Topps.  This time, we have a camo parallel that is numbered 75/99.  The camos look just a little different than last year.  I believe they are a touch greener than last year's desert camo.  I could be wrong, maybe I just need to clean my glasses.

Spring Training is upon us now as we prepare for the 2014 season.  The Orioles held off on signing a mediocre pitcher just for the sake of making a move.  I had hoped they would add an innings eater to the rotation to give Kevin Gausman a little more time in the minors, but I trust in Duquette and Buck, so we'll see how the season goes.  I'm tempering my enthusiasm, but I shall remain optimistic.  We will see.

I just hope the O's extend Davis.  I'm really scared that he and his 'super' agent will walk and the O's will be without one of my favorite players.  Uggh.  I'm so over the dark ages of O's history.  Time for them to remain relevant for longer than one season.  Come on guys, get Davis locked up.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hits From 2014 Topps Series One

Continuing on with my 2014 Topps posts, here are the biggest hits that I got from my break of three jumbo boxes.  I got three manufactured relics.  All of them were Red Sox.  Two of them were Ted Williams.  Not too bad.  I'm sure Scott will end up with some of them and I know my brother, John, will end up with at least one as well.
This Topps Black parallel was pretty sweet.  I'm no Yankee fan, but this card will definitely get top loaded and put in with my good cards.  This will likely end up being an iconic card for Mo, I believe.  Even with the product placement for Pepsi and Gatorade as well.
Finally, I had an epic pull in one of my boxes (I believe it was the second box).  I got a redemption for a Cal Ripken Trajectory autograph.  Pretty sweet, if you ask me.  I was kind of in shock when I pulled it.  I was beside Scott and on Skype with Andrew, so they got to see it get pulled also.

Ok, there you have it.  I got some good stuff from 2014 Topps.  I ended up with a few other autos (Wade Miley and Jason Kipnis) and some decet relics (Buster Posey, Rick Porcello and Andrelton Simmons).  I got a pink parallel (Wily Peralta) and another black parallel that I hope to post soon.  Overall, I was very satisfied with my purchase of three boxes of cards from my friend and supplier, Taylor Crane from CranesCards.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ebay Pickup - 2014 Topps Chris Davis Black Parallel

Going back to 2014 Topps, here is the black parallel of Chris Davis that I picked up off of Ebay.  I got this one for just over $7, so I'm pretty happy about that.  His black from last year has lingered as Buy it Now for $19.99.  I guess since this is only a checklist card, that's why I got it cheaper.  Who knows.

The card is numbered 42/63 and turned out really awesome on my scanner.  I still have a ways to go as far as the rainbow is concerned, but I think I'm doing pretty well with what I've picked up so far.  The black versions of the 2014 cards look really nice, in my opinion.  I do wish Topps would go with a different border color every now and then, kind of like what they did in 2007.  What would really be nice would be an off-the-wall type design, much like 1972 or 1975.  That would be really awesome.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ebay Pickup - 2012 Topps Triple Threads Brooks Robinson

Before I continue on with thoughts about 2014 Topps, I wanted to show the other item that I got in the mail yesterday, this 2012 Topps Triple Threads Brooks Robinson.  The ebay listing was shown to me almost a month ago by my good friend, P. A.  He told me he thought the card should find its way into my Brooks PC.  Well, I added it to my watch list and let the auction end twice before I finally allocated the funds for it.

As you can see, it has a ton of pieces of jersey and is numbered 17/18.  It definitely will look amazing in my Brooks PC, which is where it is headed at this moment.

Thanks for letting me know, P. A.!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Ebay Pickup - 2014 Topps Clear Chris Davis

What's all this negative fuss about 2014 Topps?  I actually liked it, but I like just about everything.  I'm kicking off my 2014 Topps series of posts with an amazing parallel I was able to pick up and it (the series of posts) will culminate with my 3-box break that I did at Scott's house.  This effectively ends my series of posts from 2014 Orioles Fan Fest, in case you were keeping track at home.

Chris Davis doesn't have a base card in Series 1, but he does have a season highlights checklist that shows his 30 homers and 90 RBI before the All Star Break.  I have gone ahead and started gathering up parallels of the card and the best one I found so far was the above clear parallel.  The card is numbered 4/10, as you can see above.

The card looks amazing.  It scanned awesome, but it must be seen in person to really appreciate how great it looks.  I was glad I found it when I did.  It cost me a bit of a premium at $35 but to me, it was worth it.  What do you all think?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

2014 Orioles Fan Fest - Our Last Autograph Station

I had vouchers for one more autograph signing, the 4:40 session with Kelvin De La Cruz (above), Henry Urrutia, Larry Bigbie and Matt Wieters.
Urrutia looks like he has packed on a little bit of weight this offseason.  He will be one of the Orioles' keys to success this year.  Especially if they don't sign anyone else, and the way it is looking, they won't.
Larry Bigbie was a former first round pick of the Orioles (1999) who was named in the Mitchell report in 2005.  Before that mess happened, I saw Bigbie play for the O's (in 05) over two games against the Yankees.  He hit a homerun in each game.  He has a connection through Ball State University with a good friend of mine.  I mentioned my friend to him, and Bigbie said that he recalled him, which was cool.
After Bigbie was named in the Mitchell report, he kind of fell off of the baseball landscape.  He played briefly in Japan then quietly ended his career.  It was kind of good to see him back.  I liked him when he was an Oriole and I don't hold a grudge against him for being named in the Mitchell report.
Finally, I was able to speak to Matt Wieters again.  I told him about how we met when he was playing with Frederick back in 2008.  Brandon Snyder brought him up to us and had him sign.  That was my first experience trying to get autographs of prospects at minor league games and it was a success.  Wieters was really nice to us this time around as well.  He kind of laughed off my asking him to go ahead and sign that extension, but it was all good.
So, I got 4 guys signatures.  Each on baseballs.  I gave the De La Cruz ball to Michael since he needed it for his collection and the Wieters post card to Scott since he was so gracious to let Chris and I stay at his place.  We had a really good time and I seriously can't wait for the season to start.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fan Fest Pickup - Joe Mahoney Spring Training Jersey

I'm skipping around a bit now, but I really didn't want to post a whole bunch tonight, especially since the last autograph station we went to had 4 guys signing.  I hope to do that one tomorrow, depending on my mood.

After that station was done, Chris and I met back up with Scott and we made our way to the memorabilia room one more time.  Since they were about to close, I figured they would have marked a few things down. I was right.  They had marked the team issued jerseys down to $80 and the spring training jerseys to $20.  I missed out on the Dontrelle Willis jersey, but did manage to pick up the above Joe Mahoney jersey.

I got to see Mahoney play in Bowie a couple years ago and during that game, he hit two home runs.  After the second home run, he threw his batting gloves on top of the dugout right by where we were sitting.  I was too late as a kid grabbed them up and ran away.  Not to be beaten again, I snatched this jersey up and it is now here in my home.  I plan on wearing it to a game, even though Mahoney isn't with the team anymore. For $20, I know I got a deal!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fan Fest Memorabilia Room Pickups - Game Used Baseballs

After our autograph signing at 11:20AM, Scott, Chris and I worked our way around the Baltimore Convention Center to check out the sights and sounds of 2014 Orioles Fan Fest.  We finally made our way to the memorabilia room, my favorite destination at Fan Fest, and found some cool stuff.

On the Spring Training jersey (for $50), I could have picked up a Dontrelle Willis jersey.  I held off, figuring I could land a jersey later on as the prices dropped.

I went in there hoping I could score a lineup card, but I was too late.  They were already gone.  So, I checked out the game used baseballs, instead. This year was the first year I was at Fan Fest with my smart phone, so I was able to check the game information on the baseballs.  I was able to pick up baseballs of some of my favorite players, while other folks standing there looked at me like I was crazy.  One of the three baseballs I got was for Chris as well.

In the lot shown above from our first visit to the memorabilia room, I got two Nate McLouth game used balls and a Nolan Reimold ball.  I could have sworn I picked up a Brian ROberts ball as well, but maybe I sat that one down by mistake.  Oh well, what I got was still cool.  Here is a little bit of info, as told by MLB Authenticators:

Ball 1. Cle @ Bal, June 26, 2013.  Batter - Nate McLouth; Pitcher Scott Kazmir.  Bottom of the 5th, Pitch in the dirt.

Ball 2: Cle @ Bal, June 27, 2013.  Batter - Nate McLouth; Pitcher Corey Kluber.  Bottom of the 2nd, foul ball.

And the third ball, which was a bit of a surprise:

Ball 3: Bos @ Bal, September 27, 2011.  Batter - Nolan Reimold; Pitcher - Erik Bedard, Bottom of the 3rd, pitch in the dirt.  According to, Nolan would go on to strike out looking in this at bat.  The Orioles would lose the game 8-7 and would fall to 68-93 on the season.

Of course, we all know that the next day, history would be made.  The most epic final day of a regular season was upon us, and Nolan Reimold would have a key role in that game.  Yeah, this ball came from the day before, but how much do you want to bet that he was wearing the batting gloves he gave me during the above at bat?  Pretty good chances, right?

I didn't even think about the date when I verified this ball.  I just thought it was cool that it was a pitch to Nolan and it had come from a former Oriole.  Funny thing was, though, Chris had found this ball on the floor, just under the table.  Kind of like we were meant to have it.  Pretty awesome, I think.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Rest In Peace, Ralph Kiner

Today, another Hall of Famer was lost when Ralph Kiner passed away this morning at the age of 91.  He was really nice to Chris, Drew, Adam, Joe and I this summer when we met him during an autograph signing. I have to commend the guy for getting out of the house at 90 (at that time) and meeting and greeting fans.
Kiner took the time to painstakingly sign the two baseballs we had and was nice enough to speak to Chris. I'm really sad to see him go, but he leaves a legacy as one of the greatest power hitters of all time.
So, I leave you all with this overlong video of Mr. Kiner signing autographs for us.  Special thanks to my good friend, Drew, who shot the video.

I'll be back on later tonight hopefully to resume my Fan Fest posts. If I don't get one on tonight, I'm sure you understand why.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Fan Fest Autograph Station 1 - Lough/Webb/Bundy

Before I kick off my showcase of autographs, I do want to say that I got a dozen OMLB "Cal Ripken's Final Game" baseballs to take with me to Fan Fest to get signed.  The box of 12 was $50 cheaper than a normal box of OMLB baseballs.  You can see the logo on the above baseball signed by one of the newest Orioles, David Lough.  As far as I know, his last name is pronounced to rhyme with dough.  He seemed like a really nice guy.  My son, Chris, welcomed him to the team and told him the he would like him because he is taking over for Nate McLouth and McLouth was one of Chris's favorite players.  Lough smiled and signed Chris's baseball and was equally as nice to me when I told him "Welcome to Baltimore."

From everything I hear, Lough is going to be a solid addition to the team.  I really hope that's the case, because I really liked McLouth.  I believe that Lough is going to be a similar type player, except with him you add batting average and subtract stolen bases.  I'm ok with that.  The Os got Lough in a trade with the Royals for Danny Valencia.
The next baseball (above) is signed by another newcomer to Baltimore, Ryan Webb.  Webb came to the Orioles as a free agent (and he passed his physical, gasp!) from the Marlins.  He's a really effective ground ball pitcher who should fit into the bullpen nicely.  He didn't really replace Jim Johnson, but he has similar makeup and is several years younger (and much cheaper).
Webb was very outspoken on the Twitter by criticizing Alex Rodriguez when A-Roid announced he was suing the Player's Association.  When it was my turn to get an autograph from Webb, I asked him to please put one in A-Roids ribs when he comes back.  Webb just smiled and said "He isn't coming back."  Well put, sir.  I think I'm really going to like him in the late innings.
Finally, I got another signed (my third) baseball of Dylan Bundy.  Bundy is on the mend at the moment from obligatory Tommy John surgery.  He looks to come back after the All Star break, if not sooner.  I wouldn't rush him at all.  I'm really scared that he is going to end up like Mark Prior, but I hope he doesn't because it has been forever since the Orioles drafted and developed a solid MLB pitcher.  We'll see what the future holds.
The first autograph session was at 11:20AM and my next one wasn't until 4:40, so I had a ton of time to kill. Check back to see when Scott and I picked up in the memorabilia store while we waited.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Fan Fest Pickup - Mike Flanagan-Boog Powell Signed Baseball

One of my favorite pickups from this past weekend's Orioles Fan Fest is a bit bittersweet as well.  I have wanted a Mike Flanagan signed baseball for quite some time and that want/need was compounded a couple years ago when Flanny took his own life following years of battling depression.  The former Cy Young Award winner's death cast a pall on the life and career of one of the Oriole greats.  His death really affected me because I was one of those Oriole fans who heavily criticized his moves as GM, but in reality, a lot of his moves (and even some non-moves) turned out to be good ones.

With the recent passing of one of my favorite actors, Philip Seymour Hoffman (who has a key role in my second favorite movie ever, The Big Lebowski), I realize that life is really short and we need to enjoy it as much as we can.

So, that being said, I was really glad to be able to find this Flanagan ball at Fan Fest from one of the vendor tables.  The vendor area was full of some really cool Orioles stuff, a lot of it was stuff I would have been interested in taking home, but I didn't want to spend a whole lot.  I saw the ball (it is a 1993 All Star Game commemorative ball) and its price of $20.00 and was thinking I should probably get it, then Scott walked up and said I should ask the guy if he would do $15. The guy agreed and I was able to get the ball.

I really didn't think I would leave Fan Fest with a Flanagan ball, let alone one with Boog's signature on it as well.  I was really happy.  Of all the stuff I got at Fan Fest, this might be my favorite.

Going back to what I said before, it might not make sense in the context of me talking about buying a baseball, but I spent this past weekend with my son and a good friend.  We had a great time, enjoyed each other's company, and then had an amazing dinner together after Fan Fest.  I'm glad I was able to do it, and am happy that I am doing my part to make positive memories for Chris.  I hope he can look back at stuff like this when he is much older and think to himself, 'Wow, my dad took me to some really cool places...' Because, really, that's what it is all about, making good memories.

Monday, February 3, 2014

COMC Pickup - 2013 Bowman Chrome Blue Wave Refractor Manny Machado

I got another COMC package in today.  I was going to hold off posting anything from it until I posted my Fan Fest stuff, my 2014 Topps stuff and a package I got today from Weston.  Unfortunately, it took me a lot longer tonight to sort my 2014 base cards, plus, I had someone take me up on my offer to build a 1987 Topps set, so I was finishing that up.

That being said, I decided it would be best for me to do a brief post tonight on one card as opposed to some Fan Fest items, etc.  Therefore, behold the 2013 Bowman Chrome Blue Wave refractor of Manny Machado that I got off of COMC for $10.25.  Not bad, since Manny's stuff carries a premium these days.

I really wanted to get the Blue Wave refractor, so I went ahead and used some store credit on it instead of running up my Paypal on Ebay.  The card scanned amazingly, as you can tell above.

Stay tuned tomorrow, as I hope to get started with actual hits from Fan Fest.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

2014 Orioles Fan Fest Thoughts

Yesterday, I spent the day with my son and my good friend, Scott (from the blog Mr. Baseball-Scott) at the 2014 Orioles Fan Fest.  Originally, I was pretty upset that I was unable to get as many autograph vouchers as I had liked, but in the end, I did really well.  The above photo is of our first autograph session, David Lough, Ryan Webb and Dylan Bundy.  We also had vouchers for later in the day to the Bigbie/Urrutia/Wieters/De La Cruz signing.

The crowd wasn't quite as large as last year, but 15,000 fans still crowded into the Baltimore Convention Center
Nick Markakis brought his beard with him.  He looks like a young Chong, from Cheech and Chong.
Chris was recruited by my buddy, Michael to get him some autographs from the kids line.
Chris enjoyed meeting Matt Wieters for the third time.  He first met him in 2008 when Wieters was with the Keys, then again in 2009 when Wieters and Tillman were signing autographs with the Baysox.
So, here are Chris and Scott posting with our total haul.  Between the three of us, we got 24 signed baseballs, 21 signed post cards, 3 MASN bags, an Eddie Murray statue, a Chris Davis shirt, a Joe Mahoney Spring Training jersey, a Keys hat, 6 signed photos and 6 game used baseballs.

I doubt I'll post about each and every item, but I do intend to break out a few posts on certain items, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, I would like to thank Scott and his family for a great time and them being such amazing hosts.  I really appreciated our time together.