Friday, October 30, 2015

Autos From Blaine

Finally, I have reached the end of the package I got from my friend, Blaine.  Like I said in the previous posts, he sent me a ton of stuff; pretty much his entire Orioles collection.  He sent me a bunch of autos that I needed for my collection, starting with the above 2008 Razor auto of Matt Wieters.  Wieters signed an exclusive deal with Razor back then, and shortly thereafter, Razor disappeared.  I haven't seen Wieters on any Topps products, so I think his exclusive deal still stands, but he has been on some UD products since then.  I'm not sure what the deal is, but it kind of sucks that he has no Topps products at all.
Here is another Jonathan Schoop auto for my collection.  Schoop is a really good player, and his autos are still very affordable.  I grabbed a bunch for real cheap at The National, so my Schoop PC looks pretty good so far.
This 2015 Topps Career High auto of Adam Jones is another card that I didn't have in the collection.  Jones's stuff is a bit higher than Schoop, so I tend to shy away from his autos.  So, when I was able to add these to my collection via this deal, I was really happy.
Finally, here is another Jones auto, this time from 2011 Topps 60.  You can see some subtle changes in the Jones signature between this card and the 2015 mentioned above.

Jones is one of the few Orioles that I haven't met, yet.  I hope to take care of that at this year's Fan Fest.  Maybe I will get him on an All Star ball, or something.  We'll see.

So, that about wraps up my huge deal with Blaine.  I feel bad to take his PC from him, but he made me a great offer that I couldn't refuse.  I hope he gets back into collecting, though.  He had a bunch of great vintage that I would hate to see him part with.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Relic Cards From Blaine

Continuing on with what I got from my friend, Blaine, here are some of the miscellaneous relic cards that were included in my package.  I don't know about you, but I really like the 2014 Triple Threads design.  The cards have what I would call a matte finish and it is really visually appealing with these cards, I think.

This 2014 Triple Threads Gausman relic is numbered 10/36.  The bright orange swatch really pops.  Gotta love the orange alternate jerseys.
This 2013 Allen & Ginter JJ Hardy is a nice card.  I don't have a whole lot of Hardy stuff, even though I really like the player.  I just haven't really done any kind of PC with him.  He has been the backbone of the Orioles these last few years, and I am glad that he is around.  He may be declining offensively, but he is still amazing with the glove.  He fills his job well as the "field general" in Baltimore.
I have a relic card like this one of Christian Walker from 2014 Topps Heritage Pro Debut, but it is a different color (white, I think, but I don't remember).  This blue one was nice to find in my package from Blaine.  Walker hasn't yet caught on with the O's, but with Chris Davis's impending departure, the first base job may be his (Walker's) to take.
Finally, I was pretty sure I had one of these, but I need to look through my boxes to verify.  This is a 2011 Goodwin Champions Manny Machado relic.  This is one of the first relic cards issued of Manny, so this is a pretty cool piece to have.

Blaine's deal still continues to deliver.  I will close it out tomorrow by showing off the autographs that were included.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Short Prints From Blaine

I still have a bunch of stuff from Blaine to show off, but I have been really busy lately.  Also, with the World Series starting, I will be watching that as well.  I'm still trying to post every day, but I haven't had much time to get the posts done.

I got four short prints from Blaine, two of which I have scanned and posted here.  I was looking for the above Manny SP for a while since it came out, but I never jumped on it.  I kind of forgot about it for a while, so I was really happy that it was in the package.
Here is the Futures Game jersey SP of Manny from 2014 Topps.  I also forgot about this card, so it was really cool to get it in the package as well.

I need to do a better job of looking up different short prints, but some of them are so hard to tell, then I give up on them.  Oh well.

By the way, the other two SPs were Dylan Bundys.  One of them was one I had, but the other was needed.

Thanks for hooking me up with these, Blaine!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

From Blaine's Collection - Ripken Rookies

Here are some more cards that I got from my friend, Blaine, when I bought his Orioles collection.  There were the three base card rookies of Cal included, and I was glad to get them even though I already had them all.  Above is the 1982 Fleer Cal rookie, which is probably the worst of the four rookie cards that he has.  Fleer was doing their best when they got into the card industry, but those first two years (1981 and 1982) were really low-budget, and you can tell with the photography.  I'm sure Cal looks back on this card and thinks "Wow, look at all of that hair!"

Regardless, it is still a cool card.  I don't remember if this or the Donruss was the first Cal rookie that I ever got.  I know the Topps was a tough "get" back then, and the Topps Traded is still tough to find.
Yeah, this used to be a really tough card to get.  I remember finally getting one when I traded a bunch of wheat pennies to my brother.  Then I found one cheap at a card shop for my 1982 Topps set.  Then I got another when my mom gave me her Cal collection.  Then I got one in a $5 mystery pack at this past year's National and now I got this one out of Blaine's deal.  So, if my potato math is correct, I have five of these.  Awesome!
Finally, here is the Donruss version that I got from Blaine.  Now that I look it over, I believe the Donruss is the first Cal rookie that I was able to get when I was around 11 or 12 years old.  Now, I have two.  I don't usually care for graded cards, but this is pretty cool.  Also, being graded at an "8" is kind of fitting, seeing as it is Cal and all.  You know, 8 is his uniform number.  Yeah, you knew that.

So, yeah, Blaine really hooked me up on this deal.  I still have a good bit of stuff to show from the cards he sent.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Chris Davis Cards From Blaine

My friend, Blaine, decided to sell off his collection recently, and hit me up with a great deal that saw me land a good portion of his Orioles stuff.  The box finally arrived last week and I was amazed at everything that was inside.  There was so much stuff in there, I will have to break it up in order to do it any justice here on this blog.

Blaine sold me on the collection when he showed me what Chris Davis cards would be included.  The above patch from 2014 Panini National Treasures was the first card I saw, and it really is what helped me decide to do the deal.  This card is numbered 5/11 (kind of an odd numbering) and shows a three-color piece of jersey/patch.  Not bad at all.
Here is another three-color piece, this one is from 2014 Panini Immaculate Collection.  This is numbered 2/25.  I love the Panini Stuff from around this time.  I'm sure it wasn't tier intention for these nice pieces to be so affordable, but they are, and I have definitely taken advantage.
Here is another 2014 Panini Immaculate, this time it is just a swatch of jersey and is numbered 80/99.
This booklet from 2014 National Treasures is numbered 53/99.  I already had a couple of these, but was happy to add a few more.
Finally, this booklet is numbered 80/99.  The relics are kind of hard to see from the scan, but spell out CRUSH.  Looks really cool, I think.

I'll hopefully have some time to show more of what Blaine sent me in the next few days, especially since there is no playoff baseball on IV until Tuesday.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Card Shop Pickup - 2015 Topps Chrome Christian Walker Refractor Auto

Jacob at the card shop had a card for me when I went to the card shop this past weekend.  I was happy to see that it was this 2015 Topps Chrome Christian Walker refractor auto.  The refractors from Topps Chrome look really cool.  This one is numbered 100/499.  I think I am going to try to get more of these color parallels from 2015 Topps Chrome.  They just look cool.  I wish more Orioles were in the set (cough cough Chris Davis cough cough).

Jacob gave me a pretty good price on the card; it was a bit of an over pay, but it was more of helping a guy out than anything else, which I am fine with.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ebay Pickup - 2015 Topps Purple Chris Davis

I knocked a 2015 Topps need off recently when I got this Chris Davis Toys R Us purple parallel off of Ebay.  These were a little more difficult to find than other parallels, but I had been watching one for a week or so.  I decided to go ahead and grab it for around $7.  Probably an overpay, but I have the card now.

I still need quite a few of the 2015 parallels, and I plan on adding those here and there over the next few months.  I don't anticipate much more Davis stuff in an Orioles uniform, so I'm going to enjoy these.  I just don't feel like the Orioles are going to re-sign him.  Stranger things have happened, though.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Look At The Last Royals World Series Winner

It was the year that Marty McFly departed from to explore the past, and then in the sequel, leapt to the future.  Ronald Reagan was president.  The Cold War was still going on.  I was in Kindergarten.  The Royals won their first (and only) World Series in 1985 on the back of Hall of Famer, George Brett.  They would finish the regular season with a record of 91-71, tops in the AL West.  They would dispatch the Blue Jays 4-3 in the ALCS, then would make it an all Missouri World Series.

The Royals battled the Cardinals through seven games and won 4-3.  It would be another 29 years following that victory before the Royals would appear in another post season, breaking the drought last season.  We all know, now, that they advanced all the way to the World Series.

The 1985 Royals were led offensively by Brett who batted .335 with 30 homers and 112 RBI.  They also had slugger, Steve Bablboni who mashed 36 homers that season.  Brett would finish second to Don Mattingly for the AL MVP crown.  Teammates, Bret Saberhagen and Dan Quisenberry would finish 10th and 11th and Balboni finished 19th.

The pitching was led by Saberhagen.  In his first of two Cy Young Award seasons (he won his second in 1989), he went 20-6 with a 2.87 ERA.  The pitching staff also boasted Charlie Leibrandt with a record of 17-9 with a 2.69 ERA, and Quisenberry who recorded 37 saves with a 2.37 ERA.  Quisenberry would finish 3rd in the Cy Young award voting and Leibrandt would finish 5th.

Quisenberry passed away from a brain tumor in 1998.  Additionally, manager Dick Howser passed away in 1987, also from a brain tumor.

Monday, October 19, 2015

A Look At The Last Cubs World Series Winner

You would have to use a good bit of plutonium in the DeLorean to travel back far enough to find the most recent World Series winner for the Chicago Cubs.  You would have to travel back to a time when radios were not yet in homes and cars were not on streets.  Theodore Roosevelt was the President of the United States.  Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx was just one year old.  The Cubs were coming off of a championship in 1907 and became the first team to win back to back.

The 1908 Cubs finished the regular season with a 99-55 record, they moved on to the World Series by winning a makeup game that was necessitated by the infamous "Merkle's Boner" game.  The Cubs took on Ty Cobb and the Detroit Tigers in a rematch from the previous year's World Series.  The Cubs won the series 4-1.

That 1908 Cubs offense was led by Joe Tinker who hit .266 with 6 homers, 14 triples and 68 RBI.  Their pitching was paced by Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown who went 29-9 with 1.47 ERA.  Brown was accompanied by Ed Reulbach who went 24-7 with a 2.03 ERA and Orval Overall who went 15-11 and 1.92.

The 1908 Cubs also featured infielders Tinker, Evers and Chance, immortalized by the famous poem.

Hall of Famers from that team are Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, Frank Chance and Three Finger Brown.
Obviously, there are no living players from the 1908 Cubs team.

The Cubs would go one to seven more World Series (1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938 and 1945), and lose them all.  Their most recent World Series loss was to the 1945 Tigers, a team that I have discussed in detail, since it had the one and only Virgil Trucks.

The Cubs World Series record is 2-7.  They have faced the Tigers in more of the Cubs' World Series than any other team with 4.  They faced the A's and Yankees in 2 and the Red Sox in one  Will they ever win another one?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Look At The Last Blue Jays World Series Win

The Blue Jays had won the World Series in 1992 and backed it up in 1993 after finishing the regular season 95-67.  They took care of the White Sox in the ALCS 4-2, then went on to beat the Phillies in 6 games (4-2).  They would come from behind to beat the Phillies in game 6 on Joe Carter's 3-run homer that is shown above.

When the Jays won back to back, no team had done that since the 1977 and 78 Yankees.  The next season, no World Series would be played due to the player's strike of 1994.  The Rockies and Marlins had just begun playing that season.  Bill Clinton was in the White House.  Reggie Jackson was the only player voted into the Hall of Fame that year by the BBWAA; The Veterans Committee didn't elect anyone.

The Blue Jays 1993 roster included three Hall of Famers (Roberto Alomar, Rickey Henderson and Paul Molitor) and also their GM become a Hall of Famer (Pat Gillick).  The offense was led by John Olerud who had 200 hits, .363 batting average, 24 homers and 107 RBI.  He would finish third in the AL MVP voting behind Frank Thomas and his own teammate, Paul Molitor.  Molitor, of course, helped lead the offense as well with 211 hits, 22 homers, 111 RBI and a stout .332 batting average.  That 1993 Blue Jays lineup boasted three regulars who batted above .325.  That's pretty good.

Their starting rotation was led by Pat Hentgen who went 19-9 with a 3.87 ERA.  Their starters in general were fairly pedestrian, with only one other starter pitching to a sub-4.00 ERA.

There have not yet been any players lost from the 1993 Blue Jays team.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Look At The Mets Last World Series Win

Of the four remaining teams, the Toronto Blue Jays have won the World Series most recently.  Their 1993 crown is the last time one of the four teams have won it all.  I thought it would be interesting to take a look at each of the teams that are left and see what comprised those ball clubs.  I'll start tonight's post with a look at the Mets.

The last time the Mets won the World Series was 1986.  Ronald Reagan was president, Pete Rose was a player/manager for the Reds and Peter Ueberroth was the Commissioner of Baseball.  Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Kris Bryant weren't born.

The Mets won the NL East with a 108-54 record and were managed by Davey Johnson.  They had a really good pitching staff, led by Dwight Gooden who went 17-6 with a 2.84 ERA, followed by Ron Darling (15-6; 2.81), Bob Ojeda (18-5; 2.57) and Sid Fernandez (16-6; 3.52).

Their offense was led by Keith Hernandez who had a .310 batting average, 24 homers and 83 RBI, Darryl Strawberry (.259, 27, 93) and Gary Carter (.255, 24, 105).

They beat the NLCS 4-2 over the Houston Astros, then went on to beat the Red Sox 4-3.

The 1986 Mets had one future Hall of Famer on that team, Gary Carter.

Carter is also the only player on that team who has passed away.  He died of brain cancer in 2012.

Friday, October 16, 2015

What Would Buck Think - More Playoff Musings

The Cubs are looking pretty good in the postseason so far.  When people talk about players/managers/coaches associated with the Cubs, names like Banks, Santo, Sandberg, Williams and Durocher come up.  A name that may get overlooked is one John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil.  He was the first African American coach in the majors.  Aside from that, he was a true ambassador of the game.  He lived to be 94 years old, passing away just over 9 years ago on October 6, 2006.

He was a true ambassador of the game, long after his playing and coaching days were over.  This can clearly be seen on Ken Burns's Baseball.  I'd like to think that if O'Neil were still around, he would be pretty pleased with how the Cubs have performed so far.  I think he would also be pleased with the showcase of youth that is going on right now in the 2015 playoffs.  So much young talent has been on display, this has really been a postseason to remember.

I'd like to think that someone who lived and breathed baseball, like O'Neil, would really enjoy the stuff we are seeing today.  Well, maybe one bat flip or a takeout slide aside...

I haven't had a lot to write about lately since I haven't had a lot of mail coming in, and I also have been engrossed in the playoffs.  Please bear with me as I continue to work to come up with content every night.  I appreciate everyone reading, though.  I hope you are enjoying these playoffs as much as I am.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Playoff Thoughts

Well, two of the four division series are decided with another ending later tonight, followed by the Mets-Dodgers ending tomorrow.  With the Cardinals being eliminated, we will have a World Series winner that hasn't been crowned since at least 1993 (Blue Jays).  One remaining team has never won the World Series (Astros), one hasn't won since Kirk Gibson in 1988 (Dodgers), another hasn't won since Marty McFly traveled through time (Royals in 1985) and one hasn't won wince my great grandparents were school children (Cubs - 1908).  Although, Back to the Future Part II did predict that the Cubs would win in 2015.  So what if they missed the AL portion of the series.  The big takeaway was the Cubs winning.

All of those years taken aside, there is something that can be drawn from this season's playoffs.  Baseball indeed has the parity that has been sought after for so long.  No one team has dominated the sport since the Yankee dynasty of the late 90s.  You can make an argument that the Giants winning three out of the last 6 seasons may qualify, and you are right to do so.  Regardless, baseball is really even across the board.  So many teams have a chance to win it all, I mean, who really predicted the Astros to make it this far this year?  I didn't think the Rangers would make it to the playoffs when Darvish went down.  The Cardinals were besieged by injuries, but still managed to win 100 games.

I'm hoping the Cubs can go ahead and end their streak of futility this year.  Proving Back to the Future Part II correct would be really cool, but seeing a bunch of happy (real) Cubs fans would be a nice treat.  Not the bandwagoners, but the real fans who have suffered for so long.  I know a few of them, so I'm hoping they can be happy at the end of this season.

We are in for a good show, no matter what happens from here on out.  I'm excited.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Care Package From Adam B.

A while back, I got a care package in from a guy I talk to on a regular basis, but haven't traded with in a while.  Adam is a guy I have traded with a couple times, but we chat more than anything.  When my cat, Jericho, passed away in August, Adam sent me this care package, along with a really nice note.  I was really happy to get the cards from him, but more than anything, the fact that he had thought of me was what really meant the most.

Adam hooked me up with a Cal Ripken card that I didn't have in my collection, this 2014 Topps Hi Tex numbered 56/99.  I liked these cards, but I wasn't going to pay the premium price that Topps was asking to bust a box of them.  Still, they look really cool, and the autos are very nice.
Adam also sent me this 2010 Allen & Ginter Adam Jones bat relic.  I always like these framed minis. It was really cool of Adam to send me these cards, and his thoughtfulness won't be forgotten.

Thanks so much, Adam!  This care package really meant a lot to me.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Happy Birthday Nolan

Today is Nolan Reimold's birthday.  In recognition of his birthday, I have added a new page to my blog that shows everything of Nolan that I have posted.  It isn't in any kind of order (that would have taken forever), but I felt like it would be fun for someone to look through.  The page is here.

I didn't realize just how much I have posted about Nolan.  According to my "tags" numbers, I have posted about him 99 times (making this post 100 tagged with Nolan).

So, enjoy, and happy birthday, Nolan!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Nice 2015 Bowman Chrome Pull at the Card Shop

Ebay buys and Instagram trades have kind of slowed down lately with the season coming to a close.  I have been really busy trying to recover from my trip with Chris last weekend, and also from this summer's vacation.  Still, I try to go to the local card shop and pick up some packs just about every week.  Yesterday, I got a jumbo pack of 2015 Bowman Chrome and pulled this really nice card.

This is a green refractor auto of Indians prospect Bobby Bradley.  The card is 99/99 and looks really nice.  The best part is when I went to look at sold listings on Ebay, the card has sold pretty much between $100 - $125 or so.  Not a bad pull!

I don't know if I will get any offers on the card or not, but I am still happy I pulled a good auto.  I may even list it on Ebay, but I'm not sure yet.  I kind of need to work harder on making some trades, but with as busy as I have been, that has taken a spot on the back burner.

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Surprise From Nolan and Jenny

I got a message the other day from Jenny Reimold.  I had sent her and her family some extra Nolan cards that I had, figuring she, or someone in the family would want some of them.  When I saw that she had messaged me, I figured it was about the cards.  I was surprised that it was actually her asking me some questions about my collection, and also what my son's name was.  She messaged me a little later and told me that she had sent Chris and I a little something.
Well, a package arrived today that contained the above pair of batting gloves, as well as a couple personalized, signed post cards.  The gloves are amazing.  I love the orange.  They are signed by Nolan as well.  Chris and I really love them.
The personalized post cards are awesome, too.  Chris loves getting mail, but gets upset sometimes that most of the packages that come are for me, since I purchase a lot of cards online, or I complete a bunch of trades.  Chris gets letters here and there, mostly from his grandparents, but he doesn't really trade all that much, and he has never been on Ebay.
He was really excited to get something signed to him in the mail today.  I think the world of Nolan and Jenny.  They both are such awesome people.  They're really down-to-earth, and relate-able.  I think Jenny and my mom would really get along, especially if the two of them started swapping "kid stories."

Thanks so much, Nolan and Jenny for the gloves and post cards.  Chris and I love them, and can't express our thanks enough.  I hope you guys have a great offseason, and Nolan can come back to the O's next year.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Instagram Trade With Mickey - 2013 Topps Mini Adam Jones Auto

I completed a trade recently on Instagram when I sent a Bowman Chrome auto and a color parallel to a kid named Mickey in exchange for this 2013 Topps mini Adam Jones auto.  I had traded with Mickey a long time ago, back when I first got on Instagram.  I can't remember what I sent him, though.  I also hooked him up with some 2010 Topps Chrome cards that he needed for his set, and for those, he sent me a David Price pink parallel from 2013 Topps Mini.

This is a really nice card, and for whatever reason, I didn't have one in my collection.  I don't know how I missed it, but no harm done, because Mickey helped me add it!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Birthday Present From Max - My 2,000th Post

Before I started this blog in November 2008, I had very few people I could trade cards with.  I had Pete and P. A. at the card shop, and my older brother John on occasion.  Other than that, it was really difficult for me to offload any cards or trade for ones I wanted to add.  I was limited to Ebay and Sportlots, as far as buying is concerned, and also the shop, of course.  Then, at P. A.'s and Pete's urging, the blog was started.  Now, almost 7 years later, I have reached a milestone, my 2,000th post.  I knew it was coming for some time now, and I wrestled with what I wanted the subject to cover.  Did I want to do a contest?  Did I want to do a retrospective?  Did I want to change things up and do something completely different?  It didn't take me long to decide that I wanted the theme of my 2,000th post to be what my blog usually covers: me talking about cards, preferably Orioles, and hopefully ones I obtained from a friend that I made while using the blog as a trading tool.  I have made countless friends over the years on this blog, some have come and gone, others have been here since the beginning.  I believe I have more "online" friends now, than I do physical ones, but I think that is just the state of how the world is today.  I can say, though, that some of the closest friends I have were ones I made through this blog.  Not to name them all, but ones who come to mind immediately are people like Drew, Andrew, Michael and of course, Max.  Each of those four are guys I have had the privilege of meeting in person, and actually trading with in person as well. There are others, and of course ones that I feel like I have a close kinship with as well, but I can't take the time to name everyone, I would be here all day.  Hopefully no one is offended that they were not mentioned.

Anyway, Max and I are such good friends now, we can get on Skype and sort boxes of "junk wax" and not say a whole lot, but know that each of us is just happy to be around the other.  He has hooked me up with some amazing stuff in the short time that we have known each other.  He also was an amazing host this summer when we were at The National.  That being said, when his birthday package arrived yesterday, I was floored with how awesome the main card (and note) were.

The main portion of the gift was the above 2014 Leaf Q Pure autograph of Brooks Robinson.  The card is amazing.  I had seen them on Ebay, but didn't pull the trigger on getting one.  I'm really glad Max picked this up, because it really will stand out in my Brooks PC.  The scan doesn't even come close to doing it justice.
Not to take anything away from the rest of the package, which consisted of a bunch of Orioles and also Hall of Famers, but the Brooks card is just awesome.  Max did add something else that has become a recurring theme of the packages that he has sent.  He sent me an IP auto that he was able to pick up this season in the above 2012 Topps Finest Tsuyoshi Wada.  Wada is a former Oriole who went on to play for the Cubs, and be pretty successful.  He never actually threw a pitch for the O's, but he was someone I watched with great interest, hoping he would be healthy and make it.  Instead, another international signing that the O's got at the same time, with less fanfare, did far better - Wei-Yin Chen.  Chen is now set to become a free agent and leave the O's.  Maybe one day, Wada can come back, but it is doubtful.  He (and Chen also) does represent a change in the Orioles' philosophy in signing international talent, which has changed for the better.

So, thank you so much, Max, for this amazing birthday package.  I appreciate your friendship, and know that we will keep this going for a long time.  Additionally, I want to thank each and every person who has read this blog, anyone who has traded with me on here, Instagram, Facebook, Kik, Snapchat, etc etc etc.  It really means a lot to me to be able to have a platform where I can share my thoughts and feelings on the O's and also on this hobby that I love.  Thank you for 2,000 reasons to post, and here's to at least 2,000 more.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Pickups From Our Trip

Chris and I were able to pick up a bunch of good stuff while we were in Baltimore this past weekend.  I got two game used balls; one thrown to Matt Wieters in the first game of the series, and a foul ball that Manny Machado hit in the last game.  I really wanted one from that last game, since it was Davis's last game as an Oriole.  They were $35 each, and I can type in the authentication number online and it will tell me who was pitching and who was batting, and the result of the play.  This is always really cool.  These will be put up with the other game used balls that I have.
I got this cool jar of field dirt from Camden Yards, which is something I have wanted for some time now.  I paid $20 for it, which I thought was fine, but a couple drunken "experts" at the Authentics store made their point known about how stupid it would be to spend $20 on a jar of dirt.  I guess they just don't "get it."
A family of Orioles fans in front of us during the second game gave Chris this foul ball hit by a Yankee during the second game.  It was hit down the line in the 5th inning, I think, which makes me think it was Brian McCann who hit it.  Not bad.  He mashed the crap out of the label, whoever hit it.
We did a little "graphing" before the first game, and both of us got Steve Pearce on OMLBs.  Not bad, since I didn't have Pearce yet.
I got my Orioles knit bomber hat before the second game, and Chris got one from a group of Yankee fans who didn't want theirs.  Before the last game, I got this Steve Pearce bobblehead.  Chris really wanted one, so I tried to get one for him from the entrance, but the guy was less than courteous.  It didn't make sense that it was all fans 15 and over, when a few weeks ago it was advertised as ALL fans.  Oh well, there were plenty of Yankee fans who didn't want theirs, so Chris ended up getting one from a nice lady in Yankee gear.  See, not all Yankee fans are bad (cough cough Drew cough cough).

We had such a good time.  I just added up everything that I spent, and it was quite a bit, but it was well worth it to be able to spend time with my son.  He is at a good age to hop in the car and take somewhere.  Soon, he may not be interested in stuff like this, so I have to enjoy it while I can.

What A Way To End Our Trip

Chris told me several times this weekend that he was happy that I picked him up early from school and surprised him with a trip to Baltimore.  We enjoyed the Saturday doubleheader so much, we decided to stay for the series and season finale against the Yankees.  I'm really glad we did.  A huge selling point for me was the fact that Sunday's game could very well have been Chris Davis's last game as an Oriole, and I wanted to be in attendance.  My good friend, Michael, met up with Chris and I during the game, and before the 5th inning, we headed down to the Orioles Authentics store to be first in line for the game used baseballs from that very game.  Since I really wanted to pick up a ball from that game, I didn't move from my place in line, even though Davis came to bat while we were in there.  We watched on the TV in the shop while Davis hit his 46th home run of the season.  I was a little disappointed that I "missed" it, but I was in the stadium.

After the shop, we made our way to the flag court to watch the rest of the game, and the way it worked out was that an Oriole had to reach base, and not be taken out in a double play, for Davis to come up one more time in the game in the bottom of the 8th inning.  David Lough flew out, but then Gerardo Parra walked to bring up Manny Machado.  If Manny could avoid a double play, we would get to see Davis one more time.  Manny flew out, so with two outs, Parra on first, and the O's up 7-4, Davis came to bat one more time.

We stood at the fence on the flag court as Davis crushed a pitch over our heads for his second homer of the game.  I couldn't believe it.  Chris and I hugged, high fived, and Michael high fived as well, What I didn't realize, until a few text messages arrived, was that we could be seen pretty clearly on the MASN broadcast.  I brought up the video later on at dinner with Chris and Michael, and sure enough, the three of us can be seen celebrating Davis's homer.  The above screenshot is proof!
I was so glad that I decided to spend the money and take Chris on this trip.  I hate that my wife wasn't able to get off of work to come as well, but he and I had a really great bonding experience.  I let him make a lot of the decisions on the trip, and even made sure that he got his pool/hot tub time in.  He really seemed to enjoy himself, and hopefully will remember this trip for a long time.
It was a little bittersweet, as a fan, though, because I know that a lot of the players that I have come to know and love will not be with the team next season.  We did our part in cheering for them, as well as giving some healthy booing to A-Roid.  I may or may not have uttered a few cuss words as Ubaldo walked a bunch of people on Saturday as well.
We got to see the Orioles sweep the Yankees in a three-game series, and also got to see our first doubleheader.  This was also the first entire series I have stayed for, since the one I went to (also against the Yankees) in 2005 saw the last game get rained out.

Now, we put the 2015 season behind us and look forward to 2016.  I hope I am able to go to some games next year, and also hope that some of the Orioles that are pending free agents decide to re-sign with the team.  I hope Davis does, but if not, I can say that I was at his last game as an Oriole and it sure was a memorable one!

Staying for the last game did cause a little difficulty, though, since Chris had school Monday.  He covered up in his blankets in the car as I made the mad dash home.  We stopped twice (for gas and bathroom) and got in this morning at 2:15 AM.  He was able to get up for school ok, and will not miss a day.  That is important, but I was willing to sacrifice an absence in the name of making a memory, if that needed to be the case.  Thankfully, we got home ok, and he got up for school without an issue.  I hope he and I can do another trip like this in the near future.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Good Way To Spend a Rainy Saturday

I surprised my son with a trip to see the Orioles play the Yankees this weekend.  I picked him up from school on Friday right after he had lunch; with all of the rain in the area, he was actually going to have an early release, but I got him anyway.

He was surprised to see that I didn't have my work truck with me when I got him.  I told him that I had the day off and he and I were going to go for a ride.  I also told him that we would be gone for the weekend, and that we had a suitcase packed in the trunk.  About an hour into the trip, he guessed that we were going to Baltimore.  He didn't guess that we were going to a game until we got to the hotel, though.
The plan was to catch the 7:05 game this evening, but the Friday game was postponed to noon Saturday, making the day a double header.  I decided to walk to the box office and pick up some seats for the noon game.
Chris and I got into the first game really easy.  There was hardly anyone there at all, even tough the Yankees were in town.  We were able to walk right down to the wall and do a little bit of "graphing."  We were both able to get baseballs signed by Steve Pearce.
The Orioles won the first game with a score of 9-2.  The O's offense looked great, and Wei-Yin Chen looked really good in his final start for the Orioles.  Nolan Reimold reached base 4 times, and scored three runs, which was nice to see.
Chris and I had a good time at the game.  The rain held off for the first game, but it was pretty cold.
Between games, Chris and I hit the hot tub at the hotel to warm up, then headed back to the field.  It was a giveaway game (I got a free knit bomber hat), and there were quite a few more people there.  Chris was given a free hat from a Yankee fan who didn't want theirs.  We got to see Nolan Reimold lead off the game with a home run; this was Nolan's first leadoff homer in his career.  We also got to see Manny Machado hit homers in each game.
A light mist occurred for most of the game, and the score remained 3-3 for a good portion of it.  Ubaldo Jimenez was pretty tough to watch, since he threw a ton of balls out of the zone, but he held the Yankees in check for most of the game.  TJ McFarland pitched two scoreless innings, and Zach Britton got the save after Paul Janish scored in the bottom of the 8th on a wild pitch.
Chris and I enjoyed our first double header with an Orioles sweep over the Yankees.  I'm so glad I planned this trip with him.  He and I have jad a good time so far, and we are seriously considering going to the final game of the season tomorrow.  He has school on Monday, but since the game is at 3:05PM, and it is a bobblehead giveaway, we may still go.  I think he will be ok, but we will see how the weather is in the morning.