Thursday, December 21, 2023

Paid TTM Success: Delmon Young

 This Paid TTM success finally showed up today and it's going right to the front of the queue to be posted.  If you are an Orioles fan or a Tigers fan and were watching the playoffs in 2014 you'll understand why this card carries such importance to me. Sure, Delmon Young has been a lightning rod of controversy over the years but nobody will ever be able to take his heroics in the eighth inning of Game Two of the ALDS away from him.  Bar none, this was the best baseball moment I have ever seen in person and it will be incredibly difficult to top. I can think of a few scenarios that I'd love to see but I'll leave that to the baseball gods!  

I am incredibly fortunate to be able to be able to share this moment with William of foul bunt.  He also sent to the same signing and you can read his recap here. We have been to Orioles Fanfests, minor league games, major league games, card shows and even made detours during family vacations to be able to be able to meet up and hang out.  Baseball has brought me a lasting friendship and I am grateful for that.

If you go to Youtube and type in Delmon Double, you'll pull up at least a half dozen videos of the hit.  Here's the MLB video of Delmon's Double:

Here's a longer, more analytical version dissecting the hit from a Youtube channel that I enjoy watiching: 

I gladly paid $25 to get the card signed.  His signature isn't the best and the card is a little dark and not quite what I usually like to send out but I could not pass on the opportunity.  Now somebody needs to get JJ Hardy to do a signing so I can get the slide part of this play inked.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

TTM Kinda Success: John Papa

 Here's my first kinda success I had show up in the mailbox from John Papa.  I call it a kinda success because he signed the index card and not the card itself.  I alluded to it in my post from last night and I quit the practice of attaching the cards to index cards for protection cold turkey.  Between the time I sent this card out and it returning, I started to run low on photo corners so I searched 3 retail stores and finally made an Amazon order to get more.  The new pack now sits in my supplies drawer, unopened. Oh well, I'll use'em for something. 

Sure, I'm a little disappointed that this particular TTM didn't turn out the way I wanted.  I learned from my mistake and I'll try again in the near future.  Plus, I can't be too mad at one of the two Orioles who of which  I share a birthday.

I mailed this card out on November 8th, 2023 and got it back November 18th for a 10 day TAT. Thank You Mr. Papa!

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

TTM Success: Mel Held

 This was one of the first Orioles Crown card that I sent out after I decided to get as many of them signed as possible.  Obviously, I'll never be able to complete the set of them since players passed away before the sent was printed in 1991 and may have passed since.  I haven't pulled the exact numbers of what is still possible, but I'm going to try to send to as many of the living players that have a card in the set as I can.  For those who don't know, The 1991 Orioles Crown / Coca-Cola set was printed in 4 separate series, in mostly alphabetical order and ended up with 501 cards.  It pictured EVERY player that had played for the Orioles since they moved to Baltimore in 1954.  I'd estimate 95% of the players are shown in an Orioles uniform.  

For me, this set is a double edged godsend/curse.  There are some players in the set that never had a mainstream Orioles card issued and some never had anything issued with their picture at all.  It has afforded me the opportunity to research, learn about them, write a letter, obtain the autographs of guys that are somewhat obscure.  I realize that most teams have never had a set released like this so I feel fortunate that this set exists.

Mel Held is one of those obscure players.  He pitched four games during the 1956 season and that was the entirety of his whole MLB career.  The card below is the only card that exists of him (that I or COMC, etc. knows of). As you can see, I was attaching these Crown cards to an index card with photo corners to give them a bit of protection while going through the mail.  You'll see soon why I quit doing that.  

I sent this card out on November 8th and got it back on November 18th for a 10 day TAT. Thank You Mr. Held!

Monday, December 18, 2023

TTM Success: Tim Nordbrook

I've started to fall behind a bit on posting my TTM successes.  I'm about a month behind but I'll catch up eventually.  I got this success back from Tim Nordbrook.  He was born in Baltimore and was somewhat of a rookie sensation when he made his debut.  Unfortunately for him, sustained success did not come and he was out of the league with in 5 years.  It was tough for young players to gain a foothold in the majors with the Orioles at the time with the great lineups that they had back then.

I had actually met Mr. Nordbrook at one of the first few Orioles Fanfests that I went to in the early 2010's.  I got his autograph on the Orioles alumni postcards that they usually hand out. I had no I idea who he was at the time.  I'm glad I've been able to learn much more about the Orioles players through plain curiosity and doing a bit of research before firing off a letter to them.
I sent this 1976 Topps out on November 6th, 2023 and got it back on November 18th, 2023 for a 12 day TAT.  Thank You Mr. Nordbrook!

Thursday, December 14, 2023

TTM Success: Don Ferrarese

I was thrilled to have this TTM from Don Ferrarese come back.  I really like the style of 1957 Topps and the photography and poses for the time were outstanding.  As of today, Mr. Ferrarese is the 22nd oldest MLB player alive at 94 years and 178 days young.  I've did a little bit of reading up on him before I sent and he just sounds like an all-around good guy.  He got his start in the major leagues as an Oriole and then moved onto Cleveland, Chicago, Philadelphia and St. Louis. Judging from his stats it seemed like was a pitcher who was a swingman.  
Once again my scanner decided to crop the bottom of the card off.  Its not as off center top to bottom as it looks here.
He also included this postcard sized advertisement for his biography Big Leagues, Bigger Heart.  All proceeds from the book goes towards the college scholarship fund that he set up years ago.  I have asked for the book as a Christmas gift so in a couple of weeks hopefully I'll have some good reading material. Otherwise, I'll probably go ahead and buy the book myself if Santa doesn't come through.

He also included his signature on an index card without me asking.

I sent my card out on October 27th, 2023 and it returned on November 11th, 2023 for a 22 day TAT. Thank You Very Much Mr. Ferrarese

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Birthday Cards

Last week I celebrated a birthday. My mother-in-law has always been a good gift giver and has supported my cardboard addiction habit collecting over the years as long as I can give her a specific item I want. I usually ask for a pack of 9 pocket pages but this year since she has a Costco membership,  I decided to ask for the 2023 Topps flagship collection. These particular packages are Costco exclusive.
Here's a good shot of the front of the package after I had opened the top lid.  I do like the presentation.  It has the curb appeal.  But man, I think I may have to buy some carbon credits to make up for the amount of cardboard and plastic this package contains.
The main attraction for me is the three packs of The Flagship Collection cards.  More on those later. I was also hopefully going to find an All Aces insert out of the series 1, 2, or Update packs or a Black Gold out of Update.  I got totally shut out on any of those inserts.  I'll spare you all the gory details of the regular packs.  Nothing really earth-shattering or terribly notable except for a select few.  I don't think I could cobble together another batch of oddball Christmas songs right now so consider yourselves off the hook this time.
I did pull this pretty rare card out of one of the Update packs.  I was pretty delighted to pull this card since I really enjoyed watching Seager make Rays, Orioles, Astros, and Diamondbacks pitching look silly this past postseason. I had no I idea that there were even parallels of the much maligned Stars of MLB inserts until this past spring when I pulled this:
This card has not left my desk since I pulled it.  I had some extreeeemely good luck with Series One this year.  I joined Nachos Grande's case break and got the Home Team Advantage Adley and I only opened three hanger boxes and got pulled this gem.  Also the one lose pack a few weeks back that yielded the blue bordered Gunnar. 

Pulling a card from a pack of Cal always makes the hair on my neck stand up whether it is a card I already owned or one I had never seen before.  I might have a crazy idea for this card so we'll see what happens in the future.
So the Trout card is the oversized card and the Alonso is the "companion card".  I'm pretty happy with the Trout since he's a player I kinda collect.  Nothing really special about the Alonso other than the numbering on the back.
So onto the three packs of The Flagship Collection.  I got a couple of cheaters, a two time beater, and a bunch of Mets.  I would say these are the best out of the fifteen cards from the packs.  I was hoping for a Gunnar, Adley, or Grayson.  I'm still happy with Mountcastle though.  These cards are on thick stock.  Think Triple Threads or Tribute base card thickness. The design is decent enough.  One thing I noticed is that the Acuna, Kershaw and the beater were all about a 1/32nd of an inch shorter and slimmer than the other 12 cards.  It doesn't really affect the cards much but I though it was worth noting.

Would I buy a box of these for myself?  Probably not because by now I'd pretty much seen everything I needed to see of the flagship design this year.  (Still looking for All Aces, Black Golds and most Orioles though). Getting this product as a gift was a fun rip  but the value is not quite there for me.  Flagship is produced like crazy right now so the base cards aren't hardly worth much anymore. We're not quite at the level of 1990 Topps but there's a ton of recent years of flagship just gathering dust in the back of most peoples closets.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

TTM Success: Bill Dillman

The TTMs have been rolling in lately.  I've put in a good effort to get as many of the older gentlemen that played for the Orioles.  This one came in from Bill Dillman.  He only pitched 2 seasons in the majors (1967 and 1970)  and got into 50 games.  

Another awesome looking 1968.  Its not nearly as off-center as the scan looks.  My scanner was late reporting to work that day.
Curiously, Bill was included in 1969 Topps even though he didn't throw a major league pitch in 1968 or 1969. 

I sent these cards out on November 3rd, 2023 and they returned on November 16th 2023 for a 13 day TAT. Thank You Mr. Dillman!

Saturday, December 9, 2023

TTM Success: Bobby Floyd

This TTM Success came back from former Oriole Bobby Floyd. Since Mr, Floyd only has one Orioles card where he is pictured by himself and I am (mostly) only interested in autographed Orioles cards as TTMs, my options were limited.  I also wasn't sending a 1969 Topps that he shares with Larry Burchart and some guy named Rollie Fingers ( I wonder how he turned out).  That's a high number card and he isn't pictured alone. That's all fine and dandy, because I tend to enjoy 1970 Topps and they look pretty darn good signed.
Bobby Floyd moved onto the Royals in a trade which brought relief pitcher Moe Drabowsky back to the Orioles.  It would have been tough for Bobby to shoulder his way into the infield mix with Brooks at Third, Mark Belanger at Short, Davey Johnson at Second, and Boog Powell at First.  The outfield was just as crowded with Merv Rettenmund, Paul Blair and Frank Robinson.  An embarrassment of riches that Earl Weaver had to work with during that Golden Era.

I mailed this card out on November 4, 2023 and it returned on November 16, for a 12 day TAT.  Thank You Mr. Floyd!

Friday, December 8, 2023

TTM Success: Merv Rettenmund

 A recent TTM success I had come back to my mailbox was from Merv Rettenmund.  Both of the cards I sent turned out beautifully.  Merv played for the Orioles in the late 60's and into the early 70's before he was traded to Cincinnati.  He played a key role as an outfielder on those great Orioles teams from that time period.  

I'm not the biggest fan of 1972 Topps but I think this card turned out great. The nice blue Sharpie signature compliments the light blue (nearly teal) frame nicely.
I'm a bigger fan of 1970 Topps.  Gray isn't always my go to color but for the design of the card I think it works.

I sent these 2 cards out on November 4th, 2023 and got them back on November 16th for a 12 day TAT.  Thank You Mr. Rettenmund!

Thursday, December 7, 2023

A Trade with Greg of Night Owl Cards

 I recently made a trade with the astonishingly consistent Night Owl.  Its probably been nearly 10 years since I made a trade with Greg.  He sent some great cards this time.

Not a baseball card, but I don't remember Night Owl having his own business card.  Nice touch!

I've been working on a full run of Diamond Kings from 1982 thru 1996.  Night Owl was able to knock these two off of the 1986 list.
He was able to hit my 2023 Orioles wantlist with these awesome cards.  I'm super excited with the Henderson mini!
I've added some vintage food issues to my Orioles team set wantlist including the Kellogg's 3-D cards. Any Eddie Murray card is an awesome one, but this has three dimensions of that stare.  I'm just getting started with the 3-D's, Post, and..... 

the Hostess food issues.  This Doug DeCinces Hostess from 1977 is just the beginning of my team sets of them.

Greg also sent a pile of UD Masterpieces from 2008 to fill some holes on my second set build.

Thanks Greg for the awesome cards.  Hopefully we wont wait a decade to trade again.

Monday, December 4, 2023

TTM Success: Wally Bunker

 Here's a nice TTM success that showed up in my mailbox a few weeks back.  Wally Bunker was a teenage phenom for the Orioles in the mid 60's.  He made his MLB Debut at the age of 18 and fired a complete shutout against the Dodgers in the 1966 World Series.  Arm troubles and ineffectiveness plagued him after that defining game and threw his last major league pitch when he was 26.

He and his wife also published some children's books in 2015.

I've grown in a appreciation of the 1968 Topps set over the years. I've come to like the burlap sack borders and the simple design overall.
I'm not sure what else I can say about 1965 Topps other that its an all-time favorite of mine and they look great autographed.

I mailed these 2 cards out on November 1st, 2023 and got them back November 14th 2023 for a 13 day TAT.  Thank You Mr. Bunker!

Sunday, December 3, 2023

2023 Topps Chrome Update value box pack 7

My last pack of the box break is finally here:  Lets see what's inside:
Two Solid Rookies, 
and a partridge in a pear tree light red refractor of a Giants pitcher.  Not too bad of a pack.

My last selection of goofball, oddball Christmas songs is one by John Denver.  He actually did several Christmas albums including one with the Muppets!  He mostly did the traditional songs that everybody knows but this song is a little different:

 Thanks for enduring my value box of Topps Chrome Update and my selections for some off the wall Christmas songs. 

Saturday, December 2, 2023

2023 Topps Chrome Update value box pack 6

 We're down to the penultimate pack of the value box.  Lets see what today's pack holds:

Nothing super crazy in this pack.  The Yarbrough is a regular refractor and the Corbin Carroll Future Stars insert is very nice looking.   

Tonight's Christmas selection is from rockers August Burns Red.  They put out an entire Christmas album of covers.  Take a listen:

TTM Success: Al Bumbry

Today is the last of the TTM requests I sent out back in 2014.  Coincidentally, I am posting this success on the same day as another request to him was just picked up from my mailbox.

Al Bumbry is often forgotten as an Orioles star from the late 70s and early 80's, The O's had plenty of star power that included Brooks Robinson Reggie Jackson, Eddie Murray, Ken Singleton, Dennis Martinez,  Jim Palmer and Cal  just to name a few. Its not hard to see how you could get lost in the mix when you mention those guys.

Bumbry stands on his own as a great Orioles player.  He had one All-Star appearance in 1980 and won the World Series in 1983.  He was a great table setter for many of the greats that I named above.

He lives in Maryland so it's not unusual to see him at Orioles events including Fanfest, and Charity Events.
1981 Fleer
1981 Fleer has its faults but this is a nice card if Al smiling into the stands as his picture was snapped.
1981 Topps
Here's a good action shot of Bumbry.  It looks great signed.
He also added an signed Orioles postcard to the package.  I pleasant surprise!  The Orioles have always seemed to do a great job of helping out collectors over the years and having these postcards available at team events.  I've got a ton of them from Fanfest and various other team events.

I sent my cards out on December 17th, 2014 and received the return package on March 9th 2015 for an 81 day TAT

Friday, December 1, 2023

2023 Topps Chrome Update value box pack 5

I'm beginning to wonder if I wasted my money on this value box.  Not a whole lot of true rookie cards and no Orioles as of yet.  Rookie Debut cards are ok, and I've gotten some decent trade bait but nothing I really collect.  Lets see what today's pack holds:

As far as keepers, nada. I might keep the Miller since he seems like a good prospect for the Dodgers.  the second and final Sepia refractor is Juan Yepez along with the base version.

The fifth card in the pack:
Wow, I wasn't expecting and autograph much less it being a green #'d to 99.  Though it is a sticker autograph, it still has some value.  If anybody is interested in making a trade for it, I'm open to offers.  If not, its probably going to go up on the Bay of E.

So tonight's off color Christmas song is pretty appropriate I think.  AC/DC - Mistress for Christmas.  The mistress of course being cardboard.

TTM Success: Jesse Orosco

 I've been sending out a lot of requests to the Orioles retired players from the 50's, 60's, and 70's  but when I saw that Jesse Orosco signed through the mail, I hurriedly gathered a few of his cards to send off.  He doesn't have a ton of cards with him in an Orioles uniform but I decided to rob a few of my complete team sets if cards I wanted to send.  I really enjoyed Jesse's time with the Orioles since he was a very solid reliever with a 3.35 ERA over 5 seasons.  

1996 Fleer cards take to autographs like ducks to water.  With the matte finish and the simple design, they are a simple choice for autograph collectors to use.
This 2000 Topps season highlights talks about whey Orosco made his 1072nd appearance as a pitcher and broke Dennis Eckersley's record.  He extended the record to 1252 career mound appearances that stands to this day. The nearest to active player to breaking Orosco's record is Kenley Jansen with 817 games pitched. 

I mailed these out on October 30th, 2023 and they returned on November 16th, 2023 for a 17 day TAT.  Thank You Mr. Orosco!

Thursday, November 30, 2023

2023 Topps Chrome Update value box pack 4

 Lets see what we get tonight:

Anthony Volpe hot pack.  Brutal box break so far.  Enjoy tonight's Christmas song selection:

Its short and sweet.  Ernest Saves Christmas is a top 3 Christmas movie in my book.  Rip Jim Varney, a true class act.

TTM Success: Gregg Olson

Another TTM came back from my magical December 17th, 2014 TTM blitz.  Gregg Olson can probably be considered among the best, if not THE BEST, reliever in Orioles history.  He was the last Orioles player to win the Rookie of the Year (1989) until Gunnar Henderson this year.  He still holds the Orioles record for saves with 160.  Zach Britton got close with 139 saves for the team.  "Otter" moved onto the Braves and became a Baseball Reference Immaculate Grid cheat code bouncing around to a bunch of other teams to round out his career.  He never had the same success he did as an Oriole.
1991 Donruss Diamond King

I enjoy getting Diamond Kings autographed as I enjoy Dick Perez's baseball artwork.  I'm currently working on completing his run of Diamond Kings from 1982 thru 1996.  I mostly need cards from 1992 thru 1996 when they became proper inserts.  I'd love to get more Diamond Kings signed but you can see that endeavor would get really expensive after a while.

I Sent the card out on December 17th, 2014 and I received it back on January 30th 2015 for a 44 day TAT.  Thank You Mr. Olson!

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

2023 Topps Chrome Update Value box pack 3

Another night, another pack from the 2023 Topps Chrome Update box.  Its been a somewhat snorefest of a box so far.  Lets see if my luck changes tonight.

I sleep.

Pink refractors are 2 per box. I've never been a fan of "light red" refractors... Aren't there better colors to associate with baseball?

This box has got me blue... Enjoy tonight's oddball Christmas song:


TTM Success: Bob Saverine

Here's another recent TTM I received back.  Bob Saverine was a utility player for the Orioles in the early 60's and then moved on to play for the Senators to finish out his career.  He debuted in the major leagues at the age of 18 in 1959 and was the youngest player to play in an American League game that season.

1965 Topps
1965 Topps is one of my favorite Topps sets of all their designs.  I might get around to trying to work on the complete set at some point.  I know it won't be a high grade set but more of a "beater".  Just having the cards would be good enough for me.  Plus, I already have the "big one" (I need to show it off at some point) from that set so I already have a good jump on it.
1964 Topps
 I do have a lot more of the 1964 and 1963 Topps sets (also in "beater" condition).  I'd probably try to trade the 64's and 63's to try and complete the '65 set.

I send these cards out on Halloween, October 31st, 2023 and got them back on November 13th, 2023 for a 13 day TAT.  Thank You Mr. Saverine!

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

2023 Topps Chrome Update Value box pack 2

 Back with pack number 2 of my 2023 Topps Chrome Update Value box.  

This is turning into a Dodger fest as the Heyward is a refractor.  Not much else to get excited about.
The special Sepia tone refractor of Ryu ( a former Dodger nonetheless) drops out of pack two as one of our promised two Sepia tones.  Enjoy the off-color Christmas song of the night:

TTM Success: Jamie Moyer

    These two cards came back signed by Jamie Moyer not long after the new year in 2015.  Its been very interesting looking back at these old returns and seeing how signing habits of some players have changed since then.  Around the time I sent these out, Jamie was a pretty reliable signer with about a 14 day turn around time.  Not long after I got these returned, the turn around times started getting longer and longer up to about a 2 year wait.  Then in 2017ish, it seemed like he just quit.  Now we signs for $25 a card on Past Pros.  Nothing against that, because I will pay for certain players, but I just thought it was interesting to point out.  I'm happy to have sent and saved money.  I probably would not have gotten both of these cards for fifty bucks.
1994 Upper Deck Collector's Choice

1995 Score

I sent to him on December 17th, 2014 and got these back on January 17th 2015 for a 31 day TAT.  Thank You Mr. Moyer!

Monday, November 27, 2023

2023 Topps Chrome Update Value box pack 1

 I like to dip my foot into nearly every product that Topps releases on the retail side.  It gives me some good trade bait and also you never know what you'll hit.  Anyways, here's pack 1 followed by my off-color Christmas song of the night.  Enjoy!

Nothing crazy in the first pack but a decent Yoshida '88 Topps and Gallen ASG insert. Now please enjoy this soon to be yuletide classic:

TTM Success: Davey Johnson

 Another recent TTM request came back to my mailbox in the form of this signed 1969 Topps Davey Johnson. 

Davey Johnson was the solid second baseman for the Orioles during their golden years.  Not quite a power hitter (at least not while with the Orioles) he was a 3 time All Star for the Orioles.  He added another All Star appearance with the Braves in his career season in 1973 when he hit 43 homers.  Davey Johnson also played in Japan for the Yomiuri Giants in 1976 and 1977.  He later became the manager of the Mets leading them to the World Series trophy in 1986 and then had stints in Cincinnati, Baltimore, LA, and Washington.  He famously resigned from the Orioles managerial job a mere two hours before he won the AL Manager of the Year in 1997.  He resigned before Peter Angelos could fire him because Johnson directed Roberton Alomar to pay a fine to a charity in which Dave's wife worked. Angelos took exception to how Johnson handled the situation and was likely to fire him.  Seems petty to me but that's how the Angelos ownership group handles business.

I sent to Dave Johnson on November 2nd 2023 and got this return on November 13th 2023 for an 11 day TAT.  Thank You Mr. Johnson!

Saturday, November 25, 2023

TTM Success: Gary Roenicke

Today, this post is 100%  brought to you by people that have at birthday on December 5.  Gary Roenicke is has the same birthday as me (different years '54 vs '83).  Other baseball players who share our birthday include Cliff Floyd, Justin Smoak, Christian Yelich, and Hayden Wesneski.  

Gary had his best years as an Oriole where he was the platoon partner for John Lowenstein.  He won the World Series in 1983 and is enshrined in the Orioles Hall of Fame.  
Both of these cards turned out great.  I sent to him on December 17th, 2014 and got the cards back on January 3rd, 2015 for a 17 day TAT.  Thank You Mr. Roenicke!

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

TTM Success: John O'Donoghue, Sr.

Another TTM success came back the other day.  This one is from John O'Donoghue, Sr.  He was a relief pitcher for the 1968 Orioles and was awarded by his teammates in the Kangaroo Court "the John O'Donoghue Memorial Long Ball Award".  He won the award by giving up the longest home run at Memorial Stadium that season.  His trophy: a tattered, ragged-out baseball.

John came over from Cleveland in trade after the 1967 season and had previously been with the KC Athletics to start his career.  He made the All-Star team in 1965.  

His son also pitched for the Orioles in the mid 90's....

I sent to John on November 4th, 2023 and received it back on November 13th, 2023 for a 9 day TAT.  Thank You Mr. O'Donoghue!