Thursday, April 29, 2010
Mike Fontenot, 2003 Bazooka #197
My collection of Orioles cards is getting pretty expansive, but it is nowhere near complete. I still accept blind trades for this reason, and also because I've been too lazy to compile a master checklist of all things Bawlmer. Just thinking about trying to catalogue every piece of cardboard from the last 57 years that has a little orange and black bird on it gives me the dizzies. So I thumb through the duplicates that my readers and cohorts are kind enough to send and get a simple little thrill whenever I see something unfamiliar. If it's a player who was previously unrepresented in my O's collection, well, that's an extra treat.
Last week, reader Ron sent a package that contained a goodly handful of new-to-me cards, including this little number. It's one of the select few cards featuring Mike Fontenot in a Birds uniform, and for good reason. Baltimore's first-round pick in 2001 climbed quickly through the organization, reaching AAA Ottawa in his third pro season. But the following February (2005, if you're keeping tabs), he was traded to the Cubs in the Sammy Sosa deal. He's been a regular in the Chicago infield since 2007, and seemed poised for stardom following a sophomore season in which he hit .305/.395/.514. However, his OPS plunged by 232 points last season. Time will tell whether the real Fontenot is the 2008 version, the 2009 version, or something in between.