Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Vintage Fridays: Tippy Martinez, 1980 Topps #706

With several inches of snow on the ground and only one football game remaining (no, the Pro Bowl DOESN'T count), baseball season cannot arrive soon enough. Thankfully, there is the 2011 Orioles FanFest to tide me over. Big thanks to out to reader and coworker Jeff (a.k.a. FreeTheBirds), a season ticket holder who gifted me his complimentary tickets for the event. Tomorrow morning I'll get up earlier than usual for a Saturday, but it's a good cause in my book. I'll round up my sister at 9:00, with hopes that we're two of the first 250 people through the door at the 10:00 entry time for season ticket folks. That group will be privy to a free autograph session with Brad Bergesen, Al Bumbry, and new O's infielders Mark Reynolds and Brendan Harris. You might have heard some grumbling about the decision to charge $15 for vouchers per regularly scheduled autograph sessions throughout the rest of the day, but I gladly paid for one. Here's my rationale:

1) Demand at past free autograph sessions was just too high. The line for each session began forming an hour prior to the session. In effect, you could lose up to two hours of the seven-hour event just getting signatures from a single three-or-four-person booth.

2) All of the proceeds from the vouchers will reportedly go to the OriolesREACH childrens' charities. Jeff reports that a ticket representative told him that the $15 voucher fee would not be tax-deductible, but I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

3) Kids from 4-14 can still get free autographs at a separate booth throughout the day, and that's what matters.

4) Adults will just have to put a price on the autographs. Is it worth it to you to get three or four player signatures for $15? That's better than you'll do at a memorabilia show. I'm willing to buy one, but I'll stop there. It's not so hard.

Anyway, I'll be lining up for the 11:20 AM session with Matt Wieters, Craig Tatum, and Dick Hall. I've been keen on meeting Hall ever since we exchanged a few emails about my NumerOlogy website shortly after its February 2008 launch. (Note: the site got hacked several months ago, and I'm still puzzling out a fix for it. I appreciate your patience!)

My sister wants to get her Brian Matusz jersey signed, so she bought into the 3:20 session with Matusz, Jason Berken, and Mike Bordick. She's only interested in the young lefty's autograph, so she's going to get the other two to sign cards for me. I told her it will be an acceptable trade for my chaffeur duties.

If you look at the entire autograph lineup, you'll see a fair representation of players from bygone days. In addition to Bumbry, Hall, and Bordick, there are sessions featuring Larry Sheets, Boog Powell, Jim Palmer, Ross Grimsley, Rick Dempsey, Scott McGregor, Joe Orsulak, Tippy Martinez, and Mike Flanagan. As of this writing, all but a pair of the 15 sessions have sold out. So I guess there wasn't too much outrage over the new policy. As for me, I'm looking forward to showing off some autographs throughout the coming week!


Dinged Corners said...

Vouchers sound reasonable to me! Much like getting the "go right in" tickets at Disneyland. Line waiting is just the worst.

Commish said...

tippy is a favorite of mine and even though the design of the '80 Topps isn't very inspired, I like how the 'ribbons' flow with Tippy's leg kick. Nice card.

Kevin said...

DC - Welcome back to the fold! The vouchers did make things much easier.

Bob - I would say that it's hard to find a bad Tippy card...but the 1987 Topps with the cheesy mustache comes to mind. I think that's the exception to the rule.