Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

Spring training autographs, part 2

A couple of weeks ago, I showed off the first two signed cards that I’d gotten back from spring training camps this year. Since then, I’ve gotten 11 more envelopes back so I’m looking at a 26% response rate with about two and a half weeks to go before teams break camp.

Unfortunately, only 10 of my 13 responses resulted in signed baseball cards that will go into my collection. The folks at the Atlanta Braves’ spring training complex are apparently not accepting mail this year, so both of my letters came back “Return to Sender.” (I had tried Fredi Gonzalez and Eric Young Jr., in case you’re curious.)

I did get a signed card back when I wrote to Minnesota Twins pitcher Tommy Milone, but I have no idea who signed it.

This is what Milone’s autograph looks like on a Topps-certified 2013 Allen & Ginter card (image taken from an eBay listing.)


This is the card I got back today. The two signatures don’t even look similar to me, beyond the letter “T.”

2015-03-14 12.05.52But let’s move on to happier topics.  Continue reading “Spring training autographs, part 2”

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Joe Janish on why the Baltimore Orioles are a team to watch

Baltimore Orioles Bird
(Photo credit: Keith Allison)

I enjoy reading Joe Janish‘s take on the New York Mets and baseball in general over at

Today he wrote about why the Baltimore Orioles are still playing, while some of the supposed “best teams in baseball” will be able to watch the rest of the post-season on TV.

Manager Buck Showalter instituted a winning program in 2010. There wasn’t a “rebuilding.” There wasn’t any talk about payroll flexibility nor fiscal responsibility. There wasn’t an expectation of losing seasons while they got their s*it together. There wasn’t any yakkety-yak about building from within nor over-hype of prospects to placate the fan base. Rather, Buck Showalter joined Baltimore and changed the focus of the organization. It was not unlike Vince Lombardi’s influence on the Green Bay Packers way back when — winning was the goal, and winning isn’t an outcome, it’s a process, it’s a habit. Yes, the Orioles had one rough year in 2011 while making the conversion from whatever was happening before to winning. Now, though, they’re a juggernaut, despite a cast of characters that changes every year, every month, and every week. Parts are interchangeable because everyone knows the goal, knows what they need to do, and are put into situations in which they can succeed. Pitchers make pitches, fielders execute, batters put the ball in play. It’s baseball at its simplest, much like we witnessed in Atlanta during the Bobby Cox years.

Don’t you want to see that kind of culture-change take hold in Queens?