Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cards from Night Owl

So I'm still alive, and feeling a bit better. The other day I mentioned a bubble mailer stuffed with cards from a fellow blogger, and now you know that blogger is Night Owl. A few months ago I just happened to pull a Matt Kemp auto from a box of Allen & Ginter. Night Owl and I had already made one small trade, so I figured I'd drop him a line and see if he was interested. Boy was he ever, and in return I've gotten a lot of sweet Orioles cards. This is actually the second batch Greg has sent me.

I've chosen some of my favorites to show off, so sit back, relax, and let your mind go as I take you on a journey through The Land of Pleasant Living.

1992 Baseball Enquirer Fun Stuff. It's pretty obvious this is supposed to be an homage to Billy Ripken and his famous 1989 Fleer card. The original might possibly be the hobby's first "gimmick" card, and will be featured in a future Wish List Cards post, since I've wanted one for about 18 years now. Poor Billy is still living in his brother's shadow, and these days he's the "brains" behind Ripken Baseball, while Cal is the face of the organization.

1979 Topps Rick Dempsey. One of the sweetest moustaches in O's history, and a fine catcher to boot. These days Dempster is an analyst, and co-hosts the Orioles pre & post game shows on MASN. His nephew, Gregg Zaun is serving as the Orioles placeholder at catcher until #1 prospect Matt Wieters finally gets his call-up.

1997 Pinnacle Rafael Palmeiro. Speaking of sweet moustaches... I was so naive in my youth I actual thought Raffy was Italian, like me. I mean he's named after a ninja turtle, who were named after Italian Renaissance artists for god's sake! And Palmeiro, well that sounds pretty close to Palermo, right? Not only is Raffy not an Italian, he's a juicer and a cheater to boot! What a shame really, he was pretty easy to like in his heyday.

1974 Topps Rich Coggins. I have never heard of Rich Coggins. I chose this card to be featured for 2 reasons, #1 that is an awesome O's hat. I really wish they'd stuck with the "cartoon bird". The second reason is teh bat he is holding! It looks like it's from 1874 not 1974. Did players really still use bats with no knob on the bottom in the 70's? Maybe it was Coggin's trademark? He did hit .319 in '73, so the bat must have been working out for him.

Next up we have 2 cards from 1983 Fleer. This was a championship season for the Orioles, and thanks to Night Owl I now have 19 of the O's from this set. I'll definitely turn some attention towards finishing this team set in the future. Anyway, first up we have Terry Crowley who has made quite a life for himself in Baltimore, serving as the Orioles hitting coach, and doing so with great success. What he has managed to do with Markakis and Jones is nothing short of incredible. Jones would swing at anything a season ago, but has shown much more discipline this season, and an average over .300 to show for it. We've also got Al Bumbry up there, and this is the only card of the Bumbry-bee on my collection. It's always cool to have a card of a former rookie of the year, and Bumbry took home that honor in 1973. According to wikipedia, he is also one of only 3 batters that Goose Gossage had admitted to intentionally beaning.

1993 Upper Deck Harold Reynolds. I always forget that Reynolds was an Oriole, and that's probably because it as only for a season. This has to be one of my favorite Upper Deck releases of all time, and was one of the last sets I collected as a kid. Reynolds is a fine analyst (arguably), and after being mysteriously jettisoned from ESPN found himself a gig on the MLB Network. I'm glad for that, cause I like Harold and think he has a good voice.

1990 Fleer Jim Traber. I've probably got as many of Big Jim's cards as I do Adam Jones'. He seems to be in every repack box I open, and included in every lot of random cards I receive in trade. He's probably most popular for pulling a "Mr. Baseball" in Japan, and charging the mound twice in one game. The second time, he fell down on his way to the pitcher, and was kicked in the face. If you haven't seen it, I guarantee it's on youtube.

2007 Topps Chrome Xfractor John Knott. This guy looked to be a top prospect for the Orioles at one point. Now he's a free agent, and out of a job. But hey, this card is shiny and refractory, so I can't complain.

2001 Pacific Christmas Ornament Cal Ripken. This might have been my favorite card Night Owl sent over. I've seen these things featured on several blogs in the past year or 2, and always wanted to own one. I can't think of a better one for my collection than the Iron Man himself. It's still weird for me to look at one of Cal's cards and see 3B listed as his position.

These are 4 Markakii that are new to me. I was pretty psyched to get these, and enjoy seeing my player collection grow. I'll keep the blurb short on these, since I kill my readers with Markakis on a daily basis. and will probably do so again later today.

We'll end things with some more '83 Orioles Magic. This package of cards was pretty '83 themed, and this could be the best of the bunch. I really don't like manu-patches, especially these stupid ones from 2009 Topps, but it's a freakin World Series patch!

Night Owl, thanks a lot for these cards, and the rest that didn't make this post. As always, it's been a pleasure doing business with you.

Motherscratcher happens to have a box of 2006 Turkey Red that is ready to be busted. He has suggested that we do some sort of Zoolander-esque pack rip-off to see who's box reigns supreme. Now, I am a man of the people, and will purchase whichever box gets the most votes, however, this "rip-off" would be entertaining, and if you want to see it, I recommend voting for Turkey Red in the poll. I know Motherscratcher can't turn left, so this one's already in the bag.


  1. Your logic on thinking Raffy was Italian was downright impeccable. You have me convinced. He's Italian from now on.

    I might be able to find the Billy Ripken card. There's guy who sells cards at a garage sale every June. They're in good shape and I saw that card there the last time.

  2. I've seen the Ripken F-face card, most recently at the monthly card show here, for $15-20. If you are interested, I'll pick it up for you next time I go.

  3. Raphael Palmeiro isn't italian?

    Good Lord look at Traber! Who picked out his jersey? He looks like he just got back from the buffett. Those poor buttons, I don't how they're doing it. He looks like he stole the batboy's jersey.

    As far as the Turk Off...It's on like Donkey Kong.

    I'm sure 2 guys like ourselves can figure out a way to make this fun and interesting.

  4. Night Owl & Dan- Yeah, if you guys can find a copy, I really want one. I prefer the profane version. If you happen upon one, let me know.

    Mother- I got a feelin your whole family's going down. But first, the people have to vote for Turkey Red.