Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Suite Experience At Camden Yards

While I was on vacation, one of my co-workers (who is always after a deal) arranged for a few of us to see an Orioles game with one of our vendor companies.  But this wasn't going to be just another evening in the stands making runs to the food counter and souvenir shop.  

It was the August 8th matchup with the Houston Astros.  We left work around 4:30 and arrived about an hour before first pitch.  The first bonus was a parking pass that put us really close to the home plate entrance.

It was the first time I had used an app for tickets to an event.  The MLB Ballpark app is pretty much about tickets, even though it talks about following any player, and other things.  It's about the tickets.  Anyway, we went in the door and then in the elevator to the fourth floor.

We stepped off into what felt like a hotel lobby.  It's the Club Level.  There's a reception desk and tons of historical information, artifacts, trophies, and artwork about the history of the Orioles on every wall and in the hallways and lounges all the way around this floor of the building.

This is a stock shot I took off the internet to show some of the other areas.  I snapped the rest of the pics, but stuck to the stuff that interested me.  I haven't asked my friends to send me theirs yet.  I'm sure they shared them on social media.

These jerseys were right behind the main lobby.

This Frank Robinson panel was down one of the walkways to the upper seating sections. 

This side room was all about Cal Ripken.  I don't think these were the original numbers that hung on the side of the warehouse when he was breaking the streak, but I could be wrong.  Seems like they'd be a lot bigger.

This painting was in our actual suite.  There were cafe tables, couch seating, the buffet (quesadillas, hot dogs, salads, sodas, adult beverages, the whole works!), a private rest room, and a glass wall with two sliding doors that lead to the outside seating.  You sat in rolling office-style chairs outside.  Here was our view:

We were up the third base line.  It was a great evening to watch a game.  Not too hot or cold.


I snapped pics of the starting lineups.

The O's got off to a rousing start with two home runs from Adley and Mountcastle.  They built a 6 - 3 lead into the 9th inning.  Unfortunately, the closer Bautista, who came into the game with great fanfare ~ flashing lights and dramatic music ~ couldn't get anyone out and they lost in the top of the 9th.  Stupid Astros...

Other than that it was a stellar experience.  One of the hosts knew the Orioles Alumni Director, who came by and brought Larry Bigbie in to meet our group and sign autographs.  (I passed.)  The other company that sponsored the event bought several different hats for everyone.  They were nice.  I got a regular O's hat with the Jackie Robinson 42 patch on it.

Hopefully, we can do that again before the season is over.  

I still haven't watched more than a few games this year.  I should pay more attention since they're going to be in the playoffs.  I'll watch more of them then.

Monday, August 14, 2023

In The Zone

UPDATE: Unfortunately, Dave has put out notice that the shop will close 31 Dec 2023.  

In recapping my card hunting in the various shops, flea markets, shows, and antique malls in Michigan, I'm not going to go in chronological order, nor am I going to cover every card.  Mostly because I don't remember exactly and am lucky to keep straight what I got where.

The Collector's Zone, 1425 Wildwood Ave, Jackson, MI wasn't our first visit, but it was pretty early in the week.  It's paired with a jewelry store, and has a large selection of comic and gaming materials along with cards.  My host Stuart and I had been there a couple times before.  The proprietor, Dave, is always friendly and willing to negotiate pricing.  He doesn't organize and store everything perfectly, but believes in just having it all available for customers to dig through.  But it's relatively neat compared to some shops we've been to.

He had a few boxes of new arrivals on the tables (in the right part of the photo) that we dug through first.  I found several football set needs in there.  One box was all vintage baseball, including a lot of '62 Topps, which will become a recurring theme in these posts.  We also found a few other odd baseball items that hit some of my other lists.

I'm leisurely collecting the 2011 sparkly legends...the Gullett is an OPC upgrade...Mattingly is a set need....Nettles is the Craig back variation.  The others are the start of my official set build, before it became official.  More on that in a later post.

Dave also had a couple boxes of the typical shiny football I kept running into at about every shop we visited.  I tried hard to meticulously pick these out and not get anything I already had.  And then I went back through them and put back the duplicates.  Of course, I missed one as you can see.  (Hint: third row).  The first row of Bowman are all serial numbered except for the last one.

One of the more unusual finds was among several stacks of non-sport cards.  I have been looking for sets or boxes of this particular set for a while.  Most of the time the boxes are outrageous, and actually very impractical since this is only a 40 card set.  I keep thinking these are from the '90s, but they're actually 2008 PopCardz.  The above photo is not mine, I snagged it off the internet to save time.

Here is a sample back.  The info is rather whimsical, but interesting.  As you might guess, I just got them for the gorgeous gals.  I don't even know who a few of the dudes even are.

Here are my top picks.  I threw in Anton since he was in the alternate universe Star Trek movies.  But the women outnumber the men by about three to one in the checklist.  Perfect!

So as we were settling up, I mentioned to Dave that I was an aspiring Priest Holmes collector.  He said he had something I would like and pulled this out:

It's 5 x 8 inches and is a deluxe addition to the other two I have that are just plain red or white swatches.  This one's a sick patch that appears to me to be the upper left corner of his nameplate (the bottom of the H in Holmes) and the top corner of the 3, all turned 90°.  What a surprising find that was!

We actually returned a day or two later to see what else we could dig up, but I don't recall which of this stuff I got on which trip.  Thanks again to Dave.

Monday, August 07, 2023

Post-National Pause

I'm on my customary self-imposed hiatus from trading, buying, sorting, and putting away cards after spending a week in Michigan hitting shops, shows, antique malls, and flea markets then journeying to Chicago for three days at the National.  Hopefully, I'll come up with some semblance of structure to show off a lot of what I brought home and mention a few of the dealers and places I saw along the way.  For the moment, I just need to decompress and get past some house and car issues and get back to having fun with cardboard again.  I had a good time, but it's total immersion and I get a little burnt out.

Oofda....only one post in July.    One.    Sheesh.   I thought I had a few decent ideas for writing, but was so caught up in Database trades that they never came about.  Will really try to do more in August.  Though you've heard that before....  Again, I haven't lost the excitement, it's just that writing about it doesn't come as easy any more.

Anyway, here's a little tease from my loot....

Just a sampling...