Sunday, April 18, 2021

Orioles Victory Card # 6: Still in the trade game

 Baltimore Orioles Victory Number 6: 5-2 over the Texas Rangers

1991 O-Pee-Chee Ben McDonald

The O's managed to keep the losing streak to just two games (and only a day!) as they dropped a double-header to the Mariners. They had passable pitching in both games as Matt Harvey and Bruce Zimmerman pitched well enough to pick up some victories but the Baltimore offense couldn't come through against Seattle.

They did bounce back in the first game against the Texas Rangers as they managed to put up five runs (two more than they did in fourteen innings on Thursday). Cedric Mullins picked up two more hits and D.J. Stewart hit his first home run of the year. Good times!

As for me, I had a couple of trades come in through the mail. While everyone is jumping into the sports card market and dropping thousands of dollars on boxes they have no intention of ever opening, I've been plugging away picking up cheap Orioles cards through trades. 

I'm not going to lie, after getting furloughed at the beginning of the pandemic last spring, trading cards with strangers online was one of the few things that helped get me though the days (that and Porch Beers with The Wife). Putting together trades, pulling cards, and walking to the post office was a great way to kill a couple of hours every day. So that was nice. I'm not sure how many trades I made last year, but it was quite a bit. 

The Orioles collection has grown while the duplicates of other random players has dwindled. Yes, I have managed to sell a few cards along the way. Not enough to cover what I've spent already (I'm lucky to have a pretty good local card store) but, enough to fund a few decent single card purchases here and there. 

Oh yeah, that reminds me about my quest from last year where I wanted to give away 2,000 cards more than I took in over the year. Did that happen? Nope. I believe I ended up about even, but the dream of reducing the collection by one entire shoe box went by the way side. No, quests this year, but I am tracking the ins and outs to see how many I add. (So far the number is +1212).

One of the cards that came in a recent trade is pictured above. It's a 1991 (an underrated set) O-Pee-Chee Ben McDonald. But, wait you say, how do you know it's an OPC? It says "Topps" on the front. Well, I know because it came from a Canadian collector and he had labeled it as such. If I had seen this card in the wild, I wouldn't have noticed because the only way to tell is to look at the back of the card.

There is the tell-tale sign - French. Also, down in the bottom right corner is the OPC information. I'm slowly putting together the O's team set from these cards (along with all of the other Orioles cards in existence). It's a cool little variant (and another Eddie Murray to track down). 

Ben is filling in as the color commentator on some of the O's games this year as well as calling SEC baseball. One of the neat things is that he will, at some point, get to talk about his nephew, Mac Sceroler. The big right-hander was picked up by the Orioles via the Rule V draft from the Cincinnati Reds. He, along with Tyler Wells, are a couple of Rule V kids trying to stick with the ball club all year long.

Sceroler went to college in Louisiana like his uncle, not LSU but Southeastern Louisiana University (alma mater of former O, Wade Miley) before being drafted in the 5th round by the Reds. He made it all the way up to A ball in 2018 and 2019. It'll be tough for him to make the jump all the way up to the majors, but the O's are going to try and work him into low-leverage situations. With their starting rotation there will be plenty of chances for innings.

Here is Uncle Ben talking about Mac prior to the season (Ben's segment starts at about the 4:30 mark). McDonald is a pretty fun voice to have in the booth. With his easy going nature and Southern drawl it's just a treat to listen to him break down baseball (and say "Orioles"). 


Chris said...

I have some Orioles (and Lightning) cards you might need. I'll send you an offer on TCDB. If you prefer I can send you fewer/better cards to help you shed some extra cards.

Justin G. said...

Chris - shoot me over an offer and I'll take a look/counter. Thanks!