Friday, February 19, 2010

The Roberts PC is up to 70 Cards-Fresh Stuff from Wicked Ortega

I have yet to see B-Rob in camp, but I will be out there again on Wednesday, camera in hand. For now you will have to settle for pictures of him on baseball cards. At least they are awesome looking cards... These all came from the greatest trader in the world, Wicked Ortega from the My Past Time...I Love It! Blog. He sent a TON of cool stuff covering every faction of my collection, but these are the Roberts cards. The one on top is from 2009 Topps Chrome. Wicked had sent me a regular refractor of this card a while back, now I have the blue version to go with it. This one is numbered 168/199. For the record, I LOVE these blue refractors. Its like 2003 all over again. This next one is from 2009 SP Legendary Cuts, card #1 of #1. Awesome. The third and final Roberts card comes from 2006 SP Authentic and the Baseball Heroes subset. It is number SPAH-69 in the set. The company he is sharing looks a bit odd, but I guess second baseman don't have the longest shelf life. I do think that the Baseball Heroes Card would look better like this. This brings me up to 70 cards in my Roberts collection! Woo hoo! Thanks for everything Wicked! You rule! Leading off over and out!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Spring Training

Pitchers and catchers report tomorrow. I can not wait! Matt Wieters, Chris Tillman and David Hernandez will all be neighbors for the next six weeks. I will try and make it out there on Friday and then again on Monday. Next week all position players will have arrived. This will be the official HQ for all Orioles pictures. I will show Pirates pics on the Troll... Stay tuned! Oh don't forget, there WILL be a contest here soon. It will be open ONLY to the first 25 followers of this blog. Just saying... Vote Brian Roberts and Jason Bartlett All Star middle infield for the American League!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Brian Roberts Card of the Day

I think I finally have all of my Brian Roberts cards sorted out, well almost. I know I still have a few more relics and fancy cards in screw-down holders SOMEWHERE in the house, but I have nearly everything documented on the lists on the side bar. As it stands I have 67 different Roberts cards. Not bad I think. Initially I asked for a couple cards, so I could have something to get signed if I ever ran into him again. Then, I decided that I wanted a relic. Then, once I had a jersey relic, I wanted a bat relic. Basically I got a little greedy and the whole thing snowballed and now I have more cards of Roberts than anyone except Danny Tartabull, Carl Crawford, BJ Upton (who I still don’t collect) and Scott Kazmir. I have twice as many Roberts cards as I have Gomes cards and 6 times more than Bartlett and 12 times more than Zobrist. Now that I know I have 67, naturally I want to hit 100. Another thing that I realized is that I do NOT have a Roberts rookie card. I have 2 cards from 2002 of Roberts, which I thought MIGHT have been his rookie, but he definitely has cards in the 2001 set. I will show off my oldest Roberts card as the Leading Off Card of the Day (or week depending on how lazy I get). This one came from Paul from the Carl Crawford Cards blog, which was the inspiration for the address of this one (brianrobertscards). The week prior to Christmas 2009 Paul sent me an awesome slabbed and graded Carl Crawford autograph from Just Minors. You can read that original post HERE from the Collective Troll. I immediately posted the CC auto, but didn’t mention the other card in that package, a 2002 Upper Deck Brian Roberts, card #3. I love the design of the 2002 set. I have lucked out and received a number of these cards the last few months-mainly from Tampa Bay Sports Wasteland, Cards on Cards and Cobb and Halladay. It might be my favorite Upper Deck set of the 2000s. I hadn’t really thought much about this card since I received it. It went right into the B-Rob binder and has sat quietly there ever since. The card has the Star Rookie imprint on it, which means nothing as there are Roberts cards from 2007 which call him a rookie, but I still thought it may have been a RC. The picture shows Roberts batting from the left side and taking off towards first after making contact. The focus is a little bit weak and Roberts dark jersey doesn’t stand out at all against the dark background. It is actually not a great looking card at all. That also made me think it might have been his rookie. Rookie cards are almost always hideously ugly. The back of the card recycles the same image from the front and shows Roberts numbers from his 2001 call-up when he jumped from AA to AAA and eventually the majors. He managed 273 at-bats for the Orioles in 2001 and batted .253 with 17 RBI. He stole 12 bases for the Orioles and totaled 45 for the year between the 3 teams. The back of the card says “Roberts joined Baltimore in mid-May and showed superb ability on offense. In July he batted .294 with 9 RBI, 11 runs and four steals. He clubbed his first Major League homer on 7/25/01. Awesome! This card stands as my oldest Roberts card and therefore is among my favorites. I WOULD like to add at least one rookie card to the mix though, so get in touch if you have one to spare… Thanks for the great card Paul! Thanks for reading, go Roberts!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Greetings card collectors! Thanks for checking out the latest page in the Nitty Gritty Card Blog family. This page is dedicated to my Brian Roberts card collection. Although I am blue-bleeding Tampa Bay Rays fan, Brian Roberts is my favorite current player that has never played for the Tampa Bay Rays. You can his read his very impressive stat sheet here.

Roberts was a first round draft pick (50th overall) in the 1999 draft and he signed with the Baltimore Orioles and was assigned to the Delmarva Shorebirds where he spent the entire '99 season. In 2000 he spent a short time playing for the Orioles rookie league team in the Gulf Coast League in Sarasota, Florida. I had initially met Roberts while he was still in college at the University of North Carolina, but I got to spend time with him while he was in Sarasota. We became friends and remained in touch until 2001 when he made the jump to AA, AAA and eventually to the major leagues. I followed his career closely and was thrilled when he made his first All Star team in 2005. During his 9-year major league career Roberts has twice been an All Star. He has also paced the American League in stolen bases and in doubles, twice. At 31 years old Roberts is already established as one of the most prolific doubles hitters in baseball history. Over the last 6 seasons he has averaged 46 doubles a year. He set his personal best last year with 56 which was the 3rd time he topped 50 doubles in a season. He is only the 4th player in baseball history to top 50 doubles in a season 3 times. The others are Stan Musial, Tris Speaker and Paul Waner. Pretty good company.

In 2007 he played in his second All Star Game and ended the season with 50 stolen bases. This put him in a tie for the American League lead in stolen bases with my other favorite player Carl Crawford. After the '07 season Roberts also confessed to having used anabolic steroids.
Last year I was able to see every game the Orioles played in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Of course I wanted the Rays to win, but I want Roberts to do well in a losing effort. On September 29th of last year Roberts hit his 56th double of the season against the Rays. He has hit quite a few doubles at the Trop, but none as significant as that one. Not only did his 56 doubles lead the majors, he set the record for most doubles in a single season by a switch hitter. Thanks in part to his record setting season, Roberts was awarded the trophy as Most Valuable Oriole for the 2009 season. Roberts also played in the 2009 World Baseball Classic for Team USA. He hit .438 with a homer, 2 RBI and a stolen base. The US fell to Japan in the semifinals.

Roberts has spent his entire career with Baltimore and he has signed a contract extension that will keep him there until 2014. At present his 318 career doubles places him 50th on the list of active players. His 256 steals is 20th among current players. Over the past 3 seasons he has scored over 100 runs. Baseball Reference shows his 162 game average as follows: .284 batting average, 182 hits, 45 doubles, 5 triples, 11 homers and 63 RBI. Add in 104 runs scored, 73 walks and 37 steals with a .356 on base % and a .421 slugging %. Pretty awesome numbers for a lead-off man. With the success of Aaron Hill, Robinson Cano, Ben Zobrist and Dustin Pedroia, there is a lot of competion for the top second baseman in the American League, but I think 2010 will belong to Brian Roberts. When he is at the Trop he is still the enemy, but I will be quietly pulling for him.

I am slowly trying to document a full list of all of the cards I own of Roberts. They are seperated year by year on the side bar. I have been lucky enough to interview Roberts several times over the years for several different websites and publications. If I can get permission I plan on reprinting them on this blog. I hope to have the chance to catch up with Roberts next month in spring training.
Thanks to everyone for checking out this new venture. As I get more cards in my collection, I will update these pages and post the cards. I will occasionally post other Baltimore Orioles cards on this page, too. This page will not be updated as frequently as some of the other blogs in the Nitty Gritty blog family, but during the baseball season, I will update it with Roberts recaps.

Anyone with Brian Roberts cards up for trade can e-mail be at: bacontowne at yahoo dot com.

As I get my collection more organized I will have all of my dupes listed and made available for other fans. As is standard with the other blogs in the Nitty Gritty blog family there will be a contest upcoming that may or may not include a Brian Roberts autograph as a prize to celebrate gathering 25 followers. The blog roll for this one includes ONLY those bloggers who have sent me Brian Roberts cards. The blogroll on the Collective Troll has over 200 blogs on it. EVERY blog listed HERE is a safe, reliable, generous and recommended trader. I will ONLY list GOOD traders on this blog roll. Just saying. If I missed you, let me know. I haven't chosen an ending catch phrase yet, so I will end by saying I CAN'T WAIT FOR SPRING TRAINING!!!!


What you get when your favorite player plays AGAINST your favorite team. You just have to hope that he goes 4 for 4 with no RBI or runs scored. The headline should read “Roberts is Lone Bright Spot as Rays Crush Orioles”. The headline wouldn’t have worked for this game but Jeff Niemann earned his 11th win and Chris Tillman took his first loss as the Rays beat the O’s 3-1. The bright spot for the Orioles came from Matt Wieters solo homerun in the 8th inning…

This blog page will be the place for me to track and show off my collection of Brian Roberts cards and track his progress and success this year. Thanks for checking it out...

During the season I will post B-Robs numbers from each game. I will also post at least 1 new card each week.

I am slowly working on a list of Roberts cards that I own. It will be organized year by year. These lists will be on the side bar.

I will quietly root for him when he is up to bat at Tropicana Field...