Monday, May 21, 2012


Do you have a card or piece of memorabilia that you consider priceless, an item you'd never sell regardless of what you could get?

Here's mine: a 1970 Orioles team baseball. 

I bought this at a mall card show in Tampa in the early '90s. I think I paid $80 for it. The dealer didn't know the year, but I knew it was either '69 or '70. I was really hoping it was the latter, because that's my favorite O's team of all time.

(The only difference is hitting coach Charlie Lau was with the '69 Orioles and was replaced by Jim Frey in '70.)

There were 27 signatures when I purchased this ball. One important one was missing, as far as I was concerned: lefty Mike Cuellar. At first, I didn't let it bother me, but I kept remembering my first game I attended at Memorial Stadium. Cuellar started against the A's and I kept cheering for him, yelling "Come on, Clee-are!!''

A couple years after I purchased the ball, Cuellar was appearing at an old-timer's card show that benefited the Baseball Assistance Team. I presented the ball to have him add his long omitted autograph. I remember him taking a lot of time to look it over, convinced he did sign it back in 1970. He then added the signature and my beloved ball was complete.

So what's your priceless sports memorabilia item?

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