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What's your goofiest piece of Baltimore sports memorabilia?

Welcome back to Connolly's Corner Sports Bar. Like what we did with the place?

We had a little hiatus and you probably thought I was being lazy and didn’t feel like doing much around Father’s Day.

Not a bad theory; not completely accurate.

While you were gone, we have shifted some things around. We now have a different entrance. You can now find new posts and visit the bar via the Toy Department.


If Wal-Mart can include a barbershop, a McDonald’s and a grocery store, the Toy Department can encompass a corner sports bar.

If you don’t think a toy store and a bar are compatible, you’ve obviously never shopped for a Wii with a 10-year-old. It is reason No. 1 for a stiff drink.

Anyway, what does this change mean for my loyal customer? Nothing, really.

We’ll still be a click away on The Sun’s baseball and sports site pages. You’ll still see my smiling face most of the time (a real attraction, I know) and we will still be serving up the same daily questions with a dash of attempted humor.

The bonus is that I’ll be joining some of my fine Sun colleagues in a larger collaborative effort and you’ll get one-stop shopping. And, on the occasion in which I am not blogging, you’ll have other cool things in the Toy Department to check out.

Should be a win-win. So, first Toy Department beer is on me.

As for today's question. It comes from my buddy and electronic sports media guru Mark Viviano, who recently asked his listeners about their strangest piece of Baltimore sports memorabilia.

He offered the idea to me – and I thought it would be a great one for our first day in this new locale.

Basically we are looking for something goofy that you collected presumably because you thought it would have some worth or special meaning, And you held on to it for no particular reason. (If you don’t have something local, I’ll take something national. Just make it random and bizarre).

I have one: More than a decade ago, before my baseball-writing career began, I was given a Calvin Pickering autographed baseball – back when he was starting out as a minor leaguer. It seemed cool at the time. I figured how could a guy that big, that strong and that super-hyped fail?

The answer: Pretty quickly and easily.

Honestly, I have no idea where that baseball is, but I didn’t intentionally get rid of it, so I am sure it is around somewhere.

My guess is that was my last autographed piece of memorabilia. What a way to go out.

So what’s yours?

Daily Think Special: What’s your strangest piece of Baltimore sports memorabilia? How about national sports memorabilia?


During the final days at Memorial Stadium they had in-stadium drawings for basically anything that was not nailed down. I won an autographed chair from the visitor's dugout. Awesome!!!!!

When I came to pick it up several weeks later, I realized it wasn't this plush sofa chair that the players relax on but a cheap, white, plastic lawn chair autographed by Tony Phillips. Still got it and no one has ever sat in it. Even have the "Certificate of Authenticity" to prove it is legit.

Nevertheless, this piece of memorabilia is not sitting next to my Ryan Minor or David Delucci autographed baseballs which I still proudly display in my office.

As a kid I saved a popcorn mega phone from a game Boog hit a HR in. I got him to autograph it a couple days later in the parking lot of Memorial Stadium. No I couldn't sell it for any value, but to me it's pretty special. Tha's about as goofy as I got.

The Toy department, huh? Sounds like the corner bar moved to the mall...I'll get used to it I guess.

My goofiest piece of Baltimore sports memorabilia is a hockey puck that I caught, yes caught, at a Skipjacks game in 1983 or '84. It sits inside an Oriole's tankard depicting the 1983 world champs.

I have an old bobble head, probably early 60's. Another that is not goofy is a baseball signed by the '57 Orioles. My mom was a nurse at Mercy and took care of the late sportswriter, Jesse Linthicum, and he was nice enough to get her a ball for her son i.e., me.

I still have the collectible chicken bucket lids from English's grill that features different members of the '83 Orioles. I even had one of them signed by John Lowenstein.

My uncle swore those things would be valuable some day, but I have yet to place them on my homeowner's policy.

Host Dave and Poster Dave:

I understand the popcorn megaphone thing completely. I had one from game 3 of the 1970 World Series ( I was 11 years old at the time). Sadly I lost that and a program autographed by Elrod Hendricks and Dave Leonhard, plus other cool Os stuff I had, when our basement flooded about 13 years ago. I was able to salvage a scrapbook I made as a school project in 1970 though. It has virtually every word the old Baltimore New American (sorry Sun!) printed about the Os in May and early June of that year.

I have a Teddy Bear in an O's uniform that my children gave me when they were very young. They named him Cal Ripken Bear. Kind of goofy but of sentimental value, And I have a Budweiser Beer color photo of the original 1954 Baltimore Orioles. I thought I'd sell it on Ebay for a fortune but there was no market for it. I think I told you already about my Gus Triandos Armour Meat Baseball Coin.

My in-laws have the commemorative Coke bottle from the 1983 WS victory, still unopened. I wonder what that Coke would taste like today!

1) Strangest I own: Don Stanhouse's road jersey from 1979.

2) Strangest I've seen: Once at Fanfest, there was a guy in line in front of me for David Segui's autograph (talk about time wasted!!). He held a large men's room sign from Memorial Stadium and was getting players who had, um, played there to sign it.

i have a scrapbook from 1966 of the baltimore sun coverage of the orioles world series vs dodgers...excellent shape and my first real connection to the orioles...have been a fan ever since.

Fruit Loops box autographed by Mickey Tettleton.

I have 3 glass bottles of RC Cola that was given out at a game in 1984 celebrating the O's World Series win in 1983. I think it's pretty cool, but I cannot imagine what 25 year old RC Cola tastes like!

I don't think it's goofy, but I have a half-circle white, black, and orange banner from the 4th and final game of the 1966 World Series. This is not a's an approximately 8' wide banner that hung from the stadium wall.

Probably my oddest piece of memorabilia is a baseball autographed by Jim Weaver of the California Angels. (Continue reading for the Baltimore connection and what makes this autograph special.)

Jim was a pitcher for the Angels in 1967 and 68. He pitched decently for most of two seasons, but then due to injuries, was sent to the minors and never really got back on track with his baseball career. Later in life, Jim became a salesman in the Lancaster/York area- which is how I met him. I got to talking to him one day about his baseball days, and came to learn that he has one real "claim to fame" from his playing days. He's the pitcher who gave up Reggie Jackson's very first home run.

I collect novelty baseballs and autographed balls, but this is one of the more unusual auotgraphs in my collection.

Back in 1989 I had the opportunity to be honorary Orioles bat boy for the day. I got to hang out on the field during batting practice and then go back to my seat once the game started. Great fun for me as a 10 yr old. Anyways, that night Joan Jett sang the national anthem and Randy "Moose" Milligan walked me out to meet her. We shook hands, the three of us appeared on the Jumbo Tron, and I had both of them sign a baseball. So, I have a ball signed "Keep on Rockin' - Joan Jett" and Randy "Moose" Milligan. What an odd pairing!

I have ball that I took to all the games as a kid which was signed by O's greats such as Brooks, Eddie, Palmer, Bumbry, Dempsey, Tippy and the likes of Dave Skaggs, Larry Harlow, Andres Mora, and Fred Holdsworth. All that mattered to me was that they were wearing Orioles Uniforms. Of course Elrod is also on the ball and would not trade the thing for anything.

I actually have a barf bag autographed by Reggie Jackson. I got it in 1976 when I was 12 and Reggie was with the Orioles.

It's a long story, but here goes.

I was living in Pittsburgh at the time and was a huge Orioles fan. We were in Philadelphia visiting relatives and the Orioles were in New York, so my dad suggested we take the train to see the Orioles play the Yankees. I woke up and felt incredibly sick. I didn't tell my dad because I desperately wanted to see the Orioles.

Well I threw up on the train, I threw up on the steps of St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC and I threw up outside Yankee Stadium. I made it through the game, the Orioles won and Reggie even homered.

Waiting at the train station after the game, there was no place to sit, so I laid on the floor, yes, I felt that bad. Somewhere along the way someone gave me a paper bag, to use as a barf bag.

When we got on the train, I noticed a man walk by that was Reggie Jackson. I don't know why he was on the train, and not the rest of the team, but it was him. I went up and asked for his autograph, but had nothing for him to sign. So I ripped off the top part of my barf bag and he signed it.

I hated Reggie after he left the Orioles, so it's rather appropriate his autograph is on a barf bag.

I recently saw Arty Donovan at the MVA and got him to sign the sheet of paper that the MVA had sent me in the mail letting me know it was time to renew my license. It was great to meet him and get a weird piece of memorabilia to remember the occasion with!

I have a styrofoam baseball I caught at the parade when the O's came to town in 1954. A little dirt right now but still a great memory.

Two things: An Esskay hot dog wrapper from the last game at Memorial Stadium, and during a rain delay, I recovered 50 souvineer cups from the stands in 1992 (I was young and unaware of germs).

I won't say where I got it - other than to say that I did not remove it from a signpost - but I have an old metal sign with a Colts helmet and the words "Colts Trail." I guess it was to mark the way to a parking lot.

No clue what I will do with it, since I'm no longer a Colts fan, but I can't bear to get rid of it.

My wife and I had a partial year season ticket plan, and one of the beer vendors, Greg, became friendly with us because we gave him so much business. He gave me the beer vendor apron he wore at the last game played at Memorial Stadium, which we also attended.

1980 Baltimore Blast home jersey. Dosen't fit me anymore but should fit my 6 year old soon. Also have a signed soccer ball from the entire 1980 team.

Not sure I care for the bright lights in here, but I guess they'll return to their customary dingy hue over time. At least the crowd still seems good. JD is the early clubhouse leader for best story so far.

Don't know that I have anything that really qualifies. I had some felt pennants signed by members of the Frederick Keys back when my kids were in t-ball, I think the most notable signee was Calvin Maduro. I think we had a little league bat signed by the Oriole Bird at a league picnic one year. Have tons of plastic drink cups from various sporting venues - for some reason my wife doesn't hold them in the same esteem I do. Last weekend I picked up one of those mini batting helmets with ice cream at the Orioles-Phillies game in Philly. Back in 2003 I took my sons on a road trip to Montreal because I thought it was going to be the last year the Expos were there, but they stayed another year, making my souvenir medallion from the gift shop not quite so special. Someplace I have autographs from Ed Watt, a B&W pic of Paul Blair, game ticket signed by Boog at his BBQ stand, and scads of game tickets from all manner of sporting events. All basically worthless, and most of it I don't know that I could find easily, except for the cups and tickets from the past few years that are piled on a shelf near my closet.

It's not that weird an item, but it fits in with what some of the other patrons have posted. I have Cal Ripken's autograph on a sunday school handout. Cal was, and always will be, my favorite player so there's no way I'm ever going to part with it.

I was in 5th grade (1986) and remember one Sunday morning after church, my family stopped by Valley View in Cockeysville to get some gardening items. As if church and sunday school weren't enough torture for a kid, my parents liked to make stops to these sort of places that don't interest kids in the least bit every Sunday after church. So, we're out in one of the greenhouses looking at plants, when I see this guy moving boxes to get to a bottom box in the stack, and I don't think anything of it. My Dad goes to me "I think that's Cal Ripken over there." I'm like, yeah right- why in the world would Cal Ripken the baseball player be here at Valley View on a Sunday morning? I'm sure he has people for this sort of thing. My Dad was insistent that it was him, so I asked my Mom if she had a pen and something to write on and she pulls out this handout from Sunday school that I had given her (like I was going to hold onto it). I walk up to Cal and was like "excuse me Mr. Ripken, can I please have your autograph." He turns around, and sure enough, the man in the 8's shirt was him and he gladly signed my paper. I thanked him and walked away all happy to have Cal Ripken's autograph. The following week, I took it into school for show and tell and told the story- and nobody cared. Quite disappointing. I have that autograph tucked away in my baseball card collection, out of the sunlight; the paper has yellowed, but the autograph is still crystal clear!

I have an O's jersey with the following signatures: Jay Gibbons, Raphael Palmero, Miguel Tejada, and Larry Bigbie. So I acquired these signatures on my jersey over a couple seasons then one news story after another it turns out all these names are affiliated with steroids. If I can get Sosa and Segui I'll have the complete "Steriod Jersey", but then I may be in too deep and my house will get raided like Jason Grimsley's.

I have Albert Belle's entire game uniform from his last game in Baltimore (and his career). I got both the pants and jersey afte the final home game of the season.....

Yes, yes, exciting I know!

I have a SILVER (yes SILVER!) shiny metallic looking orioles hat that I got way back when they did Turn Ahead the Clock day. They wore those goofy black and silver jerseys and if I'm not mistaken, Albert Belle hit three home runs in that game! What a throwback!

Follow up post:

I also have a Baltimore Stallions travel mug (anyone remember our champion CFL team?) and a bat signed by the Harrisburg Senators team mascot "Uncle Slam." Future Oriole Armando Benitez was pitching for the Bowie Bay Sox against the Senators that night.

I have a small vile of gravel from the warning track at Memorial that someone gave to me. I have a very nice O's refrigerator magnet from 83. From that same year, I also have the unopened bottle of Coke celibrating the World Series title. I confidently promised my then wife that "when" we repeated next year, I'd drink said Coke, if next year, then the year after, hell we were in the hunt every year, it was just a matter of time... That promiss stands. When Nick and Adam and Matt bring us our next title sometime soon, I'll hold my nose and chug that Coke with pride.

I have the "FLOOR CLOSED" sign that used to sit at center court of Cole Field House. I was stolling through there one night on my way home from a night on Rte 1 and just thought it'd look nice in my dorm.

If i pop in my vcr tape from June 19, 1986 its clearly visible in all the local news teams broadcasts from Cole.

i have a baseball that was signed by billy hunter, and jim hartzell. the latter name is so significant of course, because he is the one who came up with the original oriole bird logo when it was announced that the st. louis browns were moving to baltimore in september of 1953. as i'm sure many of you remember, jim hartzell was the cartoonist who drew the bird on the top of the sports section in the sun for many years. the baseball is so special (to me at least), because after he signed it, he drew his famous oriole bird logo right next to it. if you would like to see pictures of the ball -or- for a more detailed version of how i got the baseball, and met mr. hartzell for that matter... you can check out the entry in my blog:

unfortunately hartzell is no longer with us... and those of us who were fortunate enough to know him, know he will be greatly missed.

I have half of Randy Milligan's bat.

When I was in High School, the administration paid for this motivational speaking group to perform at one of our assemblys, and several lesser-known Orioles were also in attendance as well. They were a group of body builder type guys talking all about if you put your mind to it and work hard, you can do anything. And as part of their schtick, they'd do these feats of strength - like ripping a phone book in half, snapping a bat, etc. Well, some of my friends were on tech crew, and after the assembly, I got out of my next class by offering to stay after and clean up the auditorium. When cleaning up, i found the half of a bat that one of the motivational weirdos had broken in half, and it had Moose's number 39 written on the bottom. I kept it, and still have it packed away in the basement with my baseball cards and other assorted sports memorabilia collected along the way.

A funny aside, several months after the motivational crew appeared at our school assembly, they were hired to speak for the Anaheim Angels. I forget which player it was, but I remember reading later that one of the Angels players in attendance went on the disabled list after he injured himself trying to rip a phone book in half.

I have 2 strange items 1 Nick MaMarkakis aoutograph jersey in which sosa was taken off and Markakis put on. (clearence jersey cost abot 25 including name removal and new put on) Also I have a Markakiis autograph asa softball

I have a tee shirt from Cal Ripken's Father in Law's 65 Birthday. They gave it to the band that played at his house that evening.

I also

I have a signed picture of David Newhan with myself and friend. My buddy and I were at fanfest and Newhan was trying to make his way out of the crowd and my buddy accidentally shoved Newhan to get by. So we stopped for a picture. I later had him sign it when he was with Bowie.

Good ol' David Newhan.

A Fernando Lunar signed ex-girlfriend's tank top.

Back in the '80's the O's used to do barnstorming basketball tours for charities. One year in the late '80's my high school scheduled one of these games to help pay for a new gym they were building. Among those who were on the basketball team at the time were Cal Ripken and Al Bumbry (who was a minor league coach at that point). At half time the team signed autographs. The Cal line was naturally long so I went for the "Bee" line first. When I got to Al I handed him my program with the page where his picture was to sign on it. But as he took it from me he flipped the program over which is where Cal's picture was. He stopped for a moment, looked at the picture, and said, "Man everyone thinks I'm Cal", and then he laughed and signed over Cal's picture. That killed any chance of me waiting in Cal's line.

Another one, was my dad was working in Baltimore in the mid-'80's and one of his co-workers was the husband of the secretary of the University of Maryland athletic office. So he was able to get my dad (and me) Terps paraphenalia and "inside info" on the goings on at the athletic dept. In 1985 the Terps made the Cherry Bowl in Detroit where thet beat Syracuse. My dad's co-worker got me an official Maryland Cherry Bowl coaches shirt. That turned out to be the one and only Cherry Bowl ever.

I have a ball fouled into the stands by Minnie Minnoso of the White Sox. My dad caught the ball, 1954 or 1955. Means a lot to me, my dad passed away April 29.

I had a pair of Lenn Sakata's cleats, but lost them over the years. Don't ask how I got them.

Does this mean that all bar food now comes out of an easy bake oven? That the bouncers all have "kung fu grip"? That the hot blonde in the corner is Malibu Barbie and lives in her "dream house"? Wont ask what she is doing here without Ken . . . that is their business. Cool trick serving pop rocks on the bar with your beer.

I used to have a empty champagne bottle that came out from the Orioles clubhouse after winning the series in 1970. I was at the game and afterwards me and my dad went to try and get autograghs outside and he got handed a freshly emptied bottle without a label. I was probably the only 10 yr old kid with a empty champagne bottle on his shelf but it was special to me.

My younger brother is adopted from Korea. On the night he came in 1989, the Orioles were departing for a road trip out of BWI. It was around midnight, so there weren't a lot of people in the airport. As we were leaving, the team was arriving, and was waiting in line to go through security.

The last two people in line were Brady Anderson and Gregg Olson. My uncle is very outgoing, and walked up to Brady and Gregg and asked them to pose for a picture with my brothers. Not only did they agree, but Brady said a few words in Korean to my brother which was pretty cool.

Two weeks later, Brady was signing at a baseball card show. I had the picture developed by then, and he personalized the back for my brother.

I have an un-opened glass coca-cola bottle with the 1983 World Championship Baltimore Orioles logo on it!

I have a softball autographed by Morganna "the Kissing Bandit."

She dotted the n's to create a special, illustrative effect.

I have a Leo Gomez autographed baseball I got as an 11 yr old at a Hagerstown Suns game. Sits proudly on display with my other O's memorabilia

I have Mark Belanger's uniform pants from the 1969 season, along with Chico Salmon's long-sleeve undershirt with the black sleeves that was worn under the uniforms. I also have a game ball I caught (ricochet off the mezzanine) hit by Mickey Mantle on Sept. 20, 1958. Ring a bell? Hoyt Wilhelm's no hitter. I was 13 at the time. I've often wondered if it is worth anything because there's no way I know of to authenticate it.

I have a CFL Baltimore Colts -- Colts not Stallions -- key ring.

lol, I have a Larry Sheets signed baseball, picture and cards. His family is from the same small town that I lived in.

My dad also pitched against Harold Baines in one of the Bayside Championship games when he was in high school. And I have my Dad's jersey from the game. I don't know if that counts, I wasn't even thought about being conceived at that time. My Dad tells me stories about how Baines was hitting everything out in batting practice, so he intentionally walked him every AB. They ended up losing 2-1 in 10 innings, and my Dad pitched all 10 innings.

When I was 9 my Little Leage had a raffle of autographed memorabila. I won an autographed, framed Cal Bar Candybar wrapper. I know there cannt be many of those around but I'd be curious to know how many people actually remember the Cal Bar.

I have the hot dog wrapper of my meal still from my only trip to Memorial Stadium from 1988. I kept the popcorn box and paper cups too. At lleast the box and cups have O's logos on them.

not so unusual, just sentimental..

had johnny u autograph a memorial
stadium brick prior to his passing
the following year in sep.

he also stuck his tongue at my wife
and mom when we tried to get
his picture for free.....

A friend of mine has a Glenn Davis orioles baseball card autographed by Boog Powell that he keeps in his wallet. He had kept the Glenn Davis card in his wallet as a reminder of how quickly everything can fall apart, and he had it at an Orioles game when Boog Powell was signing autographs. Wanting Boog Powell's autograph, but not having anything else of worth for him to sign, he gave Boog the card, who signed it without giving it a second glance. It was a really hot day and he was sitting right next to the barbecue which may explain why Boog wasn't the slightest bit surprised at seeing a Glenn Davis card shoved gleefully in his face.

So there you have it. A Glenn Davis card autographed by Boog Powell, the irony of ironies. He still keeps it in his wallet too. I say it's bad karma, but what would I know?

The Spring before Camden Yards opened I was able to get a tour of the building and picked up a paving block that was being used for all the walkways around the stadium. It now sits in my garden and brings back memories.

Don't know if this will qualify as O's memorabilia or not. I have an autographed team picture of the Orioles FIRST Champions, having won the International League Series against Louisville. Memorable names such as Sherm Lollar, Howitzer Howie Moss, Bob Latshaw, Tommy Thomas, Mgr., etc. As a loyal O's fan of 14, I was at every home game that year (I lived two blocks from the stadium and walked up and hooked in by climbing the fence every night after they moved in following the 4th of July fire that destroyed their 29th and Greenmount ballpark. I wasn't counted but was among the more than 52,000 who attended the first game of the Junior World Series, exceeding the count at any game of the Major League World Series that year between The Cardinals and the St. Louis Browns, The Browns, just ten years later, would become the Oriole team that we now sometimes compare to those woeful teams that the Browns fielded over the years. What goes around comes around.

Yes, some of us do remember the champion CFL Colts.

I have piles of memorabilia from that incarnation of the Colts - season ticket stubs from both years, pennants, Matchbox trucks in unopened packages with the first season's schedule on it, shirts, sweaters... and one of the hanging banners that hung from the light poles along 33rd St. Never quite sure how my father ever got a hold of it, but it's been hanging proudly in the basement ever since the team brought the city the Grey Cup.

Long live the last true Baltimore football team.

A couple of years ago someone gave me a Baltimore Colt paper coffee cup or hot chocolate, it certainally had been used, from Memorial Stadium. It has the Colt horse jumping through the goal post with a helmet on the horse's head. It is now in a plastic baggie in my garage and I've become quit fond of it over the years. It's close to the team picture of the '58 Baltimore Colt Championship team. Pretty nice of the guy who gave me that because he knew I was a fan.

Long before anyone even thought of Camden Yards, I got a seat back from Memorial Stadium. I think it was '79 or '80 and the place was 1/2 empty. I had my feet up on the seat in front of me and the rivets broke. I just walked out with it and no one said a thing. Now I have it attached to the back of my toilet in the den.

In 2003 my son 2 year old son broke his leg and was in a body cast. We went to Ravens Camp and I asked if I could hold him in the children's area and they said "NO" but then they escorted me and him to the base of the steps going into Gill Gym. Each player had to walk by us. Almost everyone signed his ball and his cast. Peter Boulware stood by Jake and I the entire time talking with us and getting the other players to stop. Todd Heap was in the training room and came out to sign his cast. Only Brian Billick and Ray Lewis did not come over because of TV stuff. But a member of the Ravens staff came by with autographed 8x10's of both.

Is it appropriate to drink beer in the Toy Department? What will the kids think? What will the parents say?

i have a question for you that i hope you can help me with or head me the right way. i am looking for a baltimore oriole, stuffed mascot from the 1970's i believe. it was about 13+ inches tall, the old logo type bird mascot,with the hat logo being the swinging bird. my dad had one and gave it to my daughter before he was destroyed. do you maybe know the one i'm talking about and maybe where i can find another one? i hope you can help me out!
renee aitken

I have a plush oriole bird looks to be in the 70's to 80's. Found it in a box of 70's orioles memorabilia. it is approx 10 inches tall, all plush, wih large black vinyl feet, has the old oriole style hat on. any idea how old this is or if it has any value???

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