A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Thursday, October 23, 2014

These Guys...


So, if you're like me, you're stupid.

Wait, hold on, you didn't let me finish.  If you're like me, you're stupid and when you buy a pack of baseball cards, you cling to the hope that a specific card that you want is actually going to be in there.  

Has that happened before?

Probably.

Maybe.

Not enough to actually justifying buying packs instead of cherry-picking cards online.  But how can a collector of cards (well, at least modern cards) resist the urge to rip a pack from time to time?  I can't, but have kept the pack purchases pretty limited.  Much better to choose the cards/players I want.

For example, that red foil parallel of Padres fan favorite Alexi Amarista above.  Amarista is a great utility guy to have off the bench, though he was pressed into the starting lineup due to various struggles with the Padres regulars.  He performed better than expected, but it'd be nice to have a real everyday guy at center and short.  But if you haven't witnessed it before, an Alexi Amarista home run is a beautiful thing.

I guess if we're talking about fan favorites, I'd be remiss not to talk about my favorite Padre since Tony Gwynn and Steve Finley: Chris Denorfia.  Unfortunately, Deno was traded to the Mariners at the trade deadline, but it may have solidified his spot on the Topps Update checklist, so I guess there was a silver lining.  As strange as it may be seeing Norf in a Mariners uniform, I'll probably have to get used to something new for next year: he's a free agent, and after having a down year with the Padres in 2014, he was flat out horrendous in Seattle, and I'd be surprised if they sign him in 2015, since he's a free agent this offseason.

Unlike Amarista, I think I'll continue the tradition of putting together the Denorfia Topps Update rainbow, something I've done since 2011.

Fortunately, the trade deadline wasn't all bad news for the Padres.  They found Chase Headley a new (though perhaps temporary) home in New York, and in exchange got a minor league arm and Yangervis Solarte (a name so long, it almost bleeds into the picture on the card).  Looking at the numbers after the trade, both fared about the same, though I might give Headley a very slight edge.  Solarte will be with the Padres for more than a few months, and the Yankees didn't make the playoffs, so I guess the Padres might've come out ahead.  Slightly.

In the one game I went to this season, we (my dad and my brothers) dressed up in brown robes like friars and made signs.  Mine said "SOLARTE POWER".  We didn't make it on the jumbotron.

Oh, did I forget to mention that even though this card doesn't have a fancy colored border, it's still extra special because it is a "photo variation".  Solarte got some extra special treatment in the Update set after a hot start.

Now that Denorfia is gone, Solarte is my new favorite position player on the Padres (Andrew Cashner is my overall favorite).  Of all the cards in Update, these were the three that I looked forward to getting the most.

Let's look at the backs:

Looking back at it, no Mariners fans will say that he was an "ideal trade deadline addition", as the Mariners, a surprise contender towards the end of the year, fizzled and missed the playoffs.  Still, he is a "positive clubhouse presence", and hits leftys well.  I'd love to see him back in San Diego next year, though it probably won't happen.

Saying that Alexi is "trustworthy" at six positions is probably a stretch (unless you are very trusting, which manager Bud Black is), but I like him best at short (not just a height joke).  He's 5'8", and the main reason I wanted to show any of the backs of these cards was to show that his "Little Ninja" moniker made it on a baseball card.

Not much to add here, except "Hey, he played for the Round Rock Express last year!"  Of course, last year was the first year since 2009 that I didn't go to a game.  Oh well.

Anyways, yeah, for this Padre fan, these are the guys that I get excited about collecting.  I'd love to have some flashy all star (or heck, even just a good old fashioned above average player) to root for, but these are my guys, and I like 'em.

On an unrelated note, this is my 700th post.  That's a nice round number, huh?

In terms of Padres stats, here's some 700s for you:

Only 12 players in Padres history have more than 700 hits (Gwynn, Templeton, Winfield, Richards, Headley, Giles, Gonzalez, Nevin, Kennedy, Klesko, Colbert, Santiago).
Only 2 players in Padres history have more than 700 strikeouts (Chase Headley and Nate Colbert).
Only Tony Gwynn has more than 700 runs or RBI or walks.

I'll let you know when I get to 3,134.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Heritage Minors


Well, if you're a fan of one of the 28 teams not in the World Series right now, you're probably looking forward to next season already.  I mean, like the overwhelming majority of baseball fans, I'm pulling for the Royals to win it, but I still spend more time thinking about my Padres.

For me, no set is more geared to thinking about the future than the Heritage Minors set.

Sure, Bowman has a bunch of hot, up and coming prospects, but it seems like Heritage has a few more players that will be making an impact sooner rather than later.

So, let's take a look at the Padres team set from this year's Heritage Minors set, starting with the Yeison Asencio relic above.  Pretty sure that deep blue jersey swatch isn't from a San Antonio Missions jersey, so that's… interesting.

Of the four minor league clubs that were included in the set, here are the two teams that only had one card.  Matt Wisler tore up A and AA ball, but wasn't quite as hot when he joined the AAA El Paso Chihuahuas.  Seemed to find a groove late in the season and seemed primed for a late season call up, but the call never came.  Look to see him compete for a starting rotation gig in Spring training.  This is the Chihuahuas first year of existence, and even though I'm not a big fan of the name (I thought that Aardvarks woulda been a cool name, as it was one of the finalists in the voting), this is a good looking card.

Hunter Renfroe is a hot Padres prospect that has a lot of raw power and looks to be a future fixture at a corner outfield position.  Seems like he's doing pretty well in the Arizona Fall League right now.  Go Storm!  Lake Elsinore is a great place to catch a game if you get the chance.

Here are two players that I got to see this year when I went down to San Antonio.  Austin Hedges is a pretty unanimous #1 prospect by everybody.  He's a great defensive catcher, calls a good game, and has got a cannon for an arm and a quick release.  The question continues to be his bat, and for that, I'm a little weary of getting too excited about having him be promoted.  Yeison Asencio won a single A batting title a few years ago, back when he was playing under a false name.  Not a highly ranked prospect, but has done well in both the games that I saw him play in.

Cory Spangenberg is probably my favorite of the Padres prospects.  He was a big surprise to get a September call up, even though he never played any AAA ball.  He did pretty well, coming up with some clutch hits and seems like he might not be quite the light hitter he was billed as.  I'm excited to see how he progresses from now til next season.  My first year at spring training, my brother Ammon and I both got him to sign a ball for us, so that was kinda cool as well.

Oh, and I'm a sucker for San Antonio Missions cards because I love those jerseys.  I like how they incorporated the Alamo into the design.  If you haven't been there, it comes highly recommended if you are ever in the San Antonio area.  And I don't think I'm normally one to get excited about visiting historical sites.  Very cool place.

Here's a trio of Tincaps.  A little less to get excited about here, in my opinion.  Walker Weickel was a high draft pick a few years ago who has put up some brutal numbers in the minors thus far.  I guess he's only 20, so there's plenty of time for him to figure it out, but a ERA of 5.94 last year (5.44 career) doesn't seem promising.  Gotta love a cool catcher card of Dan Phillips, but seems like he'd be blocked by Hedges as far as playing for the Padres is concerned.  Max Fried is supposed to be the real deal, but has had Tommy John surgery, and based on the Padres luck, I'd be surprised to see him come back any time soon.

Oh, and the eBay seller who I got this from included this Phillips are of him sans logo.  Pretty generous, though these cards look horrendous.

Well, there you have it, all of the Padres include in the Heritage set this year.  I think there are a few autos/relics/shortprints, but here are the base cards.  I keep telling myself that sometime I'll get a hobby box of Heritage Minors and do a break, but… well, this wasn't the year, I guess.  Easy enough to pick on eBay anyways.

Any other Heritage Minors fans out there?

EDIT: I wrote this late at night and left out a few things that I had meant to include.
1) The Tincaps have the best uniforms in the Padres organization, but only because the Eugene Emeralds are now with the Cubs.  Love seeing their cards.
2) I wish that Trea Turner had been added to the checklist, but he was a draft pick this year, and I guess they didn't include those.
3) Walker Weickel's mustache is awesome.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Donruss


So yesterday, I posted my findings from my first foray into 2014 Topps Update.  However, a few days before finding it, I went to the Target near me and, after not seeing any Update, settled for a rack pack of Donruss Series Two.  While I'm not really a big fan of this year's Donruss design, the inserts look pretty cool.

I have a page worth of Padres Diamond Kings from the 80s/90s, with a Chase Headley from this year's set included.  I guess Jedd Gyorko was included in the Diamond Kings set for Series 2, but I didn't get that one.  I got somebody named Manny Machado.  Meh.

Let's take a look at a base card.  This one is salvageable because a) star power, b) even though it's photoshopped, it's obvious that this is the White Sox retro uniform, and c) RATED ROOKIE!!!

Even with a less than stellar design, there are still some cards that are at least worth looking at.

Inserts, huh?  Let's look at a few more.  "The Rookies" actually look pretty good in my opinion, even though they're closer to an actual 80s Donruss card than anything else you'll find.  While I'm not much of a fan of late 80s Donruss, I like seeing modern players in the design.  I like the idea with the Studio cards, especially with a brand like Panini who doesn't have a license.  I think I've seen a few other cards like this that I liked, but this one of Joey Bats doesn't move the needle too much for me.

As is usually the case, the big hit of the rack pack for me was a Padre.  But not just any Padre - my favorite current Padre.  While it wasn't anything fancy (just the base card), it turned out that it was very needed.  I already had all of the parallels (well, at least the ones that I'm aware of), but all I was lacking was the lousy base card.

Here are the aforementioned parallels.  The two on top are the gold and silver Press Proofs.  On the bottom are the Season and Career Stat Lines.  A 3.55 career ERA isn't anything spectacular, but after a pretty good season in 2014, that's been lowered to a 3.25 (3.06 overall as a Padre, after beginning his career as a Cub).  His WHIP in 2013 of 1.131 was also bested in 2014, down to 1.127.  I don't know enough about WHIP to know if that's substantial or not.

Overall, Donruss is more miss than hit with me.  I really liked last year's Pinnacle set and wanted to see how they'd change it this year, but it looks like it was not to be.  Still, I like to show Panini a little love in hopes that they keep on working to pick away at the Topps monopoly.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Updates!


Well, I finally tracked down some Topps Update here in my corner of central Texas.  Does it sound weird to call it a "corner" if I live right smack dab in the middle of the state?  Maybe.  Poor word choice isn't a great way to start off a blog post I guess, but we'll press on.

After checking a few days in a row at the Walmart in town (and having no luck - as of this post they still don't have any), I happened to be near a Target a few towns over and stopped in to check what they had.  BINGO!  I was in business.

I know that Update is pretty much the exact same release as Series 1 & 2, but hey, it's a new checklist, and the idea of seeing guys in new uniforms is appealing to me.  Rookies cards?  I dunno, not big on my list of wants, but I'm sure that there's somebody who's happy to see Marcus Stroman's rookie card.  Me, I'll be adding it to the binders because there need to be more guys in the majors named Marcus.

With any purchase of cards, my main goal is to acquire as many Padres as possible.  Buying packs is the least effective way to do this, and this venture was no exception.  In fact, there would be no players in Padre uniforms at all.  Bummer.  However, I did pull this Kyle Blanks card, which is equal parts awesome and sad.  Awesome because, hey, it's Kyle Blanks, "The 88 Train" as he was known among Padre diehards.  And awesome because it was his first card in his new A's uniform.  Sad, however, because it reminded me of how much I liked him as a Padre and I kinda miss the guy.

Oh, and I felt like adding this card of Adrian Nieto because I'm a big fan of those White Sox uniforms.  I have a few others featuring those from this year's Topps set, I need to see how many there are and get the rest of them.  Spectacular.

If anybody ever opens a pack of Update without pulling an All Star card, let me know.  I'm pretty sure it's impossible.  While I think that they go a little overboard with the All Stars they include, I have a hard time saying no to the major names being added to the list, like Mike Trout, Jose Abreu, and… wait… Tyson Ross?  A guy who didn't even play in the All Star Game?

Well, I can't say that I wasn't pleased to see that he made the cut, though maybe a little odd since he didn't pitch at all.  Probably would've preferred seeing another Padre on the checklist who is still waiting for their first shot at a Topps card (Nick Vincent, Jesse Hahn, Odrisamer Despaigne, Kevin Quackenbush, Alex Torres, Dale Thayer, Jake Goebbert, Chris Nelson, etc.), but that's a subject for a different blog post.  Oh, but my claim that there were no players in Padre uniforms is true - that's an All-Star uniform.

The Yoenis Cespedes trade was, for me, the most shocking of the trade deadline.  Didn't see that one coming, but thought that it was great to see the A's go all in on 2014.  Looking back now at how the acquisitions of Jeff Samardzija and Jon Lester panned out, I wonder if any of their fans have any regrets.

 Oh, I busted a hanger box of the stuff, and it seemed like for every parallel card I pulled, I also pulled the base card as well.  In this case, however, I pulled three versions of the same card.  Even though the first Yo card I posted showed him in his Red Sox uniform, this card shows him as an Athletic (shown on the side of the card).  Kinda weird that there is no team logo on the bottom, just the All Star logo.  Pretty sure that the most recent releases had both on them.

I only got one of those "red hot foil" cards.  This is what it looks like.  One of the reasons I grabbed a hanger box was because I wanted to see if they had the "hanger box" only parallels like Series 1 (yellow) and Series 2 (burnt orange) did.  They don't.

Here are some pretty boring inserts.  Maybe these would be less boring if they were Padres instead of whoever they have on here, but I doubt it.  Pretty uninspired designs, if you ask me, but I think Topps used all of it's creativity for the "SaberStars" inserts.   

Wait a second!  I kinda like these, even if there aren't any Padres.  Lots of different colors, no border, good photography.  Alright Topps, I'll give this one to ya.

While the lack of Padres was disappointing, I still came away with a few keepers.  The Blanks, Nieto, and Stroman cards are binder-worthy, while the rest are going into the trade box.  However, the best of the box was this Kurt Suzuki card.  I already am a fan of Suzuki for being a catcher and for going to Cal State Fullerton at the same time as me (I was a freshman, he was a senior, and I never even went to a game, but that's still something, right?).  But it's been a while since I've been able to add to my "kids on cards" mini collection.  While most of the ASG cards were pretty boring (lots of standing around, wearing ugly uniforms shots from what I've seen so far), this one definitely stood out.

Will I be picking more up?  I guess maybe another rack pack before I call it a day, but this comes pretty close to whetting my appetite for "new" Topps cards.  At the end of the day, I'm still not crazy about the design, and there are more efficient ways to get Padres.

Has anybody else found it near them?  Or are you still waiting?  Maybe you just dont care?  I've already picked up a few cheap parallels off eBay, but if anybody pulls any cards of Yangervis Solarte or Chris Denorfia, let me know.  Base cards of Padres are cool too, I plan on getting the small Padres team set via blogger/reader trades, as is usually the case.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Players Players Players

Of the three trade packages that rolled into Backstop HQ last week, there were a lot of similarities.  The most exciting of these similarities was that each contained additions to my player collections.  Best of all - new Steve Finley cards.

On Topps' twitter feed yesterday, they asked who we would like to see get a "Fan Favorite" autograph in next year's Archives set.  I picked Archi Cianfrocco, who I'm sure has no chance, but I really would like to see Steve Finley get a shot at it.  The reason I didn't nominate him was that I didn't want to see him in another uniform.  He has an auto in a Panini set as a Diamondback, which is just gross.

Fortunately, in this trade package from Mark over at Remember The Astrodome included a card of my childhood baseball hero as I remember him best: a Padre.

On a Pinnacle card, no less!  I love Pinnacle, though the longer they were around, the more confusing it is to keep track of what set is what.  While I prefer cards featuring Fins with a glove in the field, this one still looks pretty sweet.  

Oh, and every package had Gwynn's galore, so that was also rad.  Here are six sizzling slabs of Gwynn cardboard.  I almost passed on the oddball in the bottom middle because I thought I already had it, but it turns out that there are a quite a few Tony Gwynn cards in the 1990 Starline set.  Now I've got two of them.  I'm also digging the mini Gwynn on the left.  Interesting how all of these cards show Tony in different uniforms.

Here's a trio of Bruce Ruffin cards.  It turns out that I already had the one in the middle, but I needed the ones on either side of it.  I especially love the one on the left, since I love anything that has to do with 1993 Upper Deck.  The Circa card has a quote from Ruffin that mentions how he likes being a reliever because he comes to the ballpark knowing that he might get in the game that night.  I read an article on ESPN.com a few days ago that quoted an Orioles bullpen guy as saying that they were all "failed relievers".  Ruffin started 152 games the first eight years of his career, and none the last four, so I guess you can decide for yourself if that quote applies here.

This is what a Topps coin looks like when you scan it.  Shoulda just used an actual camera.  I think these are really cool, but am kinda stumped on a good way to store these.

We'll round it out with a few non-Padres, but some pretty awesome cards nonetheless.  Scott Radinsky is, well, rad, and just look at that Benito card.  I think I might have to admit that, besides his '91 Topps card, all of his cards looked better once he left the Padres.  Most, if not all of it, has to do with the photography and shift in quality from the late 80s to the mid 90s.  Metal Universe cards are kind of hit and miss, but this one is definitely spot on.

One of the reasons I loved the Radinsky card (besides the cursive "C" on the hat that I really liked about those late 80s/early 90s Sox uniforms), is that on the back, it references his band Scared Straight. Due to his baseball career, he parted ways with the band, who had renamed themselves Ten Foot Pole. He formed Pulley, who I first heard on some late 90s/early 00s Epitaph records compilations.  Good stuff.  As far as I'm aware, this is the only card that references his music career.  I forgot to scan it before I put it in a binder, so here's a pirated image from comc.com.

Thanks a ton Mark!  Lots of great stuff, and it's good to have a guy to trade Astros with.  Hopefully you were able to use some of the ones I sent as well.  I really need to get down to Houston for a game - I have lived here for almost five years and haven't been to a big league game in Texas.  Next year the Padres play the Rangers in Arlington, so I think I'm going to grab the Friar robe and make the drive up the 35.  Still, Houston is the stadium that I think I'd rather see, so I'll have to try to work in a trip down there as well.

I guess I'm planning on living here indefinitely, so there's not too much of a rush.  Maybe they'll be a playoff contender by the time I make it down there!

They had a better record than the Rangers this year, so they've got that going for them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Gray GWYNNsday

It seems like the baseball card blogosphere is a pretty geographically diverse community.  I suppose there might be a little more on the coasts, but over all, it seems like we're pretty spread out.  I know of a few bloggers in Texas, like me, but I've sent out trade packages to a decent number of states.

Well, I'm not sure what the weather is like in the neck of the woods that you happen to call home, but here in central Texas, things are looking pretty dreary.  Clouds, rain, that kinda stuff.

Being raised in San Diego, I remember the handful of days a year it would rain and think, "Man, this is so depressing.  I can't believe that I was born in Oregon and if I still lived there, I would have to get used to this."  Fortunately (well, depending on how you look at it), it rarely rained, so I kept right on smiling right through the mild seasons.

Here in Texas, however, I've come to love the fall.  I'm not one of those people who says "Oh my!  I just need my seasons!"  Baseball season is the only season I care about, I don't really have a preference as far as the rest of them are concerned.  However, getting a break from the oppressive summer heat is a nice change of pace, and I've enjoyed it so far.

Alright, are we done talking about the weather?  Seriously, why did I just write three paragraphs about it?

You're losing it man, pull it together!

Moving on, the subject of today's GWYNNsday...

This appears to be a spring training shot of Mr. Padre, though it seems like we're looking at some possible April showers in the background.  Guess it kinda matches the gray border.  While this isn't my favorite Collector's Choice design, I love the photo.  Great bat barrel shot.

This card came my way via Bru, of the blog Remember the Astrodome.  Big Astros fan, that guy.  Fellow Texan as well.

For a card that came out seventeen years ago, you'd think I'd already have this one by now.  But, it wasn't until it came up from Houston that I was able to slide it into a page and catalog it.  Just goes to show.

This Gwynn pulls me pat 575 in the collection.  THAT is pretty impressive. 

Big thanks to all my trade partners who have pitched in.  You guys rule.

Oh, I'll post the rest of Bru's cards tomorrow.  Lots of good stuff there, too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Infield Fly Cards

As mentioned in yesterday's post, I received three trade packages from new trading partners last week.  Here is the second package, from Adam over at Infield Fly Rule.  It looks like he's been blogging since the beginning of the year, but has only recently been making trades in the blogosphere.

It was actually reading his first trade post that I wrote and said "FIRST?  Let's keep that ball rolling."

Or something like that.  What I actually wrote was probably less annoying, since he sent me a ton of cards.  I am pretty low on Rockies, which is the team he follows and collects, so I had to be creative with what I sent back.  Hopefully he like it, or at the very least, he can use it for the trades that he continues to make.

But enough of that, here's what he sent to me.  That's what you're here for, right?

One of my favorite cards from this package was one that Adam was the most curious about.  In the note he sent, he asked (again, paraphrasing), "Why Bruce Ruffin?"

As you may have noticed, on my "Want List" link, I have a list of players I collect, and while he's far from a "top tier" guy, I like to get Ruffin cards from his Rockies days.  I think I almost have enough for a whole page, which is really all that I'm looking for.

The reason that I want Bruce Ruffin cards as a Rockie is because he was the pitcher that gave up Tony Gwynn's 2,000th hit - a game that I was at and happened to coincide with my ninth birthday.

While I have a few Nolan Ryan cards (who gave up Tony's 1,000th hit), I'm kind of interested in getting a few Gabe White cards - another Rockies pitcher, one who gave up Tony's 3,141st hit, the last in his career.  The pitcher who gave up Tony's last home run is actually still in the majors - Joe Beimel, who was a rookie with the Pirates and is now with the Mariners.

Speaking of Mr. Padre, here are a few that were needed in my Gwynn binder.  I coulda sworn that I already had that Pinnacle card, but upon further review, it was needed.  For a few years, Pinnacle and Ultra were neck and neck as my favorite card brands, but I think Pinnacle probably edged it out in the end.  I think I have four cards from the '96 Ultra set, so it had that going for it.

Oh yeah, are the playoffs going on right now?  I'm rooting for the Royals (hey, I jumped on the bandwagon at the beginning of the postseason, way before you guys who are doing it now!), but I'll be happy with any team from the AL winning it.  Cardinals and Giants?  Thanks but no thanks.  While I'd probably rather not see a NL West team, the Cardinals have always destroyed the Padres in the postseason.  Every year the Padres make the playoffs, they either lose to the Cardinals or win the pennant.  Why am I saying this again?  Oh, Andy Benes played for the Cardinals for a little bit.  Needless to say, I preferred it when he was a Friar.

Steve Finley played for a bunch of teams, including every team in the NL West.  EVERY TEAM.  Think about that for a second.  Can you imagine somebody playing for the Red Sox and the Yankees? And then turn around and play for the Orioles, Blue Jays, and Rays?  Me neither.  But Steve Finley started off his career in Baltimore and then headed west, stopping in Houston before going to San Diego, Arizona, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Colorado.  Oh, and he was an Angel somewhere in there as well.

I mentioned in my last post that Darin Erstad isn't very photogenic.  Maybe it's hard to look good while you're chugging it down to first base, but at least the card on the far right shows a pretty good follow through.

Alright, after my feelings shone through about the NLCS, I guess I'll mention that the ALCS teams are pretty good in my book.  There are quite a few Orioles that I'm a fan of, though more of the former variety (Cal Ripken and Jim Palmer, though Adam Jones is good in my book as well).  Jeremy Guthrie is a former Oriole who is now in Kansas City.  He's their #4 starting pitcher, and with the way KC is not losing and the number of days off in the playoffs, he may never see action.  But at one point, he led the Orioles with a 3.63 ERA.

BENITO!!!  Eyes closed!!!

Here are four non-Padres that also rule.  Early 90's Leaf had some boring designs, but that Goose Gossage shot is great.  Being a Padre fan for my whole life, my love affair with the 2005 White Sox was pretty intense.  Living in Chicago for two years had a lot to do with it, but I can see a less-intense love forming with this year's Royals.  Seriously, please win this thing.  Do it for Bip.

Here's a couple of pages of Padres that made it into the Miscellaneous Padres binder.  When all of my miscellaneous Padres (ones that don't fit into player collections or team sets that I want to finish) used to fit into one binder, it was my favorite binder, hands down.  Now it's grown to two binders and really needs a third, both are filled to the brim.

Mark Davis won a Cy Young Award!  That's a big deal.  I'm kind of surprised that I haven't made '94 Topps Stadium Club an addition to the Team Set binder - I love that set.  Trevor Hoffman seems like a guy that should be in a player collection, but I don't know, I guess I'm not a fan of his later cards.  Can't get enough of the 90s goodness, but not a fan of the 00s, though that's not his fault.  He has an even 100 cards in the MP binder, easily the most of any player.

I coulda sworn that I already had that Bip.  '91 Donruss, really?  I love Jake Peavy cards from his rookie year, when the Padres still had the orange and white "SD" on the hat.  This is my first Keith Moreland card as a Padre, which is cool, since I listen to him when he calls games for the Texas Longhorns baseball team.  The Klesko card is probably the most visually interesting of the bunch (though the Reed post-double play shot looks cool too), and I love me some X Nady.

Adam had a pretty good eye for Padre cameos as well - as did the photographers for Upper Deck in 1990.  Not surprising, seeing as how Upper Deck was founded in Carlsbad, just a bit north of San Diego.  All the Padres on the base paths are wearing home whites, so I'm guessing that UD got a lot of work down when teams came to play at Jack Murphy.

Seeing as how Adam is a big Rockies fan, this was kind of cool for him to send (though I'm assuming it was a double, since I gotta think most Rockies fans really love Todd Helton.  Cool shot of the Padres home dugout.

Thanks again Adam!  Really fun box of cards to dig through!  There were obviously a bunch of dupes, but I've been passing them out to my first graders on Friday and they've loved them.  I was running low last week, but that shouldn't be a problem now.