Hey, long time no see! This blog has been pretty dormant since... uh, well... I guess a lot has happened in the past few years, but mostly, my blog writing time has been chewed up by writing about the Padres on a few different websites (the now defunct PadsProspectus.com, followed up the currently running MadFriars.com).
Anyways, I had some spare time at the tail end of my Christmas break, and since I already finished my Favorite Albums of 2018 list and my Top 30 Padres Prospects list (subscription only, sorry), I figured I'd post my top 10 cards of 2018. I'll also go ahead and mention that P-Town Tom is having a contest related to top cards of 2018, and that was a nice little nudge to get this done too. Nudges are good.
Alright, here we go, countdown style!
Franchy Cordero - Topps High Number Heritage #503
I interviewed Franchy a few years ago for Pads Prospectus when he was playing at Double-A San Antonio. Love the guy - super humble dude, big speed and power, glad to see him make it to the bigs. Still got to cut down on his K rate, but damn if he doesn't make the Padres incredibly boring uniforms look good with the 1969 Topps design (which, coincidentally, is the year the Padres joined MLB).
Tony Gwynn - Donruss Retro Card #258 (blue border)
My Tony Gwynn collection currently sits at 792, which I hit towards the end of November. I really thought I'd reach the 800 card milestone by the end of the year, but it wasn't to be (which is just fine). Still, I'm really glad that they're still making cards of Mr. Padre, and I look forward to him being on the next countdown list I make (whenever that happens to be).
Austin Hedges - Gypsy Queen #119 (missing backplate)
When I was a catcher in Little League, one of the things I loved was feeling like I looked like a badass when I was wearing all the gear. I'm a sucker for cards that make catchers look as cool as I thought I was when I was ten.
Luis Urías - Bowman Prospects #BP57
I still don't understand what issue of Bowman this card came out of, nor do I know the names of all the parallels I've accumulated here, but man, I like how these cards look on the page. Big Urías fan, as this countdown will show.
Luis Urías - Heritage Minor League Edition, Transogram Set #69CC-LU
Anyone who knows my love for minor league cards, Urías, and '91 Fleer will understand why I love these yellow-bordered minor league cards, especially when they include one of my favorite current players (for the record, Urías and Franchy are my current two favorite Padres, with pitcher Joey Lucchesi rounding out the top three).
Luis Urías - Onyx Platinum Elite (blue auto)
This is one of three Urías autos that I have, but since one is from last year and the other is still en route from eBay, this one joins the top five of our countdown. I'm not a snob for logos, especially because I don't think that the airbrush jobs that Bowman does look that good.
Franchy Cordero - Topps Now #106
This card commemorates the longest homer of the season to date (April 20th). I'm not sure where he ended up at the end of the season, but I think Trevor Story was atop that leader board. In this game, Franchy's bomb was beautiful, but he also made a fielding blunder in center that cost Tyson Ross a no-hitter. The Padres are the only team in the majors without one of those, so you can imagine how we Padres fans felt after that.
Luis Urías - Topps Now #658
The highlight of my season for 2018 was when Urías made his debut with the Padres. Though he went hitless in that game, he made a spectacular play at second in the first inning and it was wonderful. That he waited until the Padres were wearing their 1998 throwbacks to record his first hit makes for a cool Topps Now card, and I may be ranking this one too low.
Fernando Tatis Jr. - Topps Heritage Minor League Edition, Deckle Edge #20
Like I mentioned earlier, 1969 Topps is kind of a special set to me because those are the first Padres cards (well, in the majors, I have a few of their cards from their early Pacific Coast League days). I also love the Deckle edges from back then, and these are super cool in my opinion. Tatis is a beast and every Padre fan has their fingers crossed that he's a legit superstar because the best shortstops we've had in the last two decades have been Khalil Greene and Everth Cabrera. Extra bonus points for showing him in a San Antonio Missions uniform.
Joey Lucchesi - Topps Update, #US-271 (photo variation)
I'm not a big fan of the rookie card that Lucchesi got in this year's Update, but this photo variation looks great (and even though it's techincally an "SP", it's super cheap on eBay). Love the Friday night browns here, along with the post-inning fist bump. I interviewed Lucchesi in San Antonio in 2017 and he's a really cool dude, super likeable. Might not be a huge difference maker, but a solid mid-back rotation guy who can miss a few bats.
Well, there you have it! Thanks for reading, if anyone comes across this. I gotta hit send now and post to Tom's blog before midnight. Y'all take care!