A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Friendly GWYNNsday


Go make a friend with a rival at the office today.  Instead of focusing on your differences (different positions, roles, locations), focus on what you have in common (similarly colored uniforms, penchant for hitting things thrown at you).

Even if it doesn't blossom into a forever friendship…

take solace in the fact that you're better at everything than them.

And never smile with them in photos.  Shows weakness.

This card is from a baseball card magazine.  I think it might've even been called Baseball Card Magazine.  Could be wrong.  It's in a binder in the garage.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thanks, Junior!

In my quest to acquire as many Andrew Cashner cards as I can, there are a few basic principles I try to adhere to when buying cards online: 1) Try to keep it under $5, and 2) If I think I can get it from somebody else, hold off.

Well, there have been a few Cashner's that have topped the five buck rule, I think I've done alright in that aspect.  Still plenty of high end ones that I don't have, but I can live with that pretty easy.

Anyways, I was sitting on eight different variations of Andrew Cashner's Bowman card from this year, six of which are serial numbered, but there was one that eluded me:

The base card.  I opened a pack or two of Bowman, but never pulled this one.  Cough up actual money for a card that I knew someone I knew would have to pull and possibly send to me?  No way.  Fortunately, TJ, The Junior Junkie, came through in a big way last week.  Now I have a full page of 2014 Bowman Cashner greatness.  Seriously, the throwback uniforms and backdrop make for a great card.  Love that guy.

Here's a sample of the other cards that TJ sent my way.

I bought into the hype from Topps on Yonder Alonso - hook line and sinker.  Dude has gotten a lot of autos and relics in a bunch of sets, and, despite an above average rookie year in 2012, has failed to build on the promise.  First base continues to be a black hole for the Padres.  Hunter Renfroe, on the other hand, is a big prospect who has done well this year, starting in single A Lake Elsinore and making the Cal League All Star team, and then having a strong year in AA San Antonio.  I think he might get a shot in San Diego at the end of the year next year, or maybe get a chance to make the team out of Spring Training in 2016.

Here's some 90's goodness, not sure what happened with the scan here.  I already had the Hoffman, which is stellar, but mine had a little wear and tear, so this is a good upgrade in condition.  Melvin Nieves is one of the guys the Padres got in exchange for Fred McGriff from the Braves in 1993, and I've gone from hating him for being so horrible to being amused by his ineptitude.  I guess I've finally forgiven Melvin - when I first started getting his cards in trades, I wouldn't just pawn them off on my students or toss them into a trade box - I'd throw them away.

I have more than a page's worth of cards of Dustin Hermanson cards, and all of them have the word "Rookie" or a synonym of it either on the front or the back.  He had a pretty decent career, though, of his 1,283 innings pitched, only 45.1 of them were with the Padres.  This Jedd Gyorko is no longer with me, although it looks killer.  I'll be putting it in the mail tomorrow to send to my buddy Joe at From an Unlikely Source, who is a Padre fan who happens to call West Virginia home.

Thanks TJ!  I've been slow on the trade front lately, but I'm heading to the post office today (hopefully), and I'll have a bunch of stuff sent out.

Take care!  Happy Tuesday!

EDIT: Seeing as how Andrew Cashner turned in a pretty fine performance last night (complete game shutout, two hits, no runs, 7 strikeouts - all in 92 pitches), here's some bonus Cashner, with the aforementioned page of 2014 Bowman cards.

I've said it before, if there's been a card released this year that's better looking than Cashner in a throwback Padres jersey against a backdrop of the Lone Star flag, well, I haven't seen it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

'93 Upper Deck

Digging through my Non-Padres binder, I got to thinking about what it took to make it into the binder. In most cases, it was the player, someone who I liked or had some small measure of importance to me.  In a very few cases, it was because I thought the card looked too awesome not to have.

1993 Upper Deck is represented more than any other set in the binder, so here's a look at the eight cards from that set in the Non-Padres binder.

I don't know really know how to pronounce Casey Candaele's last name, but this is a pretty cool shot here.  Maybe it's just the angle, but it looks like CC's getting some pretty good air and has a decent shot at snaring that liner, though I'd bet that he's probably going to end up just a bit short on this one.  Also like that Candaele is listed as an infielder, not a specific position.

Here's a few cards that I didn't think of much when I first saw them, but they grew on me the more I looked at 'em.  I've read that Buhner and Griffey were/are pals, so kinda cool seeing a candid shot of them goofin' around.  Here's Cory Snyder casually blowing a bubble while catching a fly near the ivy at Wrigley

Matt Nokes and Tom Brunansky are actually both guys that I have a more of a connection to.  Matt Nokes, seen here hitting off a tee, was on my little brother's Little League team.  My dad was the coach, so when he said we could go to an Angels game to watch batting practice and get autographs, I was able to tag along.  Tom Brunansky's kid also played in the Poway American Little League, and I've heard my dad talk about talking baseball w/Brunansky a few times.  I always considered him a Red Sock, so kinda weird seeing him in a Brewers uniform here.

I loved Omar Vizquel as a kid (well, and as an adult - he retired in 2012), and while I usually prefer shots of him making spectacular plays at short, seeing him fiddle with a camcorder is pretty memorable as well.  Really like those old Mariner uniforms as well.

Of course, if I had to choose a favorite "type" of photos in '93 Upper Deck, it's have to be the multi-exposure shots.  Upper Deck became known for their great cards with Nolan Ryan and Fernando Valenzuela, but even guys like Phil Hiatt got some love here.  This one is awesome.

Of course, it doesn't hurt having a big name on the card, either.  Here's Andre Dawson hawking down a foul ball in right field at Wrigley.  Diving headfirst towards a brick wall doesn't seem like the most intelligent thing, but I'm sure that's something that Cubs outfielders are always aware of and practice.

I'm sure that there are other great cards from that great '93 Upper Deck set, and maybe I'll track down a few more at some point.  Actually, my favorite ones can be found in the Padres team set.  Randy Myers, Gary Sheffield, and Jose Melendez have some great cards.  Check 'em out sometime.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Washington "Nat'l Lea." Team Set


Well, cross another project off my list!  I have *completed the 1974 Topps Washington "Nat'l Lea." team set!

Cue the confetti!

Brass band!

Visit from the mayor!

Alright, a little much, but I'm happy to have it finished.  Here's how it looks in my Team Set binder:

Nate Colbert and Randy Jones are the "big names" on the first page.  Colbert is the Padres home run leader with 163.  Once Giancarlo Stanton hits his next ten homers as a Marlin, the Padres will have the lowest total home runs for a franchise leader.  Randy Jones is still a fixture at Petco Park and an all around great guy.  I love the Fred Kendall card, and the team card has more yellow than you'll ever see on a card.

The Willie McCovey is a great card, which I'll talk more about later.  I keep forgetting that Clarence "Cito" Gaston was taken by the Padres in the inaugural draft in 1968.  Good looking card here.  For some reason, I think that Rich Troedson looks a lot like actor Mark Ruffalo.

As far as uniforms go, we have:
11 cards featuring the mustard yellow jerseys
1 card with a cream colored jersey
1 card with a photo shopped jersey
1 card with a Cubs jersey

10 cards with the "mission bell" style hat
1 card with the "mission bell" style batting helmet
1 card with the original brown hat w/yellow letters
1 card with a photo shopped hat
1 card with a Cubs batting helmet

If there's one thing that a serious collector may have noticed, it's that, of the "15 cards" in the '74 Washington "Nat'l Lea." team set, I only have 14.  So why the celebration?

Well, the 15th card is this one:

A "multi-player" card.  As a "team collector", I usually will bite for anything that has as "SD" on the hat.  However, with vintage cards, I've decided that I will still call it a complete set even if I don't include them.  Is this a cop out?  Maybe.  But it's one of the weird rules that I've decided to create for myself.  Besides, if I didn't have that rule…

I would probably never finish the 1973 Topps team set.  You know, the one with the famous John Hilton rookie card.  Besides, both of those cards have Dodgers on them!  Ugh.  And Phillies.  And Freisleben's card has a Giant on it.  

No, instead I've adopted the rule that vintage cards have to be at least half Padre, or else it's inclusion into the team set is not mandatory.  Trust me, if anyone wants to gift the Freisleben or Hilton cards to me, I'd love to add them, but for the time being, I'm going to consider those sets done.

Sorry for the mini-lesson on my weird collecting rules.  Back to the team set.

This is my favorite card.  It's the one that I spent the most money on from the set: a whopping $5.  Willie McCovey is probably one of my favorite Padres from the '70s, even though I wouldn't be born for a decade after this card was made.  I remember as a kid I thought it was really cool that there was someone in the Hall of Fame who used to play for the Padres, even if he was better known for his San Francisco days.

Here's the back.  Yeah, lots of Giants stats on here.  Also a fun little cartoon.  Would be interested to know what kind of comic books McCovey was into.  He appears to be laughing in the cartoon, though I guess I mostly associate comic books with superheroes, not the funnies.

Anyways, there you have it!  All of Padre-only cards from the '74 Washington "Nat'l Lea." set.  Anybody else working on this set as well?  Special shout out to all the collectors who helped me out with this one, especially Jim at GCRL, who sent me the John Grubb, and was the first card I ever had from the set.  Jim's awesome.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Masked Marauders

As I was looking over the various posts I've done in the past few weeks, I was reminded how heavily slanted my collection is.  I'd say that it's probably over 90% Padre cards, though my '91 Fleer complete set might lower that number just a little bit.

There was a time, however (when I started this blog), that I wasn't such an exclusive team collector.  One thing that I really loved that diversified my collection were my binders of catcher cards.  Heck, I even named the blog "Backstop Cards".

I've often thought about changing the name of the blog to something more Padre-themed, but it's a fleeting thought and something I don't think will ever happen.  Don't care that much about it.

Anyways, while I don't apologize for the overwhelming amount of Padre related posts, here's one that features zero Padre cards (though there are a trio of former Friars in here), while hearkening back to the "backstop" days of the blog.


If you collected in the 90's you'll remember the Collector's Choice brand, put out by Upper Deck.  Though the design was usually a little plainer than the regular UD brand, the checklists were pretty big and the price tag was pretty low.  I didn't always love it, but I could usually afford it, which was big.


Well, included in the set is a page worth of cards devoted to catchers, the "Masked Marauders".  While I'm not sure that this is a term or nickname that has ever really been used in baseball circles, I appreciate the alliteration.  More importantly, I appreciate the design and look of these cards.


Featuring catchers in their gear is a pretty easy way to make a cool card.  Having cards that are dedicated to the craft of catching is even better.  Raul Casanova's card here (former Padre prospect) is the best looking of the bunch, looking cool in the black background.  The rest of the cards didn't get similar treatment, though I think Casanova might've been standing in front of something dark?


I've always loved baseball, and as a kid, I was pretty much obsessed with it.  Strange thing I realized looking back: I never really liked hitting.

This was partially due to the fact that I wasn't very good, but was furthered because I was a pretty good fielder.  I was one of the few on my teams that could make the throw from 3rd to 1st without hopping, and I especially loved strapping on the gear and getting behind the plate.  Felt more comfortable behind it than in the batters box.


It might've been a little selfish on my part, as well.  As the catcher, you get to call the shots and run the game.  I was pretty into that, once I figured it out.  The only one who touches the ball more than you is the pitcher.  Catchers have been known to make it as managers (Bruce Bochy, Mike Matheny) as evidenced by current Tigers manager and former Padre Brad Ausmus.


While there have been plenty of card sets that glamorize ace pitchers or dominant sluggers, there haven't been nearly as much of the star backstops.  The Gypsy Queen "Collisions at the Plate" inserts were pretty cool (though I only saw them on blogs - I don't buy GQ), but I have to say that I prefer these 90's beauties.

This is also a ploy on my part.  There are nine of these cards in the set, and I have six of them.  If you've got the remaining three laying around and you don't need 'em, shoot me an email and let's see if we can work something out.  Who even collects Javy Lopez, Mike Piazza, and Ivan Rodriguez, right?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cashner WINSday

Well, I've been doing a decent job of keeping the GWYNNsday posts a pretty regular thing, but today I wanted to mix it up.

Okay, I guess normally "mixing it up" means doing something that you don't normally do, so I suppose that posting yet another Andrew Cashner card doesn't really qualify.

However, since the Padres beat the Dodgers 6-3 last night (Cash went 7 innings, gave up 2 runs and had 2 K's, to go along with a two RBI double in the 2nd inning) and Cashner got his first win since APRIL, I thought it'd be a good celebration (he has a 2.95 ERA this year, and has been a victim of being "supported" by a horrible Padres offense, and spent over a month on the DL).

With that build up, here is my rarest addition to my Cashner Collection...

2010 Topps Chrome (cyan printing plate 1/1)

This is my third printing plate, the others being from some Topps Update sets (Chris Denorfia '11 and Kyle Blanks '13).

While I balked at first at adding non-Padres cards to my Cashner collection, I realized that there are some players that I will probably love regardless of their uniform -  they can't all stay with the same team for 20 years, so I let it slide.  I'd still want any cards with Denorfia or Archi Cianfrocco on them.  Steve Finley and Andy Benes don't apply here, because they ended up playing on rival division/playoff teams (Dodgers/DBacks/Rockies/Giants and Cardinals, respectively.  Gross.

I don't have any other copies of his '10 Topps Chrome card, so I guess I'll need to track down some of those to see what it looks like with the rest of the colors.

Anyways, pretty cool to have.  Got it from an "Best Offer" on eBay, in which the seller seemed pretty easy to work with.  Nice when it works out like that.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Music Monday - College Days


While I have a handful of Andrew Cashner cards from his days in Chicago (before he was traded to San Diego for Anthony Rizzo), I only have two from his college days - this one, and one that looks almost identical, but isn't a relic card.

Cash was a closer during his time with the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs, and he impressed the Cubs enough to be taken with the 19th overall pick in the 2008 amateur draft.

I'm not much of a TCU fan (as far as colleges go, I probably root for the Texas Longhorns more than the rest, though it's not saying much), although I did see them whip Boise State in the Poinsettia Bowl a few years back.  My first full time teaching position was in the small town of Florence Texas, where the elementary, middle, and high schools all shared the same mascot: the Buffaloes.  They also all had the same school colors, which were purple, so although I would've considered it to be my least favorite before working there, it grew on me.  It's also my daughter's favorite color, so having a purple swatch in the relic collection is kinda cool, and one that you don't usually see on a baseball card unless you're a Rockies fan.

Anyways, today's Music Monday comes from a question lobbed to Cashner at the beginning of the season (I read a Q&A recap on the fan site Gaslamp Ball, but wasn't able to find it to link to it).  He was asked what his intro music was when he pitched at TCU.  While it's not one that I'm a big fan of, I guess it makes sense for a country guy like Cashner.


The Q&A session also asked Cash about his favorite movie, which he said was "8 Seconds".  I'd never heard of it, but it turns out that it fits pretty well with the rest of his country-livin' ways.


Happy Monday!