When does Christmas break start? Is it when you get out of school on Friday, or is it on Monday, which is the first day that you would normally be in school but you aren't because it's vacation time? Eh, I guess either way you slice it, I'm officially on Christmas break (or Winter break, for those of you who don't live in Texas).
I'm in the process of packing up, getting ready for our move, so instead of showing any recent "gets," here's a draft from a long time ago that I'm finally getting around to finishing.
The Padres are not known for having great shortstops in their history. I mean, I guess other than closers, they're not known for having great players at any position. But shortstop has been particularly weak. Khalil Greene ended his 5 plus years as a Padre with 84 homers, 328 RBI, and a .245/.302/.422 slash line. Far from great, but his 27 HR 97 RBI season in 2007 was the best offensive season of a Padres shortstop, and while he would occasionally make a bad throw here or there, he also made some incredible plays with his glove.
While he didn't play with the Padres as long as Gerry Templeton or get the awards like Ozzie Smith, I'd put Khalil in the top 3 Padres SS, and I think you can make a case for him to be number 1, depending on the criteria (obviously, with total numbers as a Padre, it'd be Templeton, though Ozzie had the HOF career).
Anyways, here are my top five favorite Khalil Greene cards.
#5 - 2005 Topps #256
I think that the 2005 Topps design has a little too much going on here, with the doubling up of the player name (last name on the top, full name on the right side) and the team name (logo on the bottom, team name on the left). Still, it's got the Rookie Cup logo, and I really like the photo they used here. And while I'm not a fan of the "sand" color that the Padres used during the early 00s, I think the way Topps used the colors around the border is pretty good.
#4 - 2008 Allen & Ginter #74
Sure I guess this looks kinda like a high school yearbook photo, but I think this is about as close to a smile as I've ever seen from Khalil. Dude was always very serious.
#3 - 2003 Topps Traded #T164
Did I just mention Serious Khalil? Yeah, I love me some Serious Khalil. Plus, I kinda dig the blue borders of 2003 Topps, and I'm pretty sure this is the only card I have from the 2003 Traded set.
#2 - 2003 Bowman Heritage #170
I'll admit that I almost put the Topps Traded card at number two, but what's better than a photo of Serious Khalil? The answer is two photos of Serious Khalil.
#1 - 2005 Topps Gallery #43
Of all the weird, short lived, off shoot brands that Topps has put out over the years, I think that Topps Gallery has been one of the best looking. Thick but not too thick card stock, overly glossy without looking gaudy, the Gallery cards looked like real art, the kind that you'd frame, not the kind that was drawn on a napkin. One of the regrets I have from my Little League days is that I never wore eye black, so I never got to look as cool as Khalil Greene (although I had been out of Little League for almost a decade by the time Khalil made his MLB debut).
I think one of the reasons that Padres fans loved Khalil Greene so much is that they saw so much of themselves in him. He was capable of some great things and always seemed to put in max effort, but then he'd also shoot himself in the foot by breaking his hand when he punched a wall after striking out. Always on the cusp of greatness, but still falling short. If there ever was a player that embodied the Padres as a franchise, it was probably Khalil Greene.
Here's a few Khalil highlights. Hope everyone is having a great holiday break, or that you'll get a day off sometime if you're one of those types of people who doesn't get a two week break at the end of the year.