A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

1st GWYNNsday of 2016

Man, it's the end of May, and I just realized that I haven't done a GWYNNsday post in this calendar year.  I guess since it's taken this long to finally break into double digit posts, it's a little understandable. Anyways, I recently received a sweet trade package that was loaded with Gwynn's from Ray at All Cardinals All The Time.  I was glad to reach out and make a new trade partner, especially one that had so many Gwynn's I didn't already have.  Here are nine that I really liked (though, again, there are no Gwynn's that I don't like).

Man, I love the top row of late 90's Fleer.  While Fleer did plenty of weird things, I really like a lot of their cards.  The Fleer in the middle of the page is so clean and crisp looking, I think it's an underrated set.  The Fleer Essentials is super sharp looking as well.

Really no such thing as a bad Gwynn card, and Ray keeps my blog's streak of "nothing but good trades" (well, at least on my end) in tact.  Thanks Ray!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

More Padres

We moved into our new house in Gatesville in January, but it was only recently that I, you know… actually let people know my address.  After a long dry spell of empty mailboxes (actually, we just have a mail slot that goes from our front porch to the living room), the cards have been moving somewhat steadily, at least in comparison to the months previous.

Here's a few Padres from my buddy Jimmy of S.Mack Talk.

Wil Myers is probably my current favorite Padre.  Well, maybe he's tied with Yangervis Solarte and Ryan Buchter.  Either way, he's fun to watch and he's probably their best player, and this is probably my favorite Myers card so far, from last year's Topps Chrome set.

I'm slowly chipping away at the 2011 Topps diamond sparkle Padres team set.  I'm still eleven away from completion (well, I've kinda written off ever owning the Anthony Rizzo rookie card, so maybe realistically ten), so I'm always stoked to add to this team set.  Seriously, love these cards.

Here's a few from last year's Topps Update set that I hadn't gotten around to picking up yet.  I think the Padres were so depressing by the end of the year that I couldn't even be bothered to grab these, but I'm glad to have them now (and still need a few more).

Ahhh, more Gwynn's!  Both good looking cards, but especially dig the blue hue of the Fleer Showcase one.

Next up, a batch of cards from David at Tribe Cards.  He does some cool "Pack-A-Day" giveaways for each of the last few seasons, and though he gets (admittedly) very far behind in mailing them out, he always get 'em to you eventually.  Seriously, a great guy and fun collector if ever there was one.  There weren't a whole lot of Padres he sent me that I didn't already have, but here were a few of them.
You can't tell from the photo, but this was printed on what seemed like tracing paper.  Cool new Hoffman card.

I don't have many cards of Mark Davis, and seeing as how he won a Cy Young as a Padre, it seems like something that I should try to remedy, even though he wasn't in San Diego for long.  

As much as I like getting cards of hyped up prospects, it's hard for me to get excited about these horribly done photoshops.  I can't even pretend that Logan Allen has ever worn this uniform, seeing as how these are exclusive to the 2016 season.  I'm not a fan of the "Chargers" color scheme with the Padres, but they have an alternate jersey that's brown and yellow, so hopefully that becomes a full time look sooner rather than later.  At least Logan is rocking some good looking stirrups (unless those are photoshopped too).

Anyways, thanks Jimmy and David!  Always glad to add new Padres to the collection.  Have a great Sunday!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

This One Collecting Tip Could Save You $100s


If you're like me (and if you're not, you should be), you didn't get into card collecting to make a fortune, or even a living.  It's something you do as a… uh, what's the word?  Oh yes, hobby.  A fun diversion that make you smile at the end of the day.

Still, it's not like I hate money.  On the contrary, I actually go to great lengths to earn it, spending most of my day corralling 7 year olds and trying to teach them to be decent human beings.  I mean, sure, I guess I also get some amount of personal satisfaction from the whole "touching lives" part of it, but when it comes down to it, I don't do it for free.

And, while supporting a family of five on a teacher's income isn't always the most luxurious (although the fact we bought our first home for under $77,000 does keep some of the expenses low), if I play my cards right, I can usually buy a rack pack or two of cards and pick up a few cheap single cards on eBay.

But really, what's the secret collecting tip that could save you a good chunk of change?

The tip is to not send cards that have sold for three figures to a trading partner!  The above Buster Posey card was sent to my buddy Mark Kaz over at This Way To The Clubhouse.  I thought he might enjoy this nice looking horizontal shot of some stupid Giants player, but it turns out that this card has been sold on eBay for as low as $70 but also has broke the $100 mark on more than one occasion.

Mark, being the incredibly upstanding gentleman and one of my closest card blogging friends realized that I must've sent him this SSP photo variation on accident and sent it back, along with all the cards you see above.  What a guy!

While I always love getting Tony Gwynn cards that I don't have, I really love the Dave Winfield Burger King card at the top, and the Wally Joyner playing-card-type card is probably my second favorite.  I've been trying to compile "Top Five" collections for a few players, and those made the cut for both Winfield and Joyner.

Anyways, I guess a quick collecting hiatus (really just a few months, I guess) has dulled my senses, and after pulling the Posey card from a Walmart rack pack, I shipped it out like an idiot instead of netting myself a nice little stash.  I'm not sure what I'll be able to get for it, but if I can get $90+ for it, I think I'll be doing pretty well.

Thanks Mark, for the Posey and for the Padres.  I don't know how you come up with these fantastic Friar cards, but I'll keep taking 'em as long as you can dish 'em out.

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Shaking Off The Rust

Hey there!  This is my *checks blog* SEVENTH blog post of 2016.  And we're in the 5th month of the year!  After a whopping FOUR posts last month, I've already almost matched that mark, and we're only a third of the way through the month.  This is news folks!

Alright, it's pretty lame news, but here's what I'm really trying to get back into the habit of - trading.  I posted a few pieces of trade bait a few weeks ago, and I managed to set up my first trade with Tony from Wrigley Roster Jenga. I've actually followed Tony on Twitter for a bit, but have only checked out his blog recently, and man, it's a good one.

Anyways, I sent him some pretty cool cards (well, I mean, at least as cool as Cub cards can get), and he sent me a nice little stack of Padres.  Here they are. 

Alright, I usually only post the cards that I need (not the dupes that either go to my fellow Padres collectors or to my first graders), but I made an exception for this one, because I just love this card.  While I'm full steam ahead on the "Bring Back The Brown" movement in terms of Padres uniforms, the blue and orange on the jersey coupled with the blue and orange from the background is great.

Next up, there were some not as cool but still very needed cards.  While I'm definitely not a Padres "completist", I always like picking up the Heritage team sets.  Usually I do this via eBay/JustCommons.  However, After scoring a few from a couple of packs, I figured I'd give it the old school try and build it via trades.  So far, so good.  Oh, and man, I really like watching Wil Myers play baseball.  Probably my current favorite Padre.

I don't know how I feel about these foil stamped vintage cards that Topps seems to be pushing the past few years.  Good thing they have "ORIGINAL" stamped in the corner, to make sure that all those counterfeiters in the lucrative Dave Tomlin collector market know this is the real thing.

This was almost my favorite card of the package.  I already have Rickey's '96 Fleer card, but this is the slick "Tiffany" version.  As much as I love the texture of the '96 Fleer set, the photography and great use of foil looks really stellar here.  Always wondered who Rickey was talking to here…

As much as I loved the Rickey card, any time I can get a new-to-me Tony Gwynn card, that's a win for me.  Man, '96 Fleer was a rad set, and I don't think I remember opening more than a pack, if at all.  Sure, this is a little busy ("Uh, what's the name of this insert again?"), but it's still a good one in my book.

Thanks Tony!  I hope the Cubs go easy on the Padres this week - looking forward to watching them play two on Wednesday!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Matt Kemp Photo Variation


I'm not really into titling my blogposts after the exact card that I'm showing, but for a quick, one-card post, I figured there's no reason to bury the lede.  I'm a fan of photo variation cards, and the Padres seem to get so few of them that when this one came across my radar for less than $3 shipped, I jumped on it.

There are actually four in last year's Topps Update for the Padres, which is pretty cool, but the one of Kemp was the only one that showed a player high five-ing a kid, which I love.  I'm the youth leader for the boys in my church congregation, which, in the small town we live in, is about 6 boys on a good night.  On Wednesdays we have activities, and after a quick church-themed lesson, I asked them what they wanted to do (I had brought equipment to play a few games), and they said they wanted to play baseball.  I'd coerced them into playing a few times, but I didn't know if they actually enjoyed it or not, so it was cool to see them want to play.  Since there was only 5 kids, it was interesting to play, but definitely reminded me of being a kid growing up in San Diego.  I hadn't said "ghost runner on second" for at least a decade!

While I'm not a Matt Kemp-level ambassador for the game of baseball, I'm still trying to do my part for a pocket of 11-14 year olds here in Texas.

Speaking of kids, I'm hoping that all the little kids and big kids reading this were able to do something special for their mothers and wives (if applicable) for Mother's Day.  My wife was less than impressed with dinner, but hopefully the other things I've been able to do around the house the last couple of days can make up for it.

Take care collectors.

Oh, in case you were wondering what the other four Padres photo variations from last year's Topps Update were, here's a screen shot from eBay.  None are over $5 shipped, and all have a pretty cool look to them.  I remember the specific home run that Norris is celebrating there, and that's a pretty unique angle for the Kimbrel shot.  One of my kids was asking if major leaguers had to buy all their bats from Walmart or if they were made specifically for them, and I guess if I had the Upton card, I would've been able to show them instead of tell them.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Topps… Now.

Being away from the card blogosphere for a bit, most of the "hobby news" I've been getting has been through Twitter.  This is actually where I get the overwhelming majority of my news, since we cut the cord a few years ago and I really don't do much online that's not baseball or job-related.

Anyways, when I saw Topps tweeting about #ToppsNOW, I was intrigued, but didn't think much of it.  I think at first I thought it was for the Topps Bunt app, which doesn't really interest me.  However, once I saw that they were physical cards from a recent game, I was intrigued.  While I'm not too high on the design, it's serviceable, and the idea of cards from specific games has always been cool to me.

Well, I figured the Padres wouldn't get on too many of these, so when I saw that Melvin Upton Jr. (of all people) was the first from the Padres to get his own card, I decided to pull the trigger.  I wasn't a fan of Melvin's when he first came to the Padres in a trade with the Braves last year.  But he's been doing pretty well for San Diego this year (well, at least compared to the rest of the team), and this card proved to be too good to pass up.

I was barely conscious for this walk off home run, but I remember that I was barely awake.  Darn west coast games in the central time zone.  Oh well, it was a pretty good moment, as good as any the Padres have had this year, at least, which started off historically bad, not scoring in any of the first 30 innings of the season. I'm not sure how I'll remember who the other guys in the background of the card are, but I'll record it here for posterity: R-L Jon Jay, Ryan Buchter (jacket), and Adam Rosales (no hat).  Not sure about the other two.

Here's the back.  Pretty uninteresting, lot of unused space and a hard to read font.  It does mention the Padres 4-8 record (at the time), so I'm glad I'll always remember that bugged of info.  These cards seem glossier than normal Topps flagship cards, and just a tad flimsier (though not 70's food odd ball set flimsy.  

At $10 per card, it is definitely higher than I'm used to paying for a single card, especially of a Melvin Upton card.  It's not serial numbered, but the print run on these is usually pretty limited, though it seems to vary from card to card.  The shipping was free, though I'm not sure if it's always going to be free.  The turnaround wasn't as quick as I'd like it (ordered it April 17th, got it May 2nd), but wasn't something that would keep me from ordering again.

If I understand correctly, these are sold the day after (or around there) and are available for a small window of time, usually about a day.  I hemmed and hawed on this one, but having a clock ticking definitely motivated me to err on the side of buyers remorse than empty handed sadness.

I don't imagine the Padres will be featured on too many of these cards, which I guess in a way is a blessing, money wise.  Still, I'm hoping the Padres get some love from Topps and are able to make their season interesting or noteworthy in some way.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Greatest Team Set Ever


As a Padre fan, I'm used to the term "under promise, over deliver".  It's basically the only way to survive - expect little, be surprised if/when anything good happens.

Can this post really show the greatest team set ever?  Should I have under promised and over delivered?  Am I setting up whatever potential readers I might have for complete and utter disappointment?

First, let me state that I can't believe that I've waited until now to pick up the 1984 Smokey The Bear Padres team set.  Unbelievable.  Only, like $8, free shipping.  As a Padre fan who is a big fan of the '84 team (the year I was born, the year of their first World Series appearance), this is unacceptable.

If I had known that Smokey was not only the sponsor of this set, but also personally appeared on every card, trust me, I would've been all over this years ago.  Luis DeLeon letting Smokey try on his gold chain?  Eric Show showing an obviously confused bear how to hold a ball?  Kurt freaking Bevacqua sitting on Smokey the Bear's lap?  You gotta be kidding me!  This is the best team set of all time, and I declare that it's not even close.

Not only do they have the great '84 team, but they have coaches, the general manager, broadcasters, the mascot, heck, even an umpire!  While the card of the Chicken… uh, kissing Smokey is a little weird if I look at it for more than a few seconds, I gotta say that seeing Jack McKeon with a stogie in front of Smokey the Bear is pretty rad.  And I'll always take a Jerry Coleman card that I didn't have before.

When I clicked "buy", I figured at the very least, even if the set was a bust, I'd have a new Tony Gwynn card I didn't have previously.  Well, turns out that the Gwynn probably isn't' one of the top 10 cards in the set.  Not too shabby.

Here's a look at the back of them as well.  Nothing too fancy, vital information as well as stats from the previous year, mostly.  I chose these ones for the quotes, which ranged from interesting to punny to boring.  Still worth showing.

Well, there you have it, depending on who you are and what you like, I guess I can either accept your virtual pat on the back for a job well done, or I can return the price of admission for entrance to the blog.  As far as Padres go, this is about as good as it gets.