A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Trade with Jeremy

Jeremy is a reader who contacted me about unloading a Nolan Ryan "Historical Stitches"card that he had pulled.  I'll admit that when I first saw these online, I thought, "Meh."  It kind of seems like a pretend relic, and it doesn't even have a team logo or anything, it's just his last name, embroidered on a piece of cloth.

However, the idea of getting rid of a bunch of Archives (at the time, there were a bunch of cards that I had triples and quadruples of) and almost all of my Topps Series 1 was too good to pass up.  And Jeremy seemed like a good guy, who also happens to be a Lone Star resident who is a fan of an out-of-state team (the Reds).  Plus, hey, it's still a Nolan Ryan related card, so it can't be that bad.

Anyways, I sent him a hefty amount of his needs for Archives and Topps Series 1, and here's what I got in return...

Obviously, the card that started it all.  As I've said before (I think), in my mind, Nolan Ryan was always a Ranger (that's just my age showing, plus he's still working in the organization), so I like seeing cards of him on his previous teams.  I have a few relic cards (of other players), but none of them are as thick as this one is.

Some great Padres pitchers.  Trevor you all know, but a lot of people forget that "The Professor" went 20-20 with a 4.07 ERA for the Friars between '07 and '08.  He ended the 2006 season with the Dodgers, but signed with the Padres in the offseason, leading to this card of him in a Dodgers uniform, with "Padres" in the team name-space on the left side.  He re-joined LA at the end of the 2008 season, and then retired.

This was a pretty cool card.  As you can see below...

It opens up like a tri-fold, giving a little bio for each Clemens and Maddux, and on the back it has a hologram of them both.  Couldn't get a good picture of the hologram, so this will have to do.  Very unique (at least to me) and definitely a good pick up.

Easily the oldest card in the bunch, this is from the 1972 Topps set.  This is the only card that I have from this set, and Lee is also the only one that I have from the '73 Topps set.  For now...

We decided that this would be Return Package, Part I, since I the package I sent was pretty substantial.  He's still going through some of his old cards (he told me he had eleven 5,000 count boxes he was currently sifting through), so sometime in the future he'll be sending over some more Friar cardboard.  Can't wait to post those.

I guess it's kind of like adding in a "Player(s) to be named later" or a few draft picks to sweeten a deal.  Only with cards.

Thanks for the trade Jeremy!

Friday, June 29, 2012

My Last Pack of Archives

After working out a trade to pick up the last eight cards that I need to complete the 1971 set from this year's Archives (should be here next week), I found myself in the card aisle today thinking, "I don't need any more packs of Archives".  I should just walk away (or pick up a pack of Bowman, those Ice cards are really cool).

However, since I didn't know that the last one was the last one, I felt I needed to officially have closure with the set.  Since they came out, I kept on thinking that I could get lucky and pull a Wally Joyner or Will Clark auto (or Jim Abbott, John Olerud, Ken Griffey Jr., etc.) although, now looking on eBay, it looks like you might be able to pick up some of those for the price of a single pack.  Silly me.

Anyways, I was fully ready for disappointment after seeing two Yankees in a row, followed by a Dodger, when I saw this:

Is this as cool as it sounds?  Does anybody have an uncut sheet of cards?  How big is it, and how do you store/display it?

Enough questions.  Anyways, I feel like that was a good pack to end on.  There are still a few players from the set that I wouldn't mind having, but I'll have to rely on trades for those.

In the meantime, I'll go ahead and show my favorites that I pulled from all those packs of Archives I ripped.

These deckle-edges are pretty awesome.  Love the blue printed auto against the black and white photo.  Doesn't hurt that these are some pretty awesome players.

Two All-Stars.  Two awesome cards, although the Kinsler is almost the exact same picture used in this year's Heritage set.

Trade with The Hopeful Chase

As I have mentioned previously, I sometimes have the tendency to rip packs like I'm a set collector, when in reality, I'm not.  Of course, I collect Padres.  There are also a few players that I collect.  Also, if a card is cool enough, I'll hang onto it.  But a lot of packs that I rip go pretty much straight to the trade list.  

This is especially true for this year's Heritage set.  I love the design and the card stock.  They look so cool.  But with all the short prints that are hard to get, plus all of the players that I don't know/care about, I don't think that I'd really be that into collecting the whole set.  Plus, as a semi-Ranger fan, I can't stand all of the cards that celebrate the Cardinals World Series.  I guess I'm just a sore loser.

Anyways, I was glad to be able to help out Justin over at The Hopeful Chase with his Heritage needs.  Here's what came my way in return.

Whittling down some of my Ranger needs from 2012 and 2011.  Is it just me, or does Koji look kind of like George Takei with facial hair?  Diggin' Murph's socks.

A sweet Eric Show card from 1985 Topps.  Can't ever have enough yellow and brown on the blog.  KOOOOZ!  I don't know a lot about these 2007 Bowman cards, but this card has the thickness of like, seven cards.

Crown Jewel: 1995 Topps Stadium Club "Clear Cut".  I had never heard of these, but they're printed on clear acetate.  Looks much cooler in person, but I think it still looks good here.

Added bonus?  Brian Lawrence 2003 Leaf Clubhouse Signatures card.  Looks pretty good, even though it's not on-card.  Been very satisfied with the number of Padre auto's I've been able to acquire in trades.

Anyways, a pretty decent haul for me, and it was good to see all those Heritage cards find a good home. Good luck completing that set, Justin!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Today was a pretty good day...

1) Last day of summer school.  Now the only kiddo that I'll be hanging out with is my own.

2) Found out about a great new blog called This Way To The Clubhouse.  And the guy isn't a Dodger fan or anything!  I hate mentioning blogs just because they have a contest going or something, so trust that is an agenda-free plug.  Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.

3) Padres win!  Unfortunately Andrew Cashner's gem (had a no hitter going with one out in the 6th) was ruined by a two run homer by my favorite Astro, Brian Bogusevic.  But who got Cash off the hook with his first home run in the majors, which happened to be a two-out grand slam in the 9th?  TTG's own Alexi Amarista!

Have a great night!

Trade with BA Benny

The third and last trade post for today.  Three left and then I'll be all caught up.

A while back, I posted that I had a bunch of lots for teams that I was trying to unload for Padres.  BA Benny, being the New York fan that he is, grabbed the Yankees and the Metropolitans.  In return, he sent me a pretty hefty stack of Padre cards.

As I choose which cards to post pictures of for my trade posts, I always wonder if the person who sent me the cards had particular favorites that they would prefer me to show, or if they're all unwanted and they don't really care either way.  I tend to think that (at least when it comes to Padres), it's probably the latter in most cases.  Some exceptions might be particulary sweet Gwynn cards that they might have begrudgingly parted ways with.

Anyways, not a lot of inserts in this package, but a lot of base cards, which will help me further some of the team sets that I'm chasing.  Sometime soon, I'd like to get organized and have complete wants/needs lists, but until then, just go ahead and send all the Padres you want.  Chances are, I can use 'em.

When I sent the NY cards to BA Benny, I noticed that the name on his mailing address was Mike.  I wondered where the name "BA Benny" came from.  I probably could've asked him, but I think it might have come from his awesome collection of Benito Santiago cards.  I'll show my top three Benny cards, saving the best for last.

1992 Leaf.  Shows the gunslinger reaching out to catch a pitch, while his umpire friend gives him a reassuring pat on the back.

Another Padre from 1992 Pinnacle that I had never seen but knew that it existed!  It didn't disappoint!  These came out in Series 2, and feature TECHnical sketches of how the players did what they did best.  They only featured seven players, including Nolan Ryan, Ryne Sandberg, and Rickey Henderson.

Score!  1991!  Not only getting me closer to the full team set, but this is a pretty sweet card in my book.  Benito looking deadpan at a runner, daring you to try to steal.  Ok, so the card was taken in a studio and it's a posed look.  Still looks pretty bad ass.

A Cora card that gets me closer to the 1991 Score complete set.  Also, another Raul Casanova card.  This is my third card of his, all in Padre catcher gear, and he never even played a game for them.  A Zero-Year card, to borrow a phrase from a fellow blogger.

I think this is my first Scott Livingstone card in the Padre pinstripes.  About time.  You might not be able to tell from the photo, but Gene Tenace has a few stickers or something on his helmet.  And a sweet mustache.  Can't have too many Randy Jones cards.  

Andy Benes could get strikeouts like no other Padre before him.  He's second on the all time Padre list with 1,036, behind Jake Peavy's 1,348, and ahead of Trevor's 1,029.  I'm not sure how many times he used the knuckleball, though, despite what this card may lead you to believe.

This is a pretty cool 3D card of Andy Benes.  With most 3D cards, you move them back and forth to see the different images.  With this one, you move it top to bottom, something I hadn't seen before.  Also cool that it shows Benes as a hitter.  I like seeing cards of pitchers hitting, there's not a lot of them (sounds like a post idea for a future date...).

The Padres collection is starting to really bulk up now.  Loving it!  Thanks for the trade, Benny!

Trade with Fantastic Catch

So Weston from Fantastic Catch emailed me a while back, saying that he had a handful of things from my want list, and he was interested in a handful of things on my trade list.  It's nice when things work out like that.

Even though it meant having to deal with a Cardinals fan... I could tell it was worth it when the first item I saw was Padre related, but wasn't a baseball card.

Okay, so it's nothing fancy or anything, but I'll admit, whenever I see little trinkets like these in those little quarter machine-thingies, I'm always a little tempted.  As a kid, I tried it a few times, quickly giving up when I realized that I had no use a Raiders sticker or a rubber band with a Twins logo on it.

Short post today, only showing the best of the best.  Starting off with two Hall of Famers.  I love the "Ironman" foil on this Fleer Ultra card, even though it's on a card that came out after his retirement.  Hoffman isn't in The Hall yet, but that's only a matter of time.  I wonder how flexible pitchers in general are.  I don't think my legs were designed to go as high as that.

Does Paulie deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?  My gut says no, although my heart says "If Blyleven got in, how could you say no to Konerko?"  Dude's got 409 homers and 1,300 RBI, and not really showing signs of slowing down, even at 36.  Career average is only .283, though, with 2,106 hits.  For sure, the "Hall of Pretty Freakin' Good", at the very least.  Erstad is not a Cooperstown threat, but still one of my favorite players from seeing him in the Minors.

Highlight of the package?  Chris Young game jersey card.  Would've been cool to get one from the jersey that he's wearing in the inset, though.  Has anyone seen the camo jerseys used for relic cards?  Seems like they're normally pretty low key pieces, usually.  Not sure that I'd be able to tell the difference between this swatch and a swatch from Chris' basketball jersey from Princeton.  Glad to see CY off the DL and pitching for the Mets this year.

Always good to add cards to the PC!

Thanks for the trade, Weston.

Trade with Lonestarr

I love it when I'm not the one to initiate a trade.  The first few weeks of blogging, I felt that I was always pestering other bloggers to make deals.  Lately, it's been more even, between me contacting other collectors and having others reach out to make deals.  It's nice.

This was the haul that I got back from Lonestarr, who was apparently getting back into the swing of things after a mini-haitus.  There were a few things on my tradelist from the 2012 sets that he needed, and he... well, he sent me some pretty fantastic Friars, as well as some other guys.

Starting off with a Hall of Famer, from the 1979 Topps set.  Great card!

I love the diamond anniversary cards from last year's Topps set.  I think they were one of the things that got me interested in newer cards.  I think the only Padre cards like this I have are of Cabrera and O-Dog (so far).  It wouldn't be a great trade package without the Crime Dog!  These are sharp looking cards.  I'm kinda looking forward to the return of Triple Play, not so much for me, but I think the kids in my class will like them.

The Padres team leaders from 2006.  Six years later, and they're all long gone.  

A couple of Allen & Ginter cards from 2007.  These look cool with the Mexican flag included.  I was unaware that Hairston represented Mexico during the World Baseball Classic in 2009, but he did.

I already have this card, but the background is a lighter, beige-ier color.  This one looks cooler.  I might not normally count this Dave Roberts as a Padre card.  Even though the player is sporting the Pads jersey, the front and back have Giants written all over them.  But since it's Mr. Roberts, I'm willing to make the exception.  The dude is a champion in every sense of the word (e.g. World Series Champ and cancer survivor).

Are you tired of looking at Padres yet?  I know that Aaron Harang is.  I'm guessing that's why he went for LA.  Seriously though, how is this image on a baseball card?  Is it just me, or does the poor guy look like an insomniac zombie?  Somebody didn't get the memo about picture day.

Do you know who has the most major league home runs for people who were born in Rhode Island?  This guy.

SCORE!  Finishing up the trade is a jersey card from Paulie, numbered 179/180.  Totally awesome, the highlight of the package.

A great package from Lonestarr!  I feel like I made out a lot better than he did, so I'll be looking to see if there's anything else that I can send over soon to try to even it out a bit.  Thanks for the deal!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bonus! Excellent!

Still working on my 1971 style set of 2012 Topps Archives, and finally nearing the end!  Eight more to go!

To expedite the process, I scoured eBay for some cheapo cards.  I was able to pick up Roy and Matt for less than a quarter each.  I have a hard time spending more than a dollar for a single card, unless is especially awesome or autographed, or something along those lines.  Takes longer to find those gems, but I'm glad I saw these, as they fit into the budget perfectly.

However, upon opening the envelope that the seller sent to me, I was surprised to find a card that I hadn't ordered.  At first, I thought it was this from year's Heritage set.  Upon further review, I found that I didn't recognize the name, and the cardstock was very different from what I remembered.

Then, I realized that I was holding and actual Topps card from 1963.

I thought it was pretty cool.  Apparently, the seller took longer than usual to send those cards off, so to try to make up for it (and keep their rating high), they tossed in a vintage card.  Needless to say, the feedback I left was awesome.

Since the Padres came into the league in 1969, they didn't make it into this Topps set.  However, just because they were in the majors doesn't mean that they weren't around.

For those of you not in the know, the Padres were a Pacific Coast League team (PCL) from 1936 to 1968.  I'll do a few posts on the history of the Friars at a future time (since I really need to get cranking on the bunch of trade posts I have on the burner).  However, if you're wondering if any of the PCL Pads made it to the majors, the answer is staring you in the face.  Well, I guess he's actually staring at something behind you and to your left.  But Dick Stigman was a PCL Padre alumni, who went on to pitch for the Indians, Twins, and Red Sox, from 1960 to 1966.

According to the back of this card, he didn't do too bad in San Diego, leading the PCL in K's his last season there.  Whether this was due to his ability to locate his curveball or his penchant for hypnotizing batters, it's a pretty impressive feat.

I can't imagine that the seller who passed this along to me knew that I was a Padre fan, since my pickups were Phillies and Rangers, but I think it's pretty cool how it all worked out.  I guess this will have to go into my "Former Padre" binder.

It's a pretty sweet addition.

One Of Those GWYNNsdays

Anthony Keith Gwynn was unquestionably one of the greatest pure hitters of the 80s and 90s.  Multiple Batting Titles, Silver Sluggers, All-Star Game appearances show that this was not a secret, but something that the baseball world was well aware of.  He retired with a .338 batting average, making it into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

Do you want a number even bigger than his .338 batting average?

How about .662?

That's Tony's NGAH average.  NGAH isn't used by many statisticians (since I just made it up), but you'll find that simple math shows that if you get a hit 338 times out of 1000, you didn't get a hit the other 662 times.  Thusly, your "Didn't Get A Hit" average would be .662.

Is there another profession where succeeding less than two-fifths of the time makes you a legend in your field?  Maybe there is, I'm not sure.  What I do know is that even All-Stars get used to failure, but they keep on keepin' on.

As bad as the Padres were some seasons, Tony wasn't always able to lift them, as evidenced by his 20 years with the Friars and only three playoff appearances.  Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just fall short.  Even the great ones do it.

Thankfully, none of my failures have been immortalized on cardboard, like this 1992 Donruss Triple Play card, in which Tony is unable (through no fault of his own, really) to snag this home run ball.

This card is another Gwynn given to me by Padrographs.  The more I look at it, I suppose that the trajectory of the ball could be more vertical, so maybe he actually has a shot at it.  But I'm going to lean towards the likelihood that this hit landed a Padre opponent a free one-way trip back to home plate.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Package from Padrographs

When I first started this blog, I was pretty insecure about proclaiming myself a "Padres collector", because despite my fandom, my collection was pretty meager.  As a kid, I mostly just ripped packs, and I seemingly never got any Pads.  I was able to buy a few singles of my favorite Padres, but that's a slow way to acquire volume.  Enough to mostly fill a one inch binder.  Fast forward a decade and a half and a few trades in the blogosphere (with people unloading all of their unwanted and unloved Friar cardboard), and I was getting pretty close to filling a three inch binder.  I was feeling pretty good about myself.

Then I received a package from Rod from Padrographs.  After tallying up the haul and dividing them up, the "Padres" binder is about to rip asunder, and a split will be happening sometime this week (starting to put them in some semblance of order).  Talk about a load of Padres!  And since Rod is a Padre collector as well, I'm going to assume that these are all doubles, so I'm going to thusly assume that Rod's collection of Padres probably has it's own room in his house.  

Enough pontificating already, here is the goodness greatness:

As a huge fan of 1992 Pinnacle as well as a Padres fan, I feel embarrassed to say that this was the first time I had ever seen this card, although I was aware of it's existence.  Despite the fact that there's a Dodger in the background, a great Gwynn card.  Love the backswing.

Has anyone ever heard of "Ballstreet" baseball cards?  I never have, and that's why I love this one.  An unorthodox catch as well, so it works well with this unknown company.  "Cards that I've never heard of/seen before" would become a recurring theme in this package.

Can you guess what brand of card this is?  I was thinking Upper Deck/Goudey at first, but it turns out that it's from 1990 Score, a subset called "Scoremasters".  I have never seen a card like this before.

If you can't tell, there is a blue border around this 1988 Topps card, and instead of a number in the back, there is an "F".  I have no idea what the story is behind this, but I love it.

Are you serious?  I love 1994 Topps Stadium Club!  How have I never heard of this card before?  By '94, I'm assuming that "Quick Start" is in reference to his ability to start hitting early in the season and not  Tony's actual footspeed (although he had four seasons with 30+ stolen bases, they were all in the 80s;  he only had 5 in 1994).

Ok, more familiar territory.  I stopped collecting Triple Play after the inaugural year, because the red border and the facts on the back were too "kiddie-themed" for me.  1993 was much improved, and I wish I had known, nine year-old me would've dug these.

Gasp!  As a kid, I only dreamed of having one of the Tony Gwynn Commemorative Series cards.  And he sent nine-tenths of the set!  These are awesome, and card #1 is now first on the list of ATWTTB's most wanted.  The set will be mine... oh yes... it will be mine.  These were the favorites of the about 50 Gwynn's that Rod sent.

Proof that they weren't all Gwynns.  RIFLEMAN!  Not the American western television show starring Chuck Connors from the '50s and '60s.  Benito Santiago.  Yeah, I still call him Benito.  Show some respect, Score.  Slowly inching closer to that 1991 Score team set...

Not all the cards were of major leaguers.  There were quite a few minor league cards, which are awesome.  Rymer Liriano is still with the Lake Elsinore Storm.  Heading off to San Diego in a few weeks, and hope to catch a game while I'm there.  Don't know a lot about Adys Portillo, but the Fort Wayne Tincaps are the Padres Short-A season team.  He's still there. 

 Before the AAA team moved to Tucson and became the "Padres", they were in Portland and were called the "Beavers".  Craig Stansberry is now in Toronto, and is the only MLB player to have been born in Saudi Arabia.  Sogard is now with the A's, hitting .145 in 69 at bats this year.  

I used these cards since they were of the same player.  The Beaumont Golden Gators were the Padres AA affiliate from 1983 to 1986.  Famous alumni include Benito, John Kruk, Ozzie Guillen, Joey Cora, and Roberto & Sandy Alomar.  The team left Beaumont after the oil bust, and re-located to Wichita Kansas, becoming the Pilots and later the Wranglers.  They've since moved to Springdale, Arkansas, becoming the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, affiliate of the Royals.  The Las Vegas Stars are now the Las Vegas 51s, a farm team of the Blue Jays.  
Long boring history lesson aside, James Steels played parts of three seasons with three teams (Padres, Rangers, and Giants) from 1987 to 1989, and hit .180 in 133 career at bats.

I wish I had counted to see how many cards Rod sent altogether, but I didn't.  Suffice it to say that it was a ton.  And very few dupes/ones that I already had, lots of cards that I would consider difficult to find.  Totally awesome.  Here's hoping that everyone has a blogger for their team that is as awesome (and loaded with cards) as Rod is for this Padre fan!  Thanks Padrographs!