As I've said before, the nearest "local" card shop from where I live is about 40 minutes away. The drive, plus the lower quality of the shop, and shortage of cash (and, being in Texas, the lack of Padres they have), keeps me from frequenting it that often. But on my trip to San Diego, I was excited to be in the land of Padres. I figured they'd be a little pricier, but was still anxious to see what I could come away with.
I went to two shops, one in Escondido, near my in-laws, and another one in Rancho Bernardo, the city between my family's house and my in-laws. Already, the commute is a major upgrade from my Texas situation.
Anyways, here are my top ten favorite cards that I was able to pick up, although not listed in any particular order. Well, I guess they're in an order that makes them easier to discuss, although I did save my favorite card for last.
Up first: 1973 Topps! Return of the Brown and Yellow! The ones I picked up aren't in perfect condition, but still pretty good for being almost 40 years old. Both out of the 50 cent bin in the RB shop. Awesome.
Also out of the 50 cent bins in the RB shop. About time I got my hands on that Archives card! Seemed to always elude me. Despite what this blog may lead you to believe, orange is actually my favorite color, and this '88 Score card has that in spades.
Okay, I already had the Gary Carter re-print from this years' Archives set (on the right), but when I saw the original in the vintage box at the Escondido store, I had to get it, $2.00 price tag be damned. Definitely looks better than the re-print.
Two more solid pickups from the 50 cent bin in the RB store! Until he got injured while swinging at a pitch, Yasmani Grandal (acquired in the Mat Latos trade with the Reds) was tearing it up for the Friars, batting .312 and slugging .597 (5 HR/15 RBI) in only 77 at-bats. Casey Kelly was acquired from the Red Sox in the Adrian Gonzalez trade, and is also currently on the DL at AAA Tucson. I love these minor league cards, as evidenced by the fact that they make up the last four cards of the countdown.
This was the big splurge of the trip. I took my brother with me and for his birthday, bought him a few Padre cards from the '12 Topps set. Of course, I had them all at home, but I wanted to make it a little special for him. They weren't cheap at the RB store, but at 3 bucks apiece, he got Cameron Maybin and Luke Gregerson (currently on a pretty healthy 15 1/3 inning scoreless streak). I also plopped down 3 bucks for this card of "Future Stars" from the '08 Draft Class.
I really liked this one just because it... isn't Topps. A recent card not made my the Toppsopoly? Even better, by a company I'd never heard of? I'll take it! I'd say that those guys at OMR know their stuff pretty well (although Alvarez has struggled since posting a decent rookie season in 2010). And did you know that Yonder leads NL rookies in hits and doubles and is third in RBI and OBP? Well, now you do.
Last, but not least, my favorite card of the trip... Archi Cianfrocco, playing for the Jacksonville Expos.
I still need to devote an entire post to the awesomeness that is Archi, but I'll just say that he was the ultimate utility guy for the Pad Squad from 1993 to 1998, which was the time that I was the most invested in the Friars. Being a backup and only playing for seven years means that he doesn't have a lot of cardboard, so anything that I can get of his is a real find. Plus, once again, a 50 cent find from that wonderful RB store. Once I found this one, paying six times more for that Alonso card wasn't a big deal.
I know, I'm cheap.
There were a few other ones that I picked up, including some sweet Darin Erstad cards, a Carlton Fisk card (that I showed at the end of yesterday's post), and an '84 Topps Rollie Fingers (despite the Brewer uniform), but this was the cream. Not as many Padres as I was anticipating, but still some quality stuff.
Tomorrow: getting a major trade post out of the way to get back to semi-regular blogging.