As a kid, Steve Finley was my favorite player. He was traded to the Padres in 1995, and he helped lead them to the NL West title the next season. I loved the highlight reels that ran at the stadium between innings, which usually showed him robbing hitters of base hits. The dude could also swing the bat (.276 average, 82 homers, 298 RBIs in his four seasons with the Friars) and had some speed on the base paths.
Although I was a hardcore baseball/Padre fan growing up, I fell away from baseball due to a few different factors that hit all at once:
* I stopped being good at baseball. When I got to high school in 1998, more pitchers were throwing a curve, something that I was able to track well (defensively) as a catcher, but something that I couldn't hit to save my life.
* The Padres made it to the World Series and got swept by the damn Yankees. My lovable small market team got beat by the evil, deep pocketed New Yorkers (despite the fact that they only out-spent San Diego by $12 million. The payroll gap in 2012 was more of a chasm, at $143 million).
* 1998 was Steve Finley's last year with San Diego. He left to sign with the Diamondbacks. Ug.
Of course, I've since come back to the fold, a bigger baseball and Padre fan than ever.
TTG of Friars on Cardboard knows of my affinity for Finley cards, and sent me an envelope that arrived on Saturday, carrying a foursome of Finley's.
This SP card was my favorite of the bunch. Being a lousy offensive player, I always prided myself in being pretty good at defense. I always imagined what it would be like to rob somebody of a home run. Even at my physical peak, I'm sure there are very few walls in the majors that I would be able to leap, due more to the fact that I'm 5'9" than the fact that I've got no hops. Anyways, love the action shot on this one.
This O-Pee-Chee card is also sharp. The 1992 Topps set was a big one for me, as it was the first year that I got really into collecting baseball cards. Even though I prefer cards of Steve as a Padre, his Oriole and Astro cards are still cool. I feel much differently about his post-Padre career (as if the Diamondbacks weren't bad enough, he went to the Rockies, Giants, and... DODGERS?)
Of course, it wouldn't be a TTG mail day without some sweet artwork. This edition did not disappoint.
Couldn't have said it better myself.
On Padres stationary, no less.