A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Friday, November 30, 2012

G.etting C.ards - R.eally L.ucky

I was in a Topps-style rut with my trade posts, very similar to the "Blockbuster" inserts from this year's Update set that say "(name of team) gets (name of player)".  It would probably be helpful to show an example of one of these cards to explain to the uninformed what it is that I'm talking about, but I don't feel like showing one.  Apparently the Padres have never had a blockbuster trade, so they weren't included in the set.

Anyways, this is a trade post, and the title is a hint about who they are from.  See if you can figure it out (I know, this sounds about as exiting as a puzzle on the back of a cereal box; you get what you pay for, I guess).

I'm going to go ahead and break out of another rut - the saving the best card for the end.  I'm having the dessert first!  I had commented on a post by this blogger that I had always wanted one of the 1974 "Washington Nat'l Lea." cards.  Back then, it looked like a sure thing that the Padres would be moved from San Diego to our nation's capital, and Topps wanted to get a head start.

To be honest, I'm not a big fan of this set.  Not the best looking in my opinion, everything seems kinda dull.  However, I love this card!  So cool to have it.  I don't want to sound over-dramatic, but how different would my life have been if the Padres had moved to DC?  Would I still be a big baseball fan?  Would I be a... (gulp)... Dodger fan?  Phew... glad I dodged that bullet.

Next up, some late 90s Friars!  Got a bunch of these, and they are my first from the 1998 Topps set, the year the Padres won the NL Pennant.  Great shot of Finley at the plate, but the nod for "best card of the set" goes to Joey in the blue Swinging Friar jersey with the socks pulled up high, right where they should be.  Dude could grow a goatee pretty well, too.  Even though I'm not a big fan of the gold border, I will say that the backs of these cards have some of the more interesting facts that I've come across in a while.  Some of those will probably warrant a post down the road.

This "Gold Futures" card helps get me closer to all the Padres inserts for this year's Topps set.  Luebke getting injured this year was a big disappointment, hoping for a rebound year in 2013.  "Everybody Loves Khalil" is the name of a sitcom I'm planning on writing about a quiet, moody shortstop with hair like a middle school girl who is loved by all even though he never talks to anybody.  Based on a true story.

Ok, so you still haven't figured out who the generous trade partner is yet?  He definitely would appreciate this card of an airborne Fernandez avoiding a... sliding Barry Bonds?  Not sure if that's Willie May's godson or one of his Pittsburgh teammates.  Hard to recognize the dude in pictures before he doubled in size.

Last but not least, the lone "non-Padre" card in the package (unless you count the "Washington" card as a non-Padre, which would be ridiculous).  What I find really interesting about most Mlicki cards is... nothing.  What I find interesting about this one is who's lurking in the background.

I usually only joke about doing research to find out when the picture for a particular baseball card was taken.  However, on this one, I decided to do a little digging.  The picture was definitely taken in 1997, as evidenced by the "Jackie Robinson 50th Anniversary" patch on all of the jerseys that season.  Mlicki faced the Padres three times in the 1997 season, but two of those games were at night.  Therefore, this had to be taken on the May 1st game, which was played in New York.  The Padres won that game 7-3, with Padres starter Andy Ashby getting the complete game victory.

Tony Gwynn, the man with the imposing physique in the background, went 3 for 4 that game, with an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the 3rd, which scored Friar second baseman Quilvio Veras from third.  Even though Tony collected three hits, he only made it to second base once, on a first inning double.  His other two hits were singles, and he got erased off the paths via force out (7th inning) and double play (9th inning).

So, long story boring, this picture was taken in the first inning of the game against my Padres on May 1st, 1997, while Dave Mlicki was pitching to either Ken Caminiti or Greg Vaughn (who both flied out).  Thanks baseball-reference!

Did you figure it out?  These cards are from Jim, the man behind the blog Garvey Cey Russell Lopes.  I love how Jim included a few "turning two" cards and even a "lurker" card, both staples for posts on his far superior blog.

Thanks again for the cardboard, Jim!  I'll be highlighting one more card from this trade in a post for tomorrow.

I know, so suspenseful, right?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Craving A GWYNNsday

I am glad that I am a man, and as such, do not have the responsibility of bringing children into the world.  I mean, I do my part, but it's much less labor intensive than my wife's.

She is currently a few weeks from giving birth to our second child, our first boy.  I've been so swamped with school lately that I feel like the only time I even get to see her is when we're both exhausted at the end of the night, her usually working on some "nesting" project (the latest one was getting a dollhouse for my daughter all fixed up and repaired for Christmas, since the days that she can do such things are numbered) or crashed on the couch, and me usually finishing up lesson plans or emails, or doing the dishes and giving the kid a bath.

There is really very little that I can do to ease the uncomfortableness that she is surrounded with every day.  She walks funny, cries out in pain when a limb jabs her ribs, and can't ever ever get comfortable.

One thing that I can do pretty well, though, is leave the house to buy food.  It seems like it's usually fresh fruit or vegetables, but sometimes it's oatmeal cookies or ice cream or fried chicken.

And sometimes it's cereal.  Not only is it my daughter's favorite food (and one of the first foods that she learned how to say - she turns two in February), but my wife gets cravings for it as well.  My daughter usually goes for Honey Nut Cheerios, or sometimes Frosted Mini-Wheats.  My wife on the other hand, goes for Cap'n Crunch.
Any chances that we'll see baseball cards in cereal boxes anytime soon?

Anyways, I get whatever it is she wants, because it's the least I can do.

I mean literally, the absolute least thing I can do.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Eight More

After starting this blog and overloading on Padre cards, I feel that I've settled into a "selective" groove with the Friars that are going into my binders.  Not like it's a super exclusive club, but there are certain criteria that need to be met.  I can't (and don't want to be) one of those bloggers who has to have every possible card from their team for it to be complete.  Obviously, there's nothing wrong with that (well, my pockets aren't that deep, so I guess that'd be an issue), but I can drive myself crazy over making things perfect, and I don't want this hobby to do this to me.

That being said, there are plenty of cards out there that I'm looking to add to the binders.  I made a mini-eBay splurge and spent almost five bucks on a small stack of cards from a seller with reasonable shipping.  Here are some highlights (what an annoying show off am I...).

One of the things that I've discovered from reading others blogs is how much I love vintage cards.  Not all of them (some just seem downright ugly to me), but some of them are just great.  1973 Topps is one of those sets that I really dig.  These two bring me to a grand total of five for the team set.  Only 17 more to go!

Interesting bit of info from the back of Kendall's card: he hit his first home run off of a guy named Bob Gibson.  He'd go on to hit a staggering 31 homers in the 2,823 plate appearances of his career.

Next up, two Padres from my generation that are always welcome to the collection.  Fred McGriff was my favorite Padre during his time in San Diego, and he was the first player who actually got me interested in looking back at older cards (as a kid, it was always "the newer, the better).  Usually I prefer Benito cards of him in his catchers gear, but this card is actually co-produced by Topps and McDonalds, which struck me as unique.  I guess the gold foil isn't shining just right, but right next to the Topps logo are those familiar golden arches.  As much as I dislike Mickey D's, they have played a big part in the history of the Padres.

Just wanted to prove that there is some room for non-Padre cards.  Ok, so they went on to become Padres, but that's beside the point.  I still get a kick out of seeing Trevor in the Florida teal.  Less amused when he put on the Brewer blue.  Sterling Hitchcock was a beast in the '98 NLCS against the Braves, and won the MVP of the series, so even though he spent a good chunk of his career away from San Diego, he'll always be a life-time Friar to me.
Finishing it up with two of my all-time favorite players.  I see-saw between Steve Finley and Archi Cianfrocco as my favorite all-time Padres.  Finley was better and more fun to watch, but left in free agency after 1998 and later played for... the rest of the NL West.  Seriously, look it up.  Archi, on the other hand, has a totally awesome name, and spent the majority of his career in San Diego and played every single position except pitcher.  How awesome is that?  This is also a pretty sharp looking Darin Erstad card.

The first minor league game that I went to was with the Lake Elsinore Storm, a single-A team who was (at the time) affiliated with the California Angels.  I saw Darin hit a home run and help his team win the game, and afterwards got his autograph on the score card my dad and I were keeping.  I need to show pictures of that sometime.

Anyways, there's eight more cards going into binders.  As much as I like digging through my card binders (I'm making my grand total of *four* binders sound like some sort of mountain) and admiring everything, it seems like there's never time to fully enjoy them.  Because of that, I love being able to post the pictures here, not just to share with the handfuls of people who occasionally read the blog, but also so I can look back and see some cool stuff that puts a smile on my face.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Winnings and Wallach Returns

Been a few days.  Hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving.  Mine was pretty low-key, but having a few days off and spending more time with my wife and daughter has been nice...

Anyways, enough with the pleasantries.  You know those annoying people who win those blogger contests instead of you?  Do you congratulate them, but secretly wish that it had been you instead?

No?  Well, you must be a better person than me.

For once (okay, it's not the first time), it was me.  Kerry from Cards on Cards had a World Series contest to guess who would steal the first base, thus winning Taco Bell's "Steal A Base, Steal A Taco" contest for the whole country.  My guess was the Giants' Angel Pagan, and when he stole second in Game 2, I was a winner along with the rest of the country (assuming you're a fan of Taco Bell and/or diarrhea).

The prize was a game used card from the team of my choice (the Padres), which he would pick up at the next card show he went to.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was definitely satisfied with what came in the mail yesterday.

I know there's been an outrage about "relic" cards that aren't the real thing.  Even still, the possibility that I now have a piece of a Trevor Hoffman jersey and a piece of a Tony Gwynn jersey (from a previous trade) is kinda cool.

I also recently sent a few Tim Wallach cards to Cory, helping him get closer to owning all of the Wallach cards in the universe.  In return, he sent me a tidy group of Padre cards, most from the 70s.  I'm running low on space on my Picasa album, so I'll just show the absolute highlights.

I haven't always been a fan of the whole team cards, mostly because I think there are cooler ways to show the whole team (I really liked what Topps did with their 2011 flagship set).  However, the all yellow uniforms with brown long sleeves is pretty sweet looking.

The 1969 Topps set isn't a good looking set.  However, it's the inaugural team set for the Padres, so they're cool to have.  Roberto was the 48th pick of the 1968 expansion draft, taken from the Philadelphia Phillies.  He batted .250 with 30 RBIs for the first edition of the Friars in 1969, and was traded to the A's before the 1970 season.  I love the obviously airbrushed black cap and the "why did you wake me up" look on his face.  I already have this '84 Gwynn card, but now I have another one for the player collection.

Thanks for the cards guys!  Cory sent me a few others that will make their way onto the blog as well, including a super vintage "Padre Backstops".  But that's for another day.

In non-card related news, today we went to another swap-meet thing today, this time in Austin.  Didn't get any baseball cards, but came away with a old-timey looking baseball game that the seller practically forced me to have, and a patch off a San Diego Port Authority uniform, which was pretty cool to see in the middle of Texas.  My wife also found some furniture for a dollhouse that she's fixing up to give to our daughter for Christmas.

Hope the holiday break has treated everybody well.  Our Christmas tree was up before dinner yesterday, so I guess we're those kind of people.  Ok, not really, but my wife is pregnant and will be having the baby before Christmas, so we wanted to get everything set up before the baby came.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A GWYNNsday Trade with Kaz

I've been a Padres fan since I was born.  My level of "fan-dom" has been hot and cold through the years, but it's always been there.

Being that the Padres have had more lean years than most, I've developed "root for the underdog" mentality.  Most of my favorite bands are all small, local bands (with the exception of The Clash) and I like going out of the way to find those great, hole-in-the-wall places to eat.

With that background info, it might not be surprising to know that Tony Gwynn has never been my favorite Padre.

Fred McGriff and Gary Sheffield were big names when I was in elementary school, so I liked them.  Steve Finley and Ken Caminiti were huge parts of the '96 and '98 teams that were really good, and Archi Cianfrocco was all-around awesome, so they were my favorites then.  Even when Adrian Gonzalez and Jake Peavy were the few Padres bright spots, I still rooted harder for Geoff Blum, Josh Bard, and Chris Denorfia.

However, looking back, it's impossible not to appreciate Tony's place in Padres history.  Unquestionably the greatest ever to wear the hat with the interlocking "SD", and one of the greatest pure hitters in the history of the game.  On top of that, he's a super nice guy and loves his city (San Diego is his city).

Seeing all of the cool pieces of cardboard with Tony on them has been one of the coolest things about starting this blog.

Oh, by the way, I'm taking this GWYNNsday to showcase some cards that Mark from This Way To The Clubhouse sent me today.  Well, he didn't send them today, but I got them today, since he sent it last week.  You know what I mean.

This isn't my favorite Gwynn card that Mark sent me (I'm saving that one for a later GWYNNsday), but this is probably the most unique.  This is from 1998 Pinnacle Mint, and is supposed to have a coin of some sort in that circle shaped hole.  Even though I know it's missing something, I'll just consider it a fancy die-cut card.

I did a lot of heavy research on this card, and based on the left arm of the person on the left edge of the card and the angle of the shadows cast by the first row spectators, I can confidently say that this shot was taken as Fred hit a 600 foot home run in the bottom of the ninth against the Dodgers.  The ball flew out of the stadium and knocked down a man who was attempting to steal a woman's purse across the street from Jack Murphy Stadium.  McGriff ignored the bunt sign when he heard the woman's cries for help, and decided to intervene.  True story.

When Mark told me he had some Padre cards to send my way, he also mentioned that he had a Benito card from his days with the Giants.  Pretty much all cards of Santiago are pretty awesome in my book, but I still had some reservations.  The Giants?  I was doubtful that it would be making it into the "Former Padre" section of my binders.  I shouldn't have been.  It's a good one.

My favorite card of the package from Mark, however, was one that he didn't tell me about.  This is current All-Star Padre closer Huston Street's "Just Rookies" card from 2004, when he was still playing for Oakland's single-A team, the Kane County Cougars.

What's really cool about this card is that Street only played for the Cougars for nine games (10.2 innings) in 2004, his first year as a professional.  After posting a 1.69 ERA in Kane County, he was moved up to Midland (AA), where he stayed for ten games (13.1 innings, 1.35 ERA) before packing up again for Sacramento (AAA).  Not sure why he only pitched in two games there (2 innings, gave up no runs), but that was all he wrote for 2004.  Anyways, I'll assume that this is Huston's first baseball card, and it's awesome to have.

Overall, a quality package from one of my favorite bloggers.  That's right Team Seacrest, you've been replaced!  If you haven't made a trade with Kaz, you're missing out.  Dude is awesome, probably first on the list of bloggers that I'd want to go catch a game with.  Thanks again, Mark!  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Don't Stand So Close To Me

Something is wrong with the photographer's zoom lens!  I thought the phrase "don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes" was a old war time expression, not something used when you're taking shots for baseball cards.

When I first saw this card coming out of a repack, I was seriously startled.  What can usually be a really cool shot of a catcher wearing his mask and looking like a badass has turned into Sandy looking like he's some kind of prisoner trapped in his own gear.  It looks like something out of a horror movie.  I imagine that if we were to zoom out, somebody from the "Saw" movies would be amputating his leg (that happens in one of those movies, right?  Not much of a horror movie guy, so I stayed away from those).

I am always a fan of catcher's cards.  This one... is pretty original... so it makes it into a binder.

I just might have to make sure that I only look at it in the day time.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Hall of Fame, "Artist's Portraits"

I remember thinking as a kid that "artist's portrait" cards were pretty lame.  I wanted actual photos!  Not some artsy-fartsy rendering!  I wanted to see the real action shots, the real uniforms, with all the grass and dirt stains.

Looking back, some of those portrait cards have a place in my collection now, and I like the variety that they offered in the different sets they were in.

This is my favorite sketch card that I currently have.  I don't him listed on my "Player Collection" list, but I definitely hold onto all the Benito Santiago cards that come my way.  I became a Padres fan right around the time that he was on his way out of San Diego, so it's not because he was a favorite of mine. It's mostly because he must have a friend in the card industry, because he had some really cool cards.

Of course, when I think elaborate paintings of baseball players, I think of Donruss' "Diamond Kings" cards.  I did not like these as a kid, and I can't say that I'm particularly in love with all of them now.  I do however, like these Padres representatives.  Check out those mustaches!  Whitson actually had a great year in 1990, going 14-9 with a 2.60 ERA.  Goose's mustache is tough to beat as well, and despite the downright ugly 1986 Donruss set, this card looks pretty good to me.

Ok, ok, they're not all Padres cards.  Seriously, how cool are these 1992 Fleer cards?  Fleer followed up their 1991 yellow bordered set with this offering; a green-faded-to-white concept.  The base set is pretty bland looking, but these cards are stellar.  Not sure that Ripken or Ryan are in many bad looking cards.

Okay, right back to the Padres, as in "Mr. Padre" himself.  I considered showing an ugly version of a Gwynn Diamond Kings card (or a really ugly version of a Gwynn DK card), but I'll go with what I believe is hands down the best Diamond Kings card ever, this one from 1985.  This Upper Deck Masterpieces card is awesome, featuring two of my favorite childhood stars on one card.  Very fitting that they entered the Hall of Fame on the same day.

Upper Deck's checklists from the early 90s are pretty awesome.  I had more of these when I was younger, but I included them in a lot of trade packages early on.  I made sure to keep this one though.  I still get goosebumps watching Fisk's homer for the Red Sox, even though I only knew him as a member of the Pale Hose.

Alright, so these last two cards are a little hokey, but I still love 'em.  I got the "Error Card" guy from a Walgreens repack.  Did a triple take when I saw it.  Should've included the back of the card as well, since it is also pretty ridiculous.  If you've never seen the "Sidelines" cards from the 1992 Pinnacle set (aka "my favorite set ever"), you're missing out.  Apparently Bob Tewksbury is quite the artist.  Others include Nolan Ryan as a rancher, Tom Glavine as a hockey player, and Jim Gott as a martial artist.

Anyways, I'm sure there are plenty of other worthy candidates, but these are the selections for this round of "My Hall of Fame".  Any others that need to be included, feel free to send 'em my way!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Drawing a Blank

A while back, I was going through a repack of cards I got from Walgreens.  For four bucks, you get 100 cards, which is a steal compared to todays prices for packs of cards.  Plus, I already have gotten most of the 2012's Padres in trade packages.  There is usually a lot of junk wax in these repacks, but I've gotten lucky and scored some pretty cool cards from there before, so I figured I'd give it a shot again.

As I was leafing through the cards, I found this one.

If you squint hard enough, you can see the faint outline of what looks like it might've been the back of a 1985 Topps card.  The backs are usually a dull, green color, but this one looks decidedly red.  I had just gotten a Tony Gwynn card in a trade package that had a blank back (which I thought was pretty cool), so I quickly flipped it over to see who it was.

It was this guy!

When I first started the blog, Cal was one of the guys that I said that I "collected".  This meant that from the cards I had as a kid, I had about five Ripken Jrs.  Not much at all.  I got a few from packages, but I kept ending up with a lot of "newer" Ripken cards, ones that came out after he retired.  I already have enough Tony Gwynn cards that keep coming (not complaining there), but I figured that one retired star is enough for me.  This, however, is definitely a keeper.  

Tried to find out more about 1985 Topps with the blank, red backs, but haven't found anything.  I would imagine that this is something that happened on Topps' end, but I suppose that maybe it could've happened between it's journey from pack to repack?  The card is in pretty good condition, so I wouldn't think so, but who knows.

Well played Walgreens.  Well played.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Trash the 'Stache

Whenever school is out (summer, holidays, etc.), I get a little lax on my shaving habits.  Since I'm not going to work, there's no need to look presentable, right?

When it's time to start to trim my small little beard, I usually leave the mustache for a day or so, just because I think it'd be cool to have one.

I've tried to make it work, and I think the longest I've gone is a month (that was over the summer when I was still in college).  My wife is not a fan of the mustache, but in my head, it always looks really cool, so I keep going back to it.

Then, there is that day when I wake up and finally realize that it's time to lose the facial hair, because it's not the Tom Selleck / Super Mario / Rollie Fingers combo that I keep thinking that I can grow.

It looks just like the Ryno's does here, which is not great.  This is the first Sandberg 'stache that I've seen on a card, and I can tell there's a reason there's not more of these.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

GWYNNsday Group Shot

Can you make out the faces or recognize anybody who is on this team?  These "team" cards always look so awkward to me.  Maybe it's all the empty seats in the background, maybe it's everybody who's asking themselves "what do I do with my hands?"  Either way, this is a great card for any Padres fan because 1985 was the year that the Padres had the most All-Stars.

Having won the NL Pennant in 1984, Dick Williams was able to choose the reserves and pitchers for the team.  He chose:
* Garry Templeton, reserve short stop (back row, third from left)
* Terry Kennedy, reserve catcher (front row, seated, third from right)
* Rich Gossage, pitcher (middle row, fifth from right)
* La Marr Hoyt, starting pitcher (middle row, fourth from right)

The voters also had a hand in helping the Padres make it to Minnesota, as they voted a record three Padres into the starting lineup:
* Tony Gwynn, outfield (front row, second from the right)
* Steve Garvey, first baseman (front row, left end)
* Craig Nettles, third baseman (front row, third from left)

There's some pretty memorable faces that I can barely eke out of this photo, including Dale Murphy in a baby blue Braves jersey sitting in front of Tim Wallach in Expo-red.  Tony is sitting next to Ozzie Smith, Garry is standing next to Fernando Valenzuela, and Nettles is stuck next to Darryl Strawberry.  The Ryan Express is lurking right behind Steve Garvey.  Jeff Reardon's wolf man beard is pretty hard to miss in the middle row, far right.

This was Tony's second All-Star selection of the fifteen that he would receive in his career.  He would go 0 for 1 in this game.

I can't imagine the Padres ever getting that many guys into the All-Star game again, so next year when Chase Headley is our sole representative in New York, I'll look back at this card from 1986 Topps and dream...

SIDE NOTE:  Even though Joaquin Andujar (Cardinals pitcher) was picked by Williams to the squad, he refused to attend because of Dick's decision to start Hoyt.  Hoyt won the game as the Padres got some revenge on the Tigers, who beat them in the World Series in '84.  Hoyt was named the MVP of the game, becoming a member of a select group to win the award in their only All-Star appearance.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

26 Cent Trade

I recently completed a trade with Matt at 26 Cent Summer.  This was pretty cool because Matt's blog was one of the first ones that I stumbled into as I was getting into the baseball card blog community.  Just as I was getting into it, he moved and the blog went on hiatus, but he made it back and I quickly hit him up for a trade.

The dude hit all the right notes, nailing a bunch of stuff off my want lists, including a couple of my favorite cards of all time.  That list will make it's appearance on the blog sooner or later, and I don't want to spoil it too much, but I will say that the card above will certainly be making an appearance.  Sheffield, Gwynn, and McGriff were the guys that got me hooked on Padre baseball.  Their stays were short in San Diego, but by that point I was already a die-hard.  The fact that Phil Plantier made it onto a card with the rest of these guys is pretty funny to me.

This is a card that I already had, and had received in a number of trade packages.  However, this one was different, because when you flipped it over... there was nothing there.  I'm pretty sure that this was done on purpose, because if you weren't sure that Tony was deserving of an All-Star nomination and wanted to check his stats to make sure that he earned it... you are a moron.

This was the best looking Gwynn of the bunch.  I love Pinnacle.

Of the cards that Matt threw in were the last two that I thought I needed to complete the 1993 Upper Deck team set (the one at the top of this post and Derek Bell, one of my least favorite Padres ever).  He also included this "On Deck" card, which I had as a kid but I'm sure was destroyed over the years.  The photography in 1993 Upper Deck was excellent.  Now I can say the set is complete!

He also helped a ton with my 1986 Topps team set needs.  I'm not trying to put together team sets for every set ever produced, or even every Topps set.  I just decided to try it for all the sets that I really liked, something that I'd actually like to see full pages of (sorry 1986 Donruss).  Anyways, he knocked out all but three of the cards I needed for this set, which was awesome.

The surprise of the package was the 1998 Pinnacle Inside.  I'd seen these before, but I didn't know that Mr. Padre himself made an appearance on one of these "cards in a can".  Now I'm torn.  Do I open it?  Do I keep it and display it somewhere?  On one hand, I have never been one to not open something for the sake of keeping it in "mint" condition.  On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that whatever cards are on the inside are a lot less cooler than the can with Tony's face on it.  Decisions decisions.

Anyways, a great trade package from a great blogger.  I finally took the time to update the trade list (after a three month break), and things are good to go there, so if you're interested in starting up a trade, shoot me an email!  Still have to update the 2012 Topps Update trade list, but everything else is good to go.  Thanks again, Matt!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veterans Day Observed

Being a teacher, I always rely on my "days off" to tell me when our nation celebrates holidays.  Since Veterans Day was on a Sunday this year, we get today off, which is when I thought Veterans Day was.  I realized my mistake last night, when my mom sent me a text message telling me to call my little sister because it was her birthday.  I usually call her in the middle of watching "The Great Escape" (usually seems to be playing on TV on Veterans Day), so since I was watching football, it was a useful reminder.

Anyways, the Padres have a great track record of supporting military and veterans, and no sign is more apparent than their Sunday camouflage uniforms.  There were eight Padres included in 2012 Topps Update (nine cards total, since rookie Yasmani Grandal was included twice), and of those, there were four Padres shown sporting their camo-unis.

I like the blue parallels better than the red ones, the blue seems (a little) closer to the Padres color scheme.

Cashner's beard also helps camouflage his face.  These remind me of a Demetri Martin stand-up bit where he says (paraphrased) that camouflage is great when you're hunting because it makes you hard to see, but has the opposite effect when you are in a crowd of people.  That guy is funny, if you haven't checked him out yet.

According to Gaslamp Ball, there have been seven Padre players who have served in the military.  Of those seven, I have two of them on cardboard:

John "Champ" Summers didn't play baseball until the age of 28.  He served in Vietnam and was signed by the A's in 1971 after being discovered in a men's softball league (how cool is that?).  He played for ten years and six teams, finally ending it with the Padres in 1984, the year the Friars won the NL Pennant. 

Rich was in the minor leagues when he hit the "pause" button and served a tour of duty in Vietnam.  Upon his return, he got back on track, and went on to have an eight year career with four teams.  One of my favorite Jerry Coleman "malaprops" (even though I wasn't alive to hear it in person) is "Rich Folkers is throwing up in the bullpen."

The most famous veteran who has ties to the Padres is obviously "The Colonel", Jerry Coleman.  I've posted about him a few times before, but here is a video that I saw yesterday that showed an interview with the voice of the Padres.

I'll go on record as saying that I am a BIG fan of the Padres current camo uniforms.  Although I do like this Chase Headley O-Pee-Chee card, generally speaking, the old camo uniforms weren't much to look at.

Hope everybody has had the chance to thank a veteran at some point over the weekend.  Take care.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Secret's Out

On Saturday, I went to a "City Wide Garage Sale" with my wife and daughter in a town a few miles from ours, held at a convention center.  It happens a few times a year, and I've managed to pick up a few boxes of cheap 90s cards ('92 Fleer Ultra and '92 Topps Stadium Club) in the past, so I was excited to go again, since this would be my first visit since starting this blog.

Speaking of starting this blog...

I've always considered myself a very honest guy.  I don't enjoy keeping secrets or what not.

That being said, I have a confession to make: I have kept this blog a secret from my wife since it was started in April.

We share everything with each other (almost to a fault), so it's been weird and very out of character for me to keep this from her, but I felt that it'd be received negatively, so I kept it under wraps.  Family time is always at a premium, as is money, so collecting baseball cards didn't make a lot of sense to her, and I figured that blogging about them would make even less.  She's known me since we were 18, and it's only been recently that I've started to get back into the hobby, so it's not like it's been something that I've been interested in since the beginning of our relationship.

Well, I finally brought it up casually on Saturday, and she was totally cool with it.  She basically had a "non-response" to the whole situation, like it was no big deal.  She still doesn't really "get it" (which is fine), but she knows that it's something that I enjoy, and she loves me, so it's all good.  She's pretty awesome (not just because of this, but it's an example).

Anyways, to celebrate my newfound freedom, I spent a whopping $2 at the convention center on this card...

It was originally $3, but I was holding my daughter at the time, who was able to charm the old lady who was selling some cards out of a cardboard box, so I got a 33% discount.  I am way into the 1969 Topps set, not because it's got a cool or exciting design (it doesn't), but because it's the first set that featured the Padres (1969 was their inaugural year).  This is my second card from this set, so only... a bunch more to go.

Here's the back of the card.  Gotta love the sketch.

"Preston's" birth name was actually "Pedro", but got the nickname from his birthplace; Preston, Cuba.  He was the first ever manager of the major league Padres, and had the job for just over three seasons.  After losing 110, 99, and 100 games in his first three seasons as the manager in San Diego, Preston was fired after the first eleven games of the 1972 season, in which the Padres went 4-7.  He left the Friars with a .363 winning percentage (180-316), and after spending time as the skipper in Houston and Chicago, he finished his managerial career with a .395 mark (346-529).  He still has the worst record of any Padres manager.

This is a fine and welcome addition to my very small "vintage" collection.  The best part of my trip?  My wife telling me that she would go on ahead and look at another booth if I wanted to stop and look at the card table.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Trade with the Toddfather

As previously mentioned, I was able to make a trade with Tim from Home of the Toddfather in addition to joining his first ever group break.  Here is some of the cardboard goodness sent down from Tennessee...

Starting with one of my favorite cards first!  Can't go wrong with a Cianfrocco sighting!  Are there any players nowadays who have "IF" listed as their position?  Archi played all of the infield positions except catcher in 1997, when this set was released, and in '96, he played every defensive position except centerfield.  Dude was awesome.  Greg Vaughn was a great slugger for those late 90s Padres.

A couple of Padres showing some stellar glove work.  This is probably my favorite Bip card on the Padres.  Can't go wrong with the "over the fence catch".

I pretty much love all Khalil Greene cards.  

Couple of cards for the player collections.  Love the colored borders here.  The red looks sharp on the Hoffman, and I have a soft spot in my heart for the '91 Fleer set, and Crime Dog looks good in those Toronto blues.

Lastly, an addition to this year's Allen & Ginter Padres set.  Maybin's got a lot of potential, hopefully he can put everything together for 2013.

Thanks a lot for the Padres, Tim!  Dude is a great trade partner and stand up guy.  Well, I mean, it's not like we hang out or anything, but I always think it's cool that in this community we can communicate with complete strangers and they all come across as nice, decent guys.  Tim's no exception.