A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Back from San Diego

Back in the Lone Star state after about a week and a half in America's Finest City.  I'll give a more specific update later, but right now the camera's on the fritz.

Short version: hung out with family, had fun with the cousins and siblings, met my first blood-related nephew, went out to dinner with my wife, went to a card shop, tried to go to a Padres game, went to a Padres game, caught a punk rock show, saw The Dark Knight Rises, flew home with the baby, found a ton of trade packages waiting for me, currently cleaning up vomit from said baby (stomach flu).

I don't like posts without pictures to accompany them, so I might be silent for a few days trying to work out the camera situation, but in the meantime, I've totally updated my trade list (including '12 Allen & Ginter and '11 Topps Diamond parallels) as well as my want list, so lemme know if there's anything you're interested in.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I was snooping around eBay looking for Alexi Amarista cards (like most of you), when I came across a card of Alexi's from his days as a Cedar Rapids Kernel.  I thought it looked familiar...

The Topps Photoshopper strikes again!

It's pretty slim card pickings for some of the Padres new additions (Amarista, Yasmani Grandal, Yonder Alonso, etc.).  Hoping that the '12 Update Series will provide some cards of these guys in Friar blue.

In 126 ABs since being traded to San Diego in May, Alexia Alexi (dubbed "Mighty Mouse" in the Friar clubhouse) has batted .302 with 4 homers, 18 runs scored, and 20 RBI.  Not bad for a dude listed at 5'7" / 150 lbs.  Here's hoping he can continue to be a spark for the offense and help the Pads put some notches in the win column during the second half of the year.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Trade with an Emerald City fan

Note:  This is the last installment of the four trade posts I had lined up before I left for vacation.

Another trade post!  Trevor Hoffman is stoked!

A while back, I sent Emerald City Diamond Gems a bunch of Mariners, and he was gracious enough to send me a bunch of Padres in return.  The Hoffman card above will be the newest one that I showcase, though, because he sent me a slew of awesome vintage cards.  And you know what that means...

more of that sweet brown and yellow!  Grubb had a 16 year career that started with five years in America's Finest City.  In 1974, he was selected to his first and only All-Star game.  Willie Davis does... not look young on this card.

How many catchers did the Padres need in 1976?  Kendall, Davis, and Hundley?  In '76, Fred Kendall played 146 games behind the plate, and Bob Davis made it into 51 games.  By 1976, Hundley had finished his one year tenure in San Diego and was back with the Cubbies.  He isn't related to currently-in-the-minors Padre backstop Nick Hundley, but is the father of former Met catcher Todd Hundley (EDIT: I originally mis-typed and wrote that none of the Hundleys were related, which is incorrect.  Thanks for the corrections in the comments!).  Apparently Hundley is the name to have if you want to be a catcher.

I didn't know that Oscar Gamble was a one-time Padre.  He was only in San Diego for a season.  He was signed as a free agent, and later dealt to the Rangers with Dave Roberts and cash for Kurt Bevacqua, Bill Fahey, and Mike Hargrove (who later managed the Mariners, Orioles, and Indians).
Mark Lee led the league in sweet mustache/sunglass combinations.

This is my first non-reprint version of Ozzie as a Padre.  It's very unevenly cut, but I think it adds to the sweetness of the card.  I dunno, I think Ozzie looked better in the yellow and brown than the red and white.  A non-biased opinion if ever there was one.

Thanks for the trade Mariner fan!  I actually have a few full pages of old '70s style Topps, something I didn't think I'd ever have without spending a good chunk of cash.  

Monday, July 16, 2012


Ok, I'm breaking my vow of "no-vacation blogging", but I figure that since there's no baseball cards involved, it doesn't count, right?

Anyways, when I saw this article on ESPN.com's front page, I had to post to mention it.  The title of the article says it all: 

Check it out.  If you've seen the blog at all, you already know where I stand, but am I alone?  Any other fans of the brown?

Also, in case you missed one of the awesomest endings to a baseball game in a long time (at least that involves the Padres), here's a link to the video from last Saturday's game against the Dodgers.  I figured it would be worth showing since the game was decided on a throw that went... wait for it... 

all the way to the backstop!

Go Padres!

Trade with $30/Week

Note:  This is the third of four consecutive days of trade posts.  It's vacation time...

Did you know that it's possible to be a team collector, and still want to collect other cards?  Well it's true. Just check out my want list.  Despite saying something like "all the Padres cards you have", there are also other cards that I'm interested in.  Robert, from $30 A Week Habit, already knows this, as evidenced by this package he sent me.

Okay, so one of these guys is a former Padre.  Still counts.  Glad to see that Jake is having a great year for the South Side.  I have been a semi-Prado fan for a while.  He's a good player, but it's hard for me to openly root for a Brave.  Once I pulled a bat relic from a pack of 2012 Topps, though, I've started picking up some of his cards.

Of course, it wouldn't be a trade package without some Padres.  Here's one that was on the want list, now erased.  Luebke was one of the few Padres included in multiple sets this year (Bowman, Gypsy Queen, Series 2), it's a bummer to see him on the shelf for the year with elbow problems.

Thanks for the trade, Robert!  Good luck to the Blue Jays this year.  Thankfully the Padres aren't in the AL East, that's a rough spot.  Although... we're no longer in the NL West cellar!  Stoked that we were able to take the first series of the second half, and against the Dodgers, no less!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Trade with Capewood

Note: This is the second of four consecutive days of trade posts.  It's vacation time...

I had the same idea as Cliff, over at Capewood Collections.  I wanted to unload all my unwanted cards by teams, and so did he.  However, I just did one post and kept linking back to it, while he had the (much better) idea, to do a daily post with a different team each day.  Man, I felt like I was waiting forever for him to get to the Padres (he listed the teams in alphabetical order by nickname; I guess I was lucky it wasn't by city, San Diego would be even further down the list).

Fortunately, it was well worth the wait, especially with this card.

I've never heard of the "Electric Diamond" parallel of the 1994 Upper Deck set, but it looks awesome.  Archi seems to be unnecessarily jumping for the ball here, but I'm guessing it's just a practice (there are never empty seats like that at Padre games, right?)

When I started the blog, I didn't even have enough Hoffman cards to fill up a whole page in the binder.  As of now, the Hoffman count is more than 50.  Thanks for the trades, guys.

Can't ever have enough Benito cards.  Petco Park is beautiful, but I miss Jack Murphy Stadium Qualcomm Stadium Jack Murphy Stadium.  It wasn't as nice as Petco, but it was easier to get to and find parking, and... oh, the memories.  There was talk that the Padres would leave town without a new stadium, so I'm glad they got it built, but I still miss "The Murph" sometimes.  This Oliver Perez card was made pre-Petco Park.

Anyways, if you're a team collector, check out Cliff's blog and see if you can make a deal, he's looking for Astros and Phillies cards.  This deal worked out pretty well for me.  Thanks Cliff!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Trade with GCRL

Note: This will be the first of four consecutive days of trade posts.  It's vacation time...

I finally scrounged up some Dodgers and shipped them off to Jim from GCRL.  Kind of a blind trade, which was nice to do.  Nothing big, just a small stack of cards.  Of course, when you trade with a Dodger blogger, you get...

Dodgers.  Of course, this was on my want list.  Trying to finish Series 1 of the 1992 Pinnacle set.  It will be mine.  Oh yes, it will be mine.

Oh Paulie!  Such a great player... and a one time Dodger (he was eventually able to redeem himself).  I love learning about how some players break into the majors at one position, and later get moved around (Trevor Hoffman started off with the Reds as a shortstop).  Konerko started off as a Dodger catcher (hmmm... was there some other Dodger catcher that was blocking him a that position?), and apparently was moved to third base.   Way stoked to get these, don't have a lot of non-White Sox Konerko's.

The "G" in GCRL stands for Garvey, so I shouldn't have been surprised to get these.  Very welcome to the collection!  Apparently Steve used to be a Dodger or something, but he did get at least one big hit as a Padre.

I had the A&G Alonso mini, now I have the regular sized card.  Is it weird that I like Carlos Santana just because... his name is Carlos Santana, and I grew up listening to Santana?  I know I can't be the only one, right?  Right?

This was one of a few Hoffmans, which are always good to add to the collection.  I think I'm one of the few that prefers this year's Heritage to last year's, but this is one good looking card.

Anyways, this was a good deal on my end, although the Padres are starting to pile up, and I need to go on a binder run to facilitate the expansion.  First word problems, I guess.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Nolan Ryan

I'm not sure when I decided that I was a Nolan Ryan fan.  According to documentation provided by my mom, it happened sometime before second grade.

For those of you who have not been trained to read the writing of seven year olds, it says "I like to collect Nolen Ryan cards.  I like to wear my EAGLES hat to bed.  I like to go bowlen."

Unlike wearing a green, corduroy hat to bed that had the Philadelphia Eagles logo on it, I still like Nolan Ryan cards.  Bowling is still okay, but it's lost a little bit of the luster.


There was a time when I thought that all "off-brand" baseball cards were lame and not worth having.  If it didn't come in a shiny pack with a recognizable brand name (Topps, Score, Donruss, Upper Deck, Fleer), it was an "imposter" card, and I didn't have time for that kind of stuff.

Now, I kind of like the novelty.  I mean, there are some ugly, uninspired fakers out there, but once in a while, you find one that really nails it.

Is this the coolest card Nolan Ryan card you've ever seen?  Or at least in the top five?  And it was less than a dollar!

Well, it is for me!  The shiny gold lettering make it pop, and helps you kind of forget that there's a plain ol' baseball in the background.  And kind of forget that the picture of Nolan looks like it was cut out of another picture by a five year old with dull scissors.  But really did you notice any of those things at first?

Of course not!  It's the blood all over Ryan's shirt, after getting a line drive back up the middle from Bo Jackson.  (EDIT: at first, I thought it was from the infamous Robin Ventura fight, even though we know that Ventura ended up on the business end of that beating.  Thanks for the correction, Matt).

This has to be one of the coolest, non-posed, non-"action" images on a baseball card.  Here's the back, which makes no mention of the incident that led to the image on the front.

The trademark on the bottom says "Sports Stars USA".  Has anybody ever heard of this/have other cards like this one?

My grandpa on my mom's side was born in Louisiana, but raised in the Fort Worth area, and despite not being a huge sports fan, always rooted for the Texas teams when they were playing.  This made it only natural to root for the Ryan Express.  I think it's cool that he's still with the team and helping them put together a winner.

Anyways, after catching that line drive off the kisser, Nolan recovered and threw him out.  Even stayed in the game!  Later on, Bo came up again.  How'd he do the second time?  Four straight fastballs for the K!  

Don't Mess With Texas!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cardboard Big & Small

I'm not sure what size your computer screen is, but this card may or may not be actual size.  I've never held one of these 1986 Donruss All-Star cards, but they are big, and pretty sweet.  I think they're 5" x 7".

Seeing a much larger cardboard version of Goose and his awesome mustache makes me think he would be a pretty good bare-knuckle brawler.  He's got the crazy look in his eye already, and we know he has to have some quick arms.  He was only with San Diego for four years, which was his third longest tenure of the nine teams he played for, racking up 83 of his 310 career saves.

I got this in a trade package from Mark at This Way To The Clubhouse.  He also sent over this...

This is a pop-up card from the same '86 Donruss set.  Good 'ol Terry Kennedy.  Does anybody else have any of these?  If you do, do you keep it flat, or have you popped it up for display?  I kinda want to pop it out, but I don't wanna mess it up.  I can be clumsy like that sometimes.

Since me just holding the cards makes it hard to see how big they are in comparison.  To the left is the Pads hat I got at Spring Training, and to the right is a Chase Headley 2011 Allen & Ginter mini.

I'm sure that most of you have seen these before, but since I was only two years old when these came out, and I was out of the hobby for a long time, I'm not very familiar with them, and I figure there might be someone else like me out there.  I've said before that I'm not a huge fan of different sized cards, due to the difficulty of storing/displaying them, etc.  But after thinking about it, if it involves the Padres, chances are, I'm going to like it.  These are all good in my book.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'm a Winner

A while back, I was the winner of a contest at Bass on Balls.  If you haven't checked out Well, the second runner up, which was set to get me a "mystery prize".  I was way stoked, but I kept waiting for a package to come in with the name "Will" or a return address from NY, but it never happened.

Well, yesterday, as I was going through my e-mails, I found out that Will actually had sent me the package.  He had just put his last name on the return address instead of his first name, which was way more than my feeble mind could process.  I also forgot that if there is at least one Padre fan in Texas, there's probably Yankee fans located outside of New York.  Silly me.

Anyways, here is a sampling of some of the goods that Will sent from Old Dominion to the Lone Star state (I've already posted these before, but the credit is finally going to the rightful blogger, before I just said that it was either a mystery donator or somebody who I must've stiffed in a trade).

LOVE this Austin Hedges card!  It was the last one that I needed to complete the 2012 Bowman Padres set.  Saw him doing catching drills in Spring Training this year, and he seemed pretty good.

This is from last year's Bowman set, numbered 449/500.  Very nice!  The only card I have of Yonder's in a Padre uniform is from this year's Heritage set (props to Topps for including him, despite the obvious airbrushing job).  I was hoping he'd be in Series 2 in a Padres uni, but I guess since he was in Series 1 as a Redleg, they're waiting until the Update Series.  This card gives me a full binder page of Yonder cards!

One of the cards that got me closer to finishing the 1971 style mini-set of Archives.  I wish I was as stoked about all the players in that little set as I much as I was about Verlander (talking about you guys, Marcum, Lilly, and Walden).  Didn't do too well in the All-Star game, though.  Congrats to Chipper and the NL squad, especially Pads representative Huston Street, who... did nothing.

Some Friar Chrome-age!  I feel like I've been getting Kouzmanoff's in my last few trade packages, which is a good thing.  I've been trying to keep track of him since he was traded to the A's for Aaron Cunningham and Scott Hairston (both guys that I really liked, who are also no longer with the team).  I guess I've been slacking, since I just found out that he ended last year with the Rockies, and is currently in the minors, with the Royals AAA team.  Will be tough to break into the lineup in KC (assuming he even gets the call up), since Moustakas is pretty well anchored there.  That Koooz card is from the 2007 Heritage set, numbered 572/1952.

A couple of serial numbered cards, some chrome, some Padres, some Archives... all in all a pretty sweet prize package!  Pretty cool that you had these lying around for a lowly Padres fan..Thanks for the contest, Will!

GWYNNsday Vacation Day

This evening, I'll be heading down to Austin with the family to catch a plane to San Diego!  My wife will be staying for just a week (has to get back for work), while I'll be staying a few extra days with the baby, lettin' the grandparents have some extra time with her.

I like living in Texas.  My wife and I feel like this is where we are supposed to live, so I have no problems being here.  There's better pay for teachers in Texas than in most states, housing is more affordable, there's no snow (not a fan of the sweltering heat, but at least it doesn't get cold here, which is nice after living in Chicago and going to school in Idaho), and it's good for sports (Rangers, Astros, Spurs, Mavericks, Texans, lots of minor league teams, Longhorns, etc.).

However, I still miss San Diego.

If you've been there, you'll understand.  I never realized how nice it was until I moved away.  I still think that I prefer to live in Texas, but it'd be nice to visit a lot more than I'm able to.  When I look at this 1997 Pinnacle Inside card, Tony looks how I feel when I visit San Diego.  There's so much to do, so much to see... and so much good food to eat.  So many reasons to smile.

One thing I don't like about Texas is the Tex-Mex.  Growing up in San Diego, "my" ideal Mexican food comes from the Baja area.  Rubio's has the best fish tacos, and if you're ever in San Diego, you should try them out.  They're a chain, and have a place in Petco Park.  Lourdes Mexican Food in Escondido (North County San Diego) is a place we frequent, since that's where my wife's family lives.  Carne asada tortas (Mexican sandwich) and caldo de pollo (Mexican chicken soup) are the favorites on the menu.  Texas finally got on the ball and got some In-N-Out Burger, but so far, it's only in the Dallas area.  I've been told that they're working on putting one in Round Rock, about three minutes from where we lived last year, but about 45 minutes from where we live now.  I'll still take it.  The other place that I always go to is Submarina, which is a sub shop that is freaking amazing.

Anyways, now I'm hungry, and we're not leaving for a while still.

My goal is not to blog while on vacation, but I still have some posts scheduled for the first few days I'm gone.  Actually, on Monday I got four trade packages in, so most of them will be showcasing those.  Hopefully when I come back, I'll have some cool pictures of trips to baseball games (Padres and Storm, the Padres A-affiliate in Lake Elsinore) and maybe even some cards.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Minors

A few weeks back, my wife and I went with our daughter down to Round Rock to watch the Express (Rangers AAA team) play the New Orleans Zephyrs (Marlins AAA team).   It's been a miserably hot couple of weeks here in central Texas, but God smiled upon us and blessed us with a pretty nice evening.  It was still humid and in the low/mid 80s, but there was a decent breeze out on the grassy berm behind the outfield fences.  Very good news for a pregnant lady, a one year old, and the dad who brought them both to the game.

I was especially anxious to get out to this game because they were giving out team-issued baseball cards to the first 3,000 fans.

However, as we were getting ready to leave the house, I was informed that our stop-off at Ikea on the way to the game had now been extended to trips to Home Depot and Hobby Lobby.  By the time we we got to the Dell Diamond, the game had been going for half an hour, so we were not one of the first 3,000 there (more like the last of the 8,000 plus that showed up).  I kept looking around to see if anybody left early and left their cards behind, but no luck.  I did find this one on the ground when I went on a hot dog/cracker jack run with the baby.

Nothing spectacular.  The name seems to take up a bigger portion of the card than is necessary, but it's at least a somewhat interesting photo.

Fortunately, I was able to pick up some cards from the "Rail Yard" (Express memorabilia store).  I was hoping to find a team set from last year's team, which I had seen before but didn't pick up.  I knew a few more of the guys on last year's team than I do this year.  We lived in Round Rock last year, and you have to pass the stadium on the way to Wal Mart.  On occasion, if it was a late night run and the game was still going, I would stop by and watch a few innings (okay, so it only happened once, but it was cool to watch the Express walk-off win in the 13th, after getting there in the 10th; my wife, waiting at home for me, was not so stoked).  Anyways, they didn't have any Express team sets, but they did have these cards, which are of the "top" prospects in the Pacific Coast League.  Only two Padres out of the 35 players, but still some good cards here.

They're a combined 6 for 32 this year in short stints in San Diego this year, and both are hitting .267 in Tuscon for the year.  Nothing to write home about, but most of the Padres big prospects either were either new to the farm system this year (Yasmani Grandal, Alexi Amarista, Brad Boxberger, Mark Hamburger, etc.) or started the season off in AA San Antonio (Jedd Gyorko, who is one of the Pads more promising prospects).  Casey Kelly might have been a good choice, but is currently injured.

Here are some players that are much better known throughout the league.  Great shots of both of these guys, especially love the Trout card.  Most teams had two players represented, but the overachieving Rangers had three (Martin Perez, Leonys Martin, and Neil Ramirez).

Not getting the free cards was a small bummer, but it was a beautiful night and really nice to spend some time with the family, especially my wife, who has been working a lot.  Tickets for the lawn were only seven bucks, which helped off-set the big league food prices.  Our daughter made friends with a family sitting on a blanket next to us, and ended up sitting on their laps for an inning.  The Express ended up losing 8-3, although we missed the five runs New Orleans scored in the top of the first first inning.  We were also "those people" who left early (the 6th inning) because our girl usually goes to bed around 7:30, and that's about the time we got to the game, so she was ready to sleep.

A great primer for this weekend, as we fly to San Diego to spend time with family.  I'm hoping to catch at least one game at Petco Park (maybe two?) and also make a trip up to Lake Elsinore to see the Padres single A team, the Storm.  Can't wait!

If anybody wants to trade for any of the PCL Prospects cards that I don't want (yes, I'm breaking up the set, I don't need minor league prospects I've never heard of for teams I don't care about), lemme know.  I only kept seven of them; the four shown above, and the Express players.  The remaining checklist:

1. Alex Castellanos / Albuquerque Isotopes
2. Tim Federowicz / Albuquerque Isotopes
3. Christian Friedrich / Colorado Springs Sky Sox
4. Alex White / Colorado Springs Sky Sox
5. Heath Hembree / Fresno Grizzlies
6. Francisco Peguero / Fresno Grizzlies
7. Wellington Castillo / Iowa Cubs
8. Brett Jackson / Iowa Cubs
10. Travis d'Arnaud / Las Vegas 51s
11. Anthony Gose / Las Vegas 51s
12. Zack Cox / Memphis Redbirds
13. Shelby Miller / Memphis Redbirds
14. Taylor Green / Nashville Sounds
15. Wily Peralta / Nashville Sounds
16. Matt Dominguez / New Orleans Zephyrs (just traded to Houston in the Carlos Lee deal)
17. Brad Hand / New Orleans Zephyrs (who pitched against the Express that night)
18. Paul Clemens / Oklahoma City Redhawks
19. Jimmy Paredes / Oklahoma City Redhawks
20. Johnny Giavotella / Omaha Storm Chasers
21. Mike Montgomery / Omaha Storm Chasers
22. A.J. Pollock / Reno Aces
23. Ryan Wheeler / Reno Aces
27. Grant Green / Sacramento River Cats
28. Jarrod Parker / Sacramento River Cats
29. Brad Peacock / Sacramento River Cats
30. Garrett Richards / Salt Lake Bees
32. Vinnie Catricala / Tacoma Rainiers 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pack Report: 2012 Allen & Ginter - Plus, Contest Winners!

Two Posts crammed into one!  I'll get to the 2012 A&G first, since there was only one Home Run Derby contest winner (and two runners-up), and I want to address the larger audience first.  Ok, ok, fine, if you picked the winner, Prince Fielder, you're either the winner or one of the runners-up.  That's all I'll say until the end.

Onto '12 Allen & Ginter.  I saw on baseballcardpedia.org that it was supposed to hit the shelves on July 11th.  However, while making an ice cream run to Wal-Mart for my beautiful, pregnant wife, I saw a new addition to the card aisle.  I've already seen at least one other A&G post, so I know that I'm not the only one who's seen them, maybe those estimated dates are a little later to surprise collectors if they get there before that.

Anyways, I picked up a rack pack, which (like the Bowman rack packs) has three packs of six cards each, along with a smaller pack of three mini cards.  I was contemplating going card by card, saying what I got, but since some of these are going to be included into trade packages anyways, I'll just show the stuff that I found interesting, and then you can check the trade list if there's anything that you're interested in.

Out of the whole rack pack, I'm only keeping the Padres cards.  Yep, that's right, I said the Padres cards, as in plural, more than one Padre card!  In the first pack I opened, I saw this fantastic Friar on the very top!

CQ!  In Padre blue!  It was a good omen.

I decided to open the small little three-pack of mini cards next.  SCORE!  I'm not the hugest fan of mini cards (as funny as that sounds), but these are two that I'll definitely be holding on to.  I've been hearing rumors that the Pads might be shopping Headley, which is a shame, because he's having a pretty good year (for a Padre).  I love Napoli, but a lot of his cards don't look great this year.  This is the exception, I think Nap in the catchers gear looks sweet.

Here's a fancier mini, with a prettier border.  I mean, a tougher, darker, manlier border.
Do they make pages that fit mini cards?  Or are there tiny storage boxes just for minis?  I think the reason I'm not into them is because they're hard to display/store.  What do you guys do with your minis?  Keep your minds out of the gutter, I'm talking about cards!  C'mon, this is a family blog!

I liked this shot of Vance Worley... the first time I saw it, which was in this year's Heritage set.  Lazy Topps!  They did the same thing with Geovany Soto's card as well.

The "What's In A Name" inserts seem alright.  I kinda always wondered what Sparky's real name was, but never enough to look it up.  There goes A&G, always trying to teach you something.

Speaking of teaching me something, I found out that this person is... well, I already forgot, and don't feel like looking for the card and figuring it out again.  Something about the "grandfather" of some type of fishing.  Or the inventor of that singing bass toy that was so popular that one year.

The Padres alone made this a good pickup for me, and I love the Allen & Ginter base card design.  I guess I wish that they had packs that just showcased the baseball players.  Call me old fashioned, but I don't really care about other "Champions of the World".  Heck, I don't even care about the "champions" of baseball, since the Padres have never won a World Series (yet).  A&G seems ideal for set collectors who have to have all. of. the. cards.  Not so much for someone who just wants to see some cool cards of baseball players.  I still really like them though, and will probably pick up some more soon, and work on some trades involving the Padres and a handful of other players.

Ok, onto the contest winners...

AdamE, of Thoughts and Sox was the first place winner, who picked Prince Fielder and thought he'd have nine homers in his last round (Fielder actually had 12 in the final round).

Simons44 was the first runner up, who thought Fielder would hit eight in the final round.

Dan, from Dan's Other World, was the final runner up, who thought Fielder would hit four in the final round.

I already have two of the addresses, but I still need AdamE's (tried emailing the address on your profile, and I got a message saying that it couldn't be sent).  Hope to get those off to the post office tomorrow, since I'll be leaving for a week and a half vacation on Wednesday.  Congrats to the winners!

I Want Byrnes

In the past few days, it has been very easy to see the thumbprint that Padres GM Eric Byrnes has left on the  Padres.  In the offseason, in what may someday be billed as the best trade in Padres history (hopefully?), Byrnes sent the Padres ace pitcher, Mat Latos, to Cincinnati for a washed up pitcher and three prospects.

The "washed up pitcher" was Edinson Volquez, who has a 3.52 ERA (albeit a 5-7 record, due to poor run support from the offense) and seems to be having a rebound year (a la Jon Garland, Aaron Harang, etc.)

The prospects were Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger.

Alonso was the Pad's opening day first baseman, and has been streaky, but good enough to stay in the lineup.  He's got a sweet swing, and there's no reason to believe that he won't continue to improve.

Boxberger is a relief pitcher who has pitched in a handful of games for the big club and has performed adequately, allowing one run in 6.1 innings.

Grandal burst onto the scene in a big way, homering from both sides of the plate in his first big league start on June 30th against the Rockies, and hitting two more in his first full week with the Friars.

So far, that looks like a great trade for San Diego.

However, the jury is still out on the Anthony Rizzo/Andrew Cashner deal.

Rizzo has had a spectacular start for the Cubbies, belting four homers in his first eight games, after only hitting only .141 with one homer in 128 ABs for the Pads last season.  Cashner, on the other hand, has performed well out of the bullpen, and boasts Aroldis Chapman-esque flames.  However, after pulling him from the bullpen to try him as a starter, Cash wowed the team with a spectacular first performance against Houston, only to get injured after two innings in his next start.

Regardless of how well Cashner does, I still think we could've gotten more for Rizzo, especially after what we were able to get for Latos (who's having a pretty good season so far, after a rocky start).  Why did we trade Rizzo in the off season, when his stock was the lowest?  Why not have him tear up the PCL for a little bit (like he did last year) before trading him?  

Don't get me wrong, I'm okay with taking a chance on Yonder at first; he seems like he'll do just fine, but it hurts to see somebody that we gave up on very quickly, who seemed to have a lot of potential (remember, we got him in the Adrian Gonzalez trade?) start destroying it when they put on another uniform.

Oh well, such is life.

Anyways, it got me to thinking about a song by a San Diego band called Reeve Oliver.  A very poppy, fun song by some local kids who everybody thought would make it big, but they never did.  The song is called "I Want Burns", but it's funnier to me to think about it as a love song to the Padres GM called "I Want Byrnes"

I believe this video was partially shot at Tony Hawk's house.  He's in the video a few times, and I think he's the guy in the hippo costume riding the bike.
Other interesting facts about the band:
* I've seen 'em live twice; good live, but too much banter in between songs (don't get me wrong, I love a little stage banter, but I don't need five minutes of "comedy" every time you finish a song).
* The drummer is really good despite not playing the type of music to showcase his talent.  At the shows that I saw them at, he had Ninja Turtle designs on his drums, which matched some sheets that I had when I was a kid.
* The singer used to work at Sea World.
* They have broken up, and last I heard, the singer was starting a band called "The Big If" and the bassist was in a band called "The Makeup Sex".

Sunday, July 8, 2012

This Card Is Misleading

Here's another card I got off listia.com.  1993 Score Select.  It cost 100 credits, which is more than I usually "pay" for cards there, but I figured it's a card of a player that I collect that I don't have yet, why not pick it up?

Well, the card wasn't in great shape, but that's not the first thing I noticed when I glanced at this card...

The front proclaims that Finley is the "1992 National League Triples Leader".  Pretty cool, right?  Congrats Steve!

On the back, however, you see that he had 13, which led almost everybody in the league, but Neon Deion Sanders had 14.

Why didn't Sanders get his due?  What's the conspiracy?  This seems like too big of a mistake to be accidental, there must be a reason...

EDIT:  There is a reason... As pointed out by BA Benny in the comments below, there were cards for ALL of the leaders in each category, not (as I interpreted it) ONE of the leaders in each category.  I guess I shoulda known...

Not that I'm complaining about another Finley card to collect, it just seems strange.  On a side note, Steve would go on to lead the National League in triples in 1993 with... 13.  He'd also lead the league in three-baggers in 2003, with a paltry 10.