A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Friday, August 31, 2012


With the start of the new school year, I'm pretty pleased that I've been able to post three times this week.  Seems like a pretty good pace, not too much, not too little.  Nothing spectacular, but that would be unexpected anyways, right?

Anyways, I'm packing up this weekend and moving my family across town on Saturday, so I'll probably be quiet for a few days.  This will be a good change for us, because the rent will be more than $200 less and the house is still big enough (three bedrooms and a big backyard for a soon-to-be family of four).  I think we're closing in on a dozen different addresses in the six years we've been married.  Someday we'll stay in a place for more than a year, but not this year.  Fortunately, it's a relatively minor move, less than three miles, which is nicer than the initial 1,300 mile move that brought us to Texas.

Enough moving talk, onto cardboard.  As I've been going through my boxes of Padre cards, deciding what goes into binders and what gets put into boxes for my students, it's intriguing to see all the highly touted "prospects" that come up.

I mean, look at this card!  It might be lame to have to share space on a card, but these aren't just any prospects; these are future stars!

The question I have is this:  How many players who get the "future star" or "hot prospect" treatment from card companies actually make it big?

I have a handful of decent rookie cards from non-Padres in my collection that seem to be pretty popular among collectors...

Both pulled from packs as a kid, by the way.  I do like these cards, but wouldn't/don't go out of my way to collect either player, they just happened to be rookies during my prime card collecting years.

But for every Jeter and Jones, there's also...

You'd think with four guys on one card, they'd maximize the possibilities of finding a player with a decent big league career.

The closest thing I was able to find in terms of Padres prospects who were successful (at least moderately) were these three...

Hamilton was never considered an "ace", but was 55-44 in five years with the Padres, and was their opening day starter from '96 to '98, and Benes was a stud for the Padres and a mainstay in the rotation.  

Johnson played 186 games in three seasons for the Friars, notching a .260 average with 14 homers before joining the Giants and becoming dead to me.  Sanders lasted with the Pads for five seasons (from '93-'96, then again in '98), and had his best year in '96, when the Padres won their first division title in 12 years.  He went 9-5 with a 3.38 ERA and logged 144 innings with 157 K's.

I guess the main reason that I was thinking about prospects ("oh, after rambling on and on about nothing you're finally getting to the point?") is because of the blockbuster Dodgers/Red Sox trade that went down last weekend.  The Sox didn't get a whole lot back (sorry Loney) as far as established players go, but one of the chips they got was a guy named Allen Webster.  How do I know the name of a rival's big pitching prospect?  He happened to be the first autograph that I ever pulled, which I flipped for some better, Padre related cards.

Anyways, I was thinking of how much stoked Dodgerbobble must've been to get that card, and now he's not even a Dodger.

Since getting back into the hobby, I've been more aware than ever about the Padres minor league prospects, mostly due to Bowman sets.  The cards are cool enough to make me think that those prospects are untouchable, but there is a very real chance that they are never any good or that they don't stay with the Padres.

Now that Casey Kelly is with the big club, the big Padres prospects who are still below AAA are Liriano and Spangenberg.  Lots to like about both of them, from what I hear.

Speaking of Casey, congrats on winning his first start in the majors, over the Atlanta Braves, no less!  Six innings of shut-out, three hit ball.  Not too shabby.

It seems like there's better scouting nowadays that keeps too many rookies from coming out of the minors "out of nowhere", so maybe there's not as many of these "Prospect Cards" that don't go anywhere.  I still like looking at those vintage "Future Stars" cards and wondering how awesome it would be to be in the majors, even if it was just for a moment...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Retro GWYNNsday

Quick post before heading to school (which has been going great the first two days, I might add).  Don't let the title fool you, when I say "retro", you may be thinking of seeing Tony in the sweet, sweet Padre brown and yellow.  This 1993 Pinnacle card would be a good example of that, I suppose...

But today, I was thinking really retro...

Tony graduated from high school in Long Beach in 1978, and did not play baseball for San Diego State his freshman year because... he wanted to concentrate on basketball.

Tony was a record-setter at SDSU, setting school marks for assists in a season and assists in a career.  The same day that he was drafted in the 3rd round of the draft by the Padres (58th overall), he was also drafted by the San Diego Clippers in the 10th round of the NBA draft.  Fortunately, he decided to go with baseball...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Music Monday: Taking Care of Business

Today is the first day of school here in central Texas.  This will be my third "first day of school" as a teacher, and my second as a 5th grade teacher.  Had a good turnout for "Meet the Teacher Night" and with the classroom all set up and lessons planned, should be able to hit the ground running.

The 5th grade hall is one of the farthest away from the office, and coming down the hall, there is a big bulletin board next to each class.  During the year, it's usually covered with student work, but at the beginning of the year, I havta find something to put on it.  Most teachers go all out with cutesy decorations of monkeys or butterflies that look really nice, but it's (obviously) not my style.

Last year, I wanted to have some sort of statement that I could tape to the board that would set the tone for the beginning of the year, and one night when I was on facebook, one of my sisters posted a picture of a button that she had on her backpack that said "2 Legit 2 Quit".  The more I thought about it, the more fun I thought it would be to put on our bulletin board, so that became our "class motto" and MC Hammer's hit song became our class anthem.  We would play it throughout the year in the morning before tests or during lunch time if we were eating in class.  It was goofy and fun.

I thought about recycling it this year, but I wanted to do something different (plus, last year wasn't the most "legit" year in my opinion).  So I decided to go with this song:

Love the announcer at the beginning.  Definitely some "heavy duty rock" here.  It's got an easy, memorable chorus, although the lyrics, while clean, don't necessarily mesh with what we'd like to accomplish in school ("I love to work at nothing all day").

Speaking of "taking care of business", how about Chase Headley?  In the month of August (23 games, through Saturday), he has batted .314 with 10 homers and 28 RBI.  In 113 games last season, he managed 4 homers and 44 RBI.  Dude is on a hot streak, and the Pads are playing some good ball.  This is a black bordered mini from this year's A&G set.  I have both the regular and black mini of Chase, but have only managed three other Padres from this set, all regular base cards (Quentin, Luebke, and Volquez).

Anyways, hope everybody has a good first day of school, whether it's you, your kids, relatives, etc.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Re-Pack "Hits"

So I was at Target yesterday, and amongst the rubble of packs in the card aisle, I noticed a few rack packs of "re-packaged" cards.  It was 100 for I think four bucks, and it promised three "vintage" cards.  Being sick of only getting four or six cards in a pack (you know who I'm talking about Ginter and Chrome), I figured that out of 100 cards, I'd have to get a few Padres, right?

Well, few was the operative word, but they were all keepers, which was nice (no Toliver's here).

I know that you won't find Benito on the list of my "player collections", but it might as well be.  He has some great cards (at least as a Padre, and that's all that really matters), and this is no exception.  I like the design of most of '92 Score, and seeing his mask hovering in the air behind him looks cool.

These were the only other Padres cards out of the 100 that I got.  One happened to be one of the vintage "hits"!  With the camera on the fritz still, all these images are off the web, so imagine a few more creases on the left corners (top and bottom) and that's what I'm left with.  Not great condition, but still pretty cool to find in a re-pack.  

I like lots of "art" cards (which may explain my soft spot for this year's Triple Play set), and while Donruss' "Diamond Kings" are cool, the checklists from 1991 Upper Deck are probably the best of the 90s.  This Fisk is a great looking card, and makes it into the miscellaneous binder.

Believe it or not, I even got an autographed card in the pack!  I was surprised to get it, but I imagine I'd be hard pressed to find anybody who has heard of him.  Turns out he was a Mariners and Reds prospect who pitched in 13 games in the majors.  According to baseball-reference.com, he last pitched with the once-unheard-of-now-famous Sugarland Skeeters (anyone see Roger Clemens' 3 1/3 innings?), but according to the team website, isn't on the roster anymore.  This is up for grabs.

I also got some cool/fun cards that will make it into trade packages, and looking through them was fun enough to be worth the bucks.  I also got an early 90s Dustin Hermanson card that is actually a minor league card.  I figure that a minor league card only counts as half a Padre card, and the vintage card is only 25% Padre, so I really only got 1.75 Padre cards out of the whole pack.  Not a great ratio, but still fun.  And fun is good.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Return of the GWYNNsday!

I only have a couple of things that I was trying to do weekly on the blog, but I've been slacking on them both.  Time to get back on track with the last GWYNNsday before school starts.  Today I'll be at a training with other teachers for my grade level, but this time next week, I'll have a room full of 5th graders.  Bummed that summer is ending, but getting stoked to get things rolling at school.  Players gotta play, teachers gotta teach.

Today's card was chosen from 1987 Fleer because it highlights Tony's abilities with the glove, not just the bat.  Dude was a five time Gold Glove winner.  I also liked it because it mentions that it's not the "Rawlings" Gold Glove, it was the "Sports Writers Fielding Award".

There's been a lot of talk the past few days about some of the players who will qualify for the Hall of Fame in the coming year, many who were unpopular with sportswriters (as well as fans) for a number of reasons, chief among them steroids.

It's too bad that the decision won't be as easy as it was in 2007.  With Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn on the ballot for the first time, they were elected with 98.53% and 97.61% of the votes, respectively.  Ripken's percentage was high enough for 3rd all time, only behind Tom Seaver (98.84%) and Nolan Ryan (98.79%).  Gwynn's count was the 7th highest ever.

I guess there were some tough decisions on that ballot, though.  Future HOF'er (class of '08) Goose Gossage fell just short of the 75% requisite with 71.2%, and Jim Rice (inducted in 2009) got 63.5% of the vote.  Other notable players on the 2007 ballot:
* Andre Dawson - 56.7% (elected in 2010, 9th year of eligibility)
* Bert Blyleven - 47.7% (elected in 2011, 14th year of eligibility)
* Lee Smith - 39.8% (217 votes)
* Jack Morris - 37.1% (202 votes)
* Mark McGwire - 23.5% (128 votes)
* Steve Garvey - 21.1% (115 votes)
* Dale Murphy - 9.2% (50 votes)
* Ken Caminiti - .4% (2 votes)
* Wally Joyner - 0%

What's more surprising?  That two people thought that Ken Caminiti belonged in the Hall of Fame, or that 13 people didn't think that Tony did?

Personally, I'd like to sit down with that bakers dozen of morons and watch some video tape.  Maybe bring in John Smoltz and have him share his thoughts on the matter.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

That's Gold, Jerry!

Ok, I watched an episode of Seinfeld last night (the one where George gets a promotion from George Steinbrenner because he keeps accidentally making his boss look bad) that made me think of this card that I got from Mark at This Way To The Clubhouse and prompted that incredibly original post title.  In case you can't tell... it's GOLD!

Well, gold colored cardboard, at least.  In fact, there were four different Caminiti offerings in the package Mark sent me, all from 1997 Stadium Club.  It's always cool to get cards that I've admired but never been able to get a hold of, but it's also fun to get cool cards that I didn't even know existed.  All of the Caminiti's fell under this category.

This "Patent Leather" card is a really cool die-cut.  Cammy was voted as the unanimous MVP in 1996, mostly due to his 40 homers, 130 RBIs, and excessive steroid use.  However, he was also a Gold Glove winner that year, and the dude could man the hot corner like nobody's business.

They weren't all Caminiti's.  He also sent me a couple of blue bordered Padres from this year's Topps set, including this year's All-Star rep.  And a cool Brad Ausmus card.  Ausmus was a pretty lousy hitter, but was a great defensive catcher, and was a guy I looked up to as a kid (I was all glove and no bat, at least by the time I was 12).  Dude liked to throw out runners!  But, what makes it cool is that there's a cameo of my favorite Padre, Steve Finley!  Celebrating a run with a quick round of patty-cake was all the rage in '96.  Those were the days...

Also included was another Padres catcher who liked to gun down runners.  Benito is rocking the '92 All-Star Game patch, which was held in San Diego, as well as an arm-band that has a picture of himself on it.  Once your face gets on an item of clothing, and you wear that clothing, you know you've made it.  This was also from the "1st Day Production" of TSC, which is denoted by the pretty foil in the top right corner.  Very classy.

As usual, a great set of cards from Mark.  I've actually managed to expunge my trade boxes of all pre-2011, non-Padre cards, so any trades I'll be making will be with boring old set needs from '11-'12.  I really need to update my tradelists, actually, but with school starting on Monday and actually being in training all of this week, that probably won't be happening soon.

Anyways, make sure to vote for Mark as part of Nachos Grande's Blog Bracket Contest.  He's won the first two rounds with some great writing, and, while I haven't read his latest entry, I'm sure it's a winner as well.

Aaaaaannnnnnnndddddddddd... props to the Padres for beating the Pirates last night, 3-1.  Edinson Volquez rebounding in a big way, going 6 and 2/3 innings, giving up 1 run on 5 hits with 10 K's!  Can't blame 10 K's on the fences and marine layer at Petco!  And Dale Thayer gets the save for the injured Huston Street, helping out my fantasy team, The Fighting Cianfroccos.  A Padres win, coupled with a good first day of training at school makes for a pretty good Monday, as far as Monday's go.

Monday, August 20, 2012

eBay On The Cheap

Trading is a great way to find random gems in other's collections, as well as getting rid of the other cards that crowd their way into my closet storage.  However, sometimes it's nice to be a "sniper" and pick the exact cards that you want off eBay.

One of the nice things about being a Padres fan?  eBay prices can sometimes be really low for Padre cards.  All of the following cards came with free shipping.

This is a 1991 Leaf "Preview Card".  In my opinion, much better looking than the actual card Leaf issued of Tony that year.  I imagine that it's a decently rare card, and it only set me back 35 cents.

This is from this years Bowman Platinum set.  If you can't tell from the picture, it's a die-cut card, part of the "Cutting Edge Stars" insert set.  Very cool, though I'm sure Alonso's "star" status is very debatable.  With no Padres in the base set, I guess they had to do something for us Friar fanatics.  Was totally stoked to get this for only 49 cents.

These two beauties are from a 1991 issue of Card Price Guide Monthly.  As I found out with this year's Archives set, I love the 1971 Topps style.  These look very cool, and only set me back $1.11, or 55.5 cents per card.

This was the priciest (single) card of my recent eBay purchases, which commemorates the time that the Padres all time home run leader hit 5 homers and got 13 RBIs in one day: a doubleheader against the Braves.  This broke Stan Musial's record of 11 RBIs in a day, a game that Colbert had actually attended as a kid.  Besides being a record breaking RBI day for Nate, without this game, Colbert would have been usurped by Adrian Gonzalez for the all-time Padres home run record.  As it stands, Nate has 163, while Adrian has 161.  For this card from the 1977 Topps set, I laid down a cool 75 cents.  Three whole quarters.

That brings us to a grand total of $2.70, for an average of 54 cents per card.

I don't always go on eBay, but when I do I prefer to spend very little.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Unexpected Otherworldly Trade!

Just when I thought that I knew about all the trade packages coming in (I thought there would be only two coming up in the next week or so), I got ambushed by a package from Dan's Other World.  It was a welcome surprise, especially since A) I already sent my end of the package, so I could enjoy opening it without thinking about having to put together a return package, and B) The Padres have been in a miserable slump.  After winning six in a row at one point, they've lost four in a row, by a a combined score of 28-2.  

This year's Padres (along with the Padres from most recent years) won't often be confused with any offensive juggernauts, so only scoring two runs in four games is disappointing, but not entirely shocking.  However, allowing an average of seven runs a game?  Even a team that's 16 games under .500 should be doing better than that.

So, like I said, the package was a welcome relief to an otherwise gloomy (a Texas thunderstorm had started just as I was getting back home) day.  Especially when this was the first card that I pulled out of the package.

I love Heritage, but the Heritage "chrome" cards have always looked kinda weird to me, so this is a Heritage parallel that I like.  From what I gather, this is a "Black sparkle" Wrapper-redemption card of the Padres most dominant pitcher since Jake Peavy.  

There was even more sparkly goodness the more I dug through the package!  Ok, I'm a big fan of regular, boring base cards.  I really am.  But, no lie: I like these.  Plus, Darnell has been up with the Padres a few times, so he's not some "no-name" prospect.  Well, I mean, at least I've heard of him.

As I've been thinning my Padres collection, I came to a crossroads: I want some Padres cards from "The Greatest Pitcher That I've Ever Seen Pitch In Person" (Greg Maddux), but all the ones I had were kinda lame.  Problem solved.  The 2008 A&G base card is nice, clean, and classy, and the sketch card is... so bad it's good?  Man, I thought the late 80s/early 90s "Diamond Kings" from Donruss were hard on the eyes...  Still love it, though.

After loving Caminiti as a player, then despising him after he retired, I've come to terms with his place in Padre history.  I'd love it if the Padres brought back the yellow and brown uniforms for good, and would love it even more if Cameron Maybin grew out his hair like Jerry Turner.

Of course, no Padres trade package would be complete with out some Gwynn-age.  Dan sent me a pretty fair amount of them, and there were seven of them that I didn't have.  Not too shabby.  This was my favorite one.  Not sure how Tony was able to complete his swing with that huge flag right behind him.

Anyways, it was great to come home and dig into these and dream of a time when the Padres won't be so bad...  Hopefully Eric Stults will be able to rebound tonight against Barry Zito and the Giants.  Or at least last past the 3rd inning.  (Note: This was written on Friday.  On Saturday the Padres lost 8-7, and Stults lasted six innings, giving up five runs, though Brad Brach was saddled with the loss.)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

All Bunting, All The Time

I'm not sure where a lot of other bloggers go for their stat-checking, but I usually go to baseballreference.com.  It's got a lot of stats (including fielding stats, which I haven't used in a blog yet), and even breaks down a player's stats by the team they played for, which I love.

However, I haven't found a way to find out how many times a player bunted, either for a hit or a sacrifice.

Judging by a lot of Steve Finley's cards, it seemed like he was big on bunting.  It probably started when he was in Baltimore ------------------------------------------------>

He had the speed to beat out a lot of bunts in Houston, as well.

Being a savvy veteran with great form only made it easier.

And even though he averaged more than 20 homers a year with the Padres, he was still bunting in San Diego.

I don't know how it's possible, but I have more cards of Steve Finley bunting than I do of Benito Santiago in his catcher's gear (okay, almost).  I always knew Finley more for his outstanding defensive abilities, as evidenced by his five Gold Gloves (two of which were earned in Padre blue), not so much for his bunting.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Blockbuster

One of the most pivotal transactions in Padres history occurred on December 28th, 1994.  In a blockbuster trade, the Friars sent Derek Bell, Doug Brocail, Ricky Gutierrez, Pedro Martinez, Phil Plantier, and Craig Shipley to the Astros for Ken Caminiti, Andujar Cedeno, Steve Finley, Roberto Petagine, Brian Williams, and a player to be named later (later named Sean Fesh).

A twelve player trade!  With just two teams!  Does that happen anymore?

Well, the trade worked out pretty well for the Padres, adding Caminiti, who would be the NL MVP two years later, and Finley, who would patrol center for them as the team won the NL West in 1996 and 1998.  Derek Bell would later become part of the "Killer B's" with Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio, and Doug Brocail is still with the 'Stros as their pitching coach.

I liked Shipley, it's always nice having an Australian on the team (to my knowledge, he's one of four Aussies who have been Friars), and Plantier seemed to have some interesting cards, at least.  But Finley would become my favorite player, and Caminiti would be key to taking the Pads to the playoffs for the first time since 1984, with more than a little help from steroids.  And I was never a big Derek Bell fan, so I was okay with seeing him go.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Donations Always Accepted

A while back, I got an email from Adam, who informed me that he had purchased a big lot of baseball cards from the 80s-early 00s, and he wanted to know if I'd be interested in the Padres that he picked up.

I definitely was, and they didn't disappoint.

A lot of cards would've been great if I had been trying to put together a bunch of team sets.  After yesterday's blog post, you may have noticed that I'm not bothering with that as much now, but there were a bunch of great cards in the package he sent me.

First off, three for the player collection that all happen to be from 1996, my favorite year of being a Padres fan.  I feel like I've seen all these cards a bunch of times, but I surprisingly didn't own any of them.  All welcome additions.  Steve Finley is still my favorite Padre of all time.

Now, some lesser known Padres.  I became a Dann fan since I started this blog, so it was fun to get this one.  Not sure how many cards of his there are, but it's kinda fun to collect those obscure guys.  I didn't know that Jim Lewis ever existed before this card, but with a pitching face like that (gotta love the 'stache as well), this was definitely a keeper.  Also happens to be a lifetime Padre.  Yep, drafted in the 5th round in 1985, and threw all of his major league innings (13) for the Padres in 1991.  Pitched in 12 games for a 4.15 ERA and had 10 K's

Andy Benes is probably the first player that I ever knew on the Padres, as he was the pitcher for the first Padres game that I remember going to.  His 1,036 K's as a Friar is second best in franchise history (right behind a guy named Jake Peavy) and is also 5th in innings pitched.  Really like both of these cards.

Topps Kids was a set that I liked as a kid because they were so cheap!  I was only eight when they came out, but by the time I was ten, I thought they were lame.  They're cool and nostalgic now.  A little more pink on each card than eight year old me would've liked, but still cool.

There are very few team sets that I'm trying to complete right now.  One of them is 1984 Topps.  Before this package, I only had four.  Now I think I only have about about three left!  Awesome!  This Gwosdz card was my favorite of the bunch.  No idea how to pronounce that.  I already had this Gossage card, but it wasn't in great condition.  How could you not love that 'stache?  If anybody has seen Dale Thayer pitch this year, he's attempting to channel Goose.  Thayer looks to get a lot of playing time with Huston Street out indefinitely.  He's 6 for 8 in save opportunities so far.

They weren't all from the 80s and 90s, though.  This sweet Jedd Gyorko card is from this year's Bowman Platinum set.  Very cool looking.  Gyorko is tearing up AAA Tucson with a .333 average, .574 slugging, 17 homers, and 65 RBI.  Being a third baseman, I thought for sure that Chase Headley would be gone at the trading deadline and that Jedd would be brought up.  He wasn't, and in the 14 games since the deadline, has batted .302 with 7 homers and 21 RBI.  Not too shabby.

Chase, just like many other cards from Adam, is a keeper.  Thanks man!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Whittling Down the Collection

When I first started this blog, I had an 1.5" binder that was halfway full of Padre cards.  Less than four months later, due to the extreme generosity and cooperation of thoughtful readers and bloggers, the number of Padres in my possession has exploded.  It seriously boggles my mind how many I have, although I'm sure that there are other collectors who's team collections far surpass mine.

Still, it's too much.

Do I really want to collect all the Padres' cards?  The Padres are a pretty young club, but have still been around for 43 years.  Multiply those years by the number of players that have had cards, plus the number of base sets that have been made (especially in the 90s), then the number of inserts and short prints and serial numbers and parallels, and it's enough to drive you crazy.  How many cards is that?

Too many.  For me, at least.

I can get a little OCD when it comes to some things, and it kills the fun.  And when it comes down to it, looking at a great card of a favorite player is fun, while looking at a 1990 Topps card of Fred Toliver doesn't do much for me (sorry Fred, that's the random card I pulled out of the box).  It was cool to have finished the 1991 Score team set almost exclusively through trades, but afterwards, I realized that I didn't really like '91 Score as a kid, and only liked it slightly more now.  So, the whittling has begun.

It wouldn't feel right to just discard all the Padre goodness that I've accumulated, even if it doesn't make the cut.  Last school year I passed out cards to the 5th grade class I teach, and I think I'll do it again this year, so they'll be getting a heavy dose of Padre cardboard (although if they have a team that they like, I'll try to hook 'em up).

So now the obvious question - So, what are your new "perameters" for what you're going to collect?  Since you've spent so much time writing this, you obviously have given it a lot of thought and have specific criteria for what you are looking for.

Of course I haven't.  Who's to say what might strike my fancy?

Most of the stuff I've posted on this blog is awesome and will be staying with me.  Some cards like these, of course, are obviously cool...

Two Padres who excelled in the 90s during the beginning of my love for baseball and cards.  Plus, they're inserts, which used to mean something more than it does today.

And vintage is awesome regardless of who it is...

Whether it's the awesome uniforms, the storied players, or just the fact that it's pieces of cardboard that are older than me, I can't help but love these.

Others are cool in a more specific, not quite so obvious way...

Cards of pitchers hitting are rare enough to hold on to.  Same with those players who's stop is so brief that they only have one card with that team.  

 Some players seem to have spent so much time with the team (even though, in Greg's case, it was just the first five years of his career) that you want to have to rookie card to remember when it started.  Others joined the Friarhood at the end of their careers, and did better than expected.

Anyways, in the next few days, I'll be showcasing some of the stuff that I really like about my collection.    I don't really know who will care, but it'll be fun for me to do.  Better than a report on the pack of Panini Triple play that I just ripped (yeah, I bought one from Target yesterday), or post on a trade that I just completed (although, I do have a donation post that I'm working on, so that's different).

Monday, August 13, 2012

Music Monday: The Return of the Music

Realized that it's been a while since my last "Music Monday".  Well, it's back!

For my birthday last week, my wife and I went down to Austin and spent the afternoon eating at my favorite place (Home Slice Pizza) and visiting my favorite record store (Waterloo Records).  Nothing card related for this day, but I did pick up a pretty good album from one of my favorite bands, The Gaslight Anthem.

They put on a great live show (saw 'em at Antone's in Austin in 2009) and haven't put out a bad record yet.  Their second album "The '59 Sound" is one of my all-time favorite records, but my favorite song of theirs may be off their new album "Handwritten".  I haven't stopped listening to it since I got it, and it only took me a day to memorize the words to be able to sing along in the car.

I originally posted the "official" music video for this song, but I guess I'm not allowed to post that.  This is from an appearance on Letterman.  The quality isn't great, I wish the vocals were a little more "up front" and not so drowned out by the guitars, but I still like it.
Oh, why is there an awesome Roberto Alomar card from 1992 Pinnacle at the top of this post?  It's the 45th card from my all time favorite set, and the song is titled "45".  Gotta make it all tie in.
Have a great Monday.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Massive Trade Update Post

When I got back from vacation, I had a mailbox full of stuff.  Pretty out of control.

I don't want to string together a bunch of trade posts like I've done in the past, because there's other stuff that I want to post about on here.  So, here's the "greatest hits" from a bunch of trades that I've pulled off.  A few of you haven't gotten the return package from me, but I promise it's on the way, I dropped them off on Thursday.  Sorry for the delay.

Since my camera isn't working, I'm only able to post pictures of the cards I got that I could also find images of online, so there was some great stuff that didn't make it on to here.

First up, my buddy Mark from This Way to the Clubhouse

Every time I see the gold cards from 2012 Topps, I always think of how much more awesome the diamond parallels from 2011 Topps were.  Still, can't go wrong with a gold Padre, even one on the DL.

 Also sent a few Friars from the '92 Pinnacle set, which I've decided is my favorite set of all time.  Yep.  All time.  And, can't go wrong with some Padres minor leaguers, especially some guys from the 90s that eventually made it to the majors.  He sent me a card of Frank Seminara on the Wichita Wranglers, but it is not the one pictured here.  I know, who knew there was more than one card of Seminara as a Wrangler?  He also sent a Dave Staton card (also as a Wrangler) and a Lance Painter card (as a Waterloo Diamond).  Always love stuff from the Clubhouse.

 Next up, some goodness from Matt at Once A Cub, a regular trading partner.

I'm a sucker for a sweet Griffey card, and this one from this year's Topps set is pretty sweet.  Love the die-cut.  Loving even more this Yonder Alonso "Gold Futures" card.  He was included in Series 1 as a Redleg, but he made it into this subset in Padre blue.

I had never seen the black parallels from 2011 Topps until this trade package.  They are awesome, even though Tejada was a lousy Padre.  I love all the art from Donruss' Diamond Kings, and this one especially.  Mr. Padre in brown and gold.  Can't go wrong with that.

I always look forward to cards from The Thin Gwynn, since he's one of the few other Padre collectors in the blogosphere.  He did not disappoint.
This is probably one of my favorite Gwynn cards of the moment.  Normally I don't like when somebody else is encroaching on Padre cardboard, but you could do much worse than sharing space with the Iron Man.  Love this.

Of all of the Padres that have been and ever will be Steve Finley is probably my favorite player.  Can't get enough Friar cards of his.  Gary Sheffield's was the first batting stance that I learned how to mimic.  I used to goof around with it when playing stickball with a couple of neighborhood kids.  Yeah, we didn't have a bat.  Yes, I grew up in the 90s and not the 50s.

He also sent me a ton of catcher cards.  Which are cool.  Kurt Suzuki is a catcher that I actually like and follow, and he has some cool cards out there.  I was surprised to see him get traded to the Nats after the trade deadline.  Apparently Oakland is confident that somebody named Derek Norris and his .206 batting average will help take them to the playoffs past the Angels.  Okay, so I guess further research shows that Zuk was only batting .218 himself.  Anyways, I always try to root for the CSUF grads.  Go Titans!

I got these and many other cards from Thoughts and Sox.  I got two of the Everth cards, one numbered to 599, the other numbered to 99.  Pretty sweet.  At the beginning of the year, I was ready to give up on the E-Cab experiment, but he seems to be doing pretty well this year.  He also sent some Gwynns, including this from '92 Score.  Probably my favorite year of Score.

For the first time, I made a trade with Dustin, a Vealtone.  I knew I was in for a treat when the first card I saw was this one, accompanied with a note saying (paraphrasing, can't find the actual note at the moment) "I hope you like these cards as much as Oscar likes his bat".

Well, I'm not sure about Oscar's romantic/creepy feelings for his bat, but I'll just say that these cards were awesome.

Any package with Cianfrocco's in it is already great in my book.  The fact that a few of them were of his Padre days was even better.  Plus, '93 Upper Deck had some cool shots, and this is no exception.

Some more Gwynn's!  And not just of the Anthony variety!  Always had mixed feelings about Chris, seeing as how he spent so much time as a Dodger.  To be honest, as a kid, I thought that only horrible people rooted for the Dodgers (as well as most LA teams, like the Raiders, Lakers, and Trojans).  I remember my dad introducing me to a friend of his that was a Dodger fan and I was surprised that he didn't have devil horns and a pitchfork.  That's when I learned that only most Dodger fans are evil.

Last but not least a trade with the prestigious Nachos Grande.  He has some pretty extensive trade lists, so I hit him up for a bunch of stuff and sent him a few of my 2012 inserts.  He was gracious enough to allow for a little lopsidedness, to which I say thanks.
Currently the Padres best two pitchers, before they were Padres.  Richard is all that remains in San Diego from the Jake Peavy trade.  I think he's great, and would have more wins with... pretty much every other team.  Volquez?  Well, I heard that he had an attitude problem, and I can't say that I love the gold chains and "flat bill" (of his cap) look, but the dude can pitch pretty well, and he seems to have a good attitude so far, so he's a Padre and I love him.  And seriously, these are two really good looking cards.

Okay, I know that Trevor Hoffman isn't the greatest looking guy on planet Earth, but he doesn't look like this!  I really like sketch cards, but some of these look like middle school art projects gone... well, I wouldn't say "horribly" wrong, but "slightly" wrong seems to work.  They're not horrible, just slightly off.  Still a keeper, despite that non-Padre uniform.

Believe it or not, there were actually some PADRE cards in the lot as well.  Kevin Kouzmanoff is a favorite of mine, even though he's currently toiling away in the Royals farm system.  I don't get a lot of joy out of A-Gon cards like I might've earlier, but I like the image on this one.

Okay, props to anyone that made it down to the bottom of this post.  Thanks for all the great bloggers in the community who have been gracious enough to trade with me, I wish I could've devoted a separate post for each package, but technology and time get in the way.  All were really great trades (at least on my end) and I'm sorry if I didn't highlight them all as much as I have in the past.

Highlight of the night: Padres come from behind 7-1 to win 9-8 against the Pirates!  Headley goes yard for TWO homers and five RBI, and "The Little Ninja" Alexi Amarista gets a pair of RBIs as well to go along with a leadoff home run.  Hopefully the injury that Huston Street suffered on the last out of the game isn't serious, the dude has been CLUTCH for the Friars this year (0.75 ERA, .094 opponent batting average, 21 for 21 in save opportunities).

I'm rooting for the Pirates to represent small market clubs in the postseason this year, but hopefully they'll have some ground to make up after the Padres are done with them!