A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Oldest Card I Own

When I was a kid, I was always interested in the newest, shiniest cards.  Older cards had old uniforms of old players on their old teams, and it all just seemed like old news.

Now, those same cards that I liked in the 90s are twenty years old, and I still like them.  Still, when it comes to "vintage", I don't really have a whole lot in my collection.  Some of the reasons for this include:

* As a die-hard fan of a team that joined the majors in 1969, there's only about a decade of "vintage" Padre cards.
* I like having cards of players that I like.  Being born in 1984, there aren't really any vintage cards of players that I followed as a kid.
* I'm a pretty cheap son of a gun, so dropping more than a few bucks on a single card is a rarity.  Most old cards that I'd be interested in are pretty pricey.  And no hobby shop in the area, so it's all gotta come through eBay.

That said, I found a card recently that defied all three of these factors.  It had a Padre tie-in, was somebody that I was a big fan of, and it was less than four bucks, shipped.

1951 Bowman #49, Jerry Coleman

To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect when I ordered it, but in hand, it doesn't look that bad.  The stock is sturdy, the picture is a little darker, and the edges are rounded, but I love this card.

For those who aren't in the know, Jerry Coleman is the radio voice of the Padres.  My family didn't have cable when I was growing up (my parents and the siblings that live at home still don't), and some of my best childhood memories were of listening to my walkman while laying in bed and listening to the Padres game.  I remember running around the room and waking up my brother some nights, celebrating a Padres victory, as narrated by Jerry.

He's pushing 90 now, and he's taken a break from doing the all of the games, so it's a special treat when I'm able to hear his voice now, especially since I'm only in San Diego for a few weeks a summer.


Aside from being an all around great, kind, humble, funny guy, Jerry is also a part of a select group of ballplayers to see military action in two wars, serving in World War II and the Korean War.

The Padres celebrated Jerry Coleman Day on September 15th of this year, when he became the second person to have a statue erected at Petco Park (Tony Gwynn was the first).  Jerry, who was a second baseman with the Yankees from 1949 to 1957 (and retired as a one-time All-Star with a .263 career batting average), and an announcer and one-time manager for the Padres (in 1980), chose to have the statue feature him in his military gear.  Did the guy fit-in in San Diego or what?


Even though it's smaller than a "standard" baseball card, this 1951 Bowman card fits perfectly into my collection (and is about a dozen years older than my next oldest card).  For about twice the price, I could get one in better condition, but this works out just fine for me.  School has been pretty rough this year, and getting this in the mail was a pretty nice escape for the week, even if it was only for a few minutes.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

30 Year-Old GWYNNsday!

Okay, so this card isn't exactly thirty years old, but it is now mine thanks to Brian, the gracious man behind 30 Year Old Cardboard.  He posted this card on his blog a while back, and I commented that it was one of the few specific cards on my want list.  I totally didn't expect him to part with such a sweet card (I mainly just make a point to comment on every post that I see that features a Padre card), but he told me to take it off my want list, it was in the mail.  What a guy!

From what I initially heard, I didn't expect to like this year's Archives set.  And I guess that I'm not the hugest fan of it, but I did love and complete the 1971 style set (50 cards), and there were some other cool inserts that I held onto.  This by far was my favorite card from the whole set.

Not the best shot of Tony, and "action" might not be the best way to describe his running in the mid/late 90s (when this shot was taken).  Still, I really like this one, and was way stoked to get it.  It may not be "30 year old cardboard", but it is modeled after 1982 Topps, which is a 30 year old set.

Thanks for being awesome, Brian!  Still waiting to get some awesome Marlins to send your way!  Those seem about as rare as awesome Padres cards nowadays.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Former Friars

Over the weekend, I was watching episodes of MLB Network Countdown.  The Padres are usually pretty poorly represented in the show, as their history has been pretty unremarkable so far (with a few exceptions).

However, this episode showcased the Padres not once, but twice!  The topic: Baseball's Most Memorable Trades.

I was wondering if any of the early 90s fire-sale trades would make it on the list (Sheffield to the Marlins, McGriff to the Braves) or if the blockbuster trade that brought Caminiti and Finley to America's Finest City might be included.  They weren't, which makes sense.

However, they did include the trade that brought McGriff & Tony Fernandez to the Padres in the first place.

This McGriff card will probably always be my favorite of his.  I pulled it from a pack when I was a kid (back when getting an insert was a big deal).  The only cooler cards that I've seen Topps make have been last year's Diamond parallels.  I don't have any cool Fernandez cards, but I liked the gold parallels from the '92 set.

They were brought to San Diego in exchange for these two fine fellows.  This is my favorite Alomar card, and all of the "Dream Team" cards from '91 Score are pretty cool.  This is my favorite Carter card, because '93 was the year that he hit the most memorable in World Series history (during my life time, at least).  I remember watching him dance around the bases, that was awesome.

Kind of a bummer to see how well the Blue Jays did with their pieces of the trade (World Series win three years later) compared to the Padres.  However, Alomar is kind of a head case, and McGriff is one of my all time favorites, so I don't mind the deal, even if the Pads may have gotten the shorter end of the stick.

Next on the list was the trade that sent Ozzie Smith to the Cardinals for Garry Templeton.  There were a few other players thrown in as well ( Sixto Lezcano, Steve Mura, Al Omsted, and Luis DeLeon).

Truth be told, Tempy was a big reason that the Padres won the pennant three years later, so short term, I think the Padres got the better end of the deal.  Long term, however, it's hard to say that you made it out ahead when you send a first ballot Hall of Famer out of town.

Looking deeper at the trade, both players had kind of fallen out of grace with ownership.  Late in the 1981 season, Templeton made "obscene gestures" at fans before being taken out of a game.  In San Diego, Smith was having contract issues with the Padres, prompting his agent to place an ad in the San Diego Union that read "Padre baseball player wants part-time employment to supplement income."  It probably wasn't the most tactful move when Joan Kroc (wife of Padres owner Ray Kroc, who made his fortune by buying a fledgling burger chain called "McDonald's") publicly offered him a job as a gardener at her estate.

Real classy, San Diego.

Anyways, I'd say that both Ozzie and Garry benefitted from the change of scenery.  Sometimes, a fresh start is all it takes to turn things around.  

Good timing for this post as well, since I pulled that Allen & Ginter sketch card over the weekend and wanted to have a reason to post it.  Anyways, even though both of those trades seemed to favor the teams the Padres dealt with, I'd say that I'm okay with them, for the most part.

Still wish that we'd been able to hold on to McGriff, though.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gone

I don't know if anybody else was having problems with blogger this weekend, but I was unable to post for three days (Friday-Sunday).  A few things have happened in baseball since then.

Padres have been officially eliminated from the playoffs (hey, if you had told me after that horrid start to the season that it would take until late September to be eliminated, I would've been surprised).
Andrew Cashner and Carlos Quentin, two big off-season pickups have been injured.  Cashner has been shut down for the season, and most people think that CQ should be as well, since there's not a whole lot to play for.

I found out that the World Baseball Classic is having it's qualifying games, and that the Israeli team has some heavy Padre representation (managed by Padre scout/former player Brad Ausmus, coached by former Padre Mark Loretta, with two Padres minor leaguers, Cody Decker and Nate Freiman on the team as well).  Anybody else following that?  I watched the last two innings of an extra inning game between Spain & Israel last night, which Spain was able win, 9-7.

Huston Street returned last night from the DL to record his 22nd save of the year, which also happened to be the 200th of his career.  Bright spot!  Also happened to pull this card from a pack of A&G this weekend as well.

Meanwhile, I've been swamped with school stuff and have been able to read blogs in my spare time, but not been able to post.  Hopefully this week is a little slower than last, but I won't count on that.

Anyways, with a few players gone on the DL, and the Padres officially bounced from the playoff race (although they can still be spoilers), I figured I'd have the Bouncing Souls back on a Music Monday with one of my favorite songs, appropriately titled "Gone".

Enjoy your Monday.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wacky GWYNNsday

Man, school is killing me right now.  Doing a ton of planning and preparing, and it seems like I have a meeting with someone almost everyday after school.  Trying to figure out how to better teach the kiddos I've been blessed to teach, so I can't complain too much.

I will say that I definitely pass out as soon as I hit my pillow.

As I write this, it's Tuesday night and I'm taking a break from grading papers.  Just thought I'd throw down a quick post.  I missed Music Monday, but I didn't want to let another GWYNNsday slip by me.  Here's a card that I picked up from one of Cardboard Collection's "Affordable Group Breaks".  A bunch of boxes of Topps Stadium Club, this one from 1995...
This is a "Virtual Reality" parallel.  I don't know what that means.  Of course, that's not what sticks out when looking at this card.

What's with that huge bat?  The year before, Tony won his 5th NL Batting Title with a ridiculous .394 average in a strike-shortened season, so maybe this is some sort of award ceremony?  Why is Tony sitting on that huge bench by himself?  Is he awaiting his teammates to help him haul away that branchless tree that's lying in front of him?  If it is indeed a celebration, it seems to be of little consequence to Mr. Padre, who can barely manage a smirk.  Probably thinking about that night's pitcher, going through the video tape in his head.

Anyways, this card reminded me of one of the stories that I read to my daughter when it's time for her to go to bed.


Hope yaller havin' a GWYNN-tastic Wednesday.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Trade with Play At The Plate

As I write this, it's Saturday night and I'm watching the MLB Network.  We're having the dish guy come out on Tuesday to switch over our tv, but I can still watch the stuff that we recorded before we moved.  I'm currently watching the "50 Greatest Plays at the Plate".  Thought it would be appropriate to show the goods from a trade with that dude from Play At The Plate.

Not a lot of Padre action in the Play at the Plate countdown so far.  Brian Jordan, a notorious Padre killer made the list as a Dodger for bowling over San Diego catcher Gary Bennett.  Mr. Padre himself made it to #29 for scoring the winning run in the 1994 All Star Game.  It was pretty awesome to see him get so amped up after getting the call.

Anyways, on to the loot that was sent my way this week.

Love these Bowman Ice cards.  This is my first Padre one, which is cool, even though injuries kept Darnell from appearing in more than seven games this year.

Purple is also cool.  My first full-time teaching job was at a small town Texas school in a town of just over 1,000 people, and school color was purple.  I went from hating purple to embracing it, and I still wear it once in a while.  Anyways, here are two big Padre prospects.  Hedges looks to be the future at backstop, and Freiman is a 6'7" giant.

When I originally contacted Brian about this trade, I figured that the Bowman Ice would be the crown jewel of the deal.  I was wrong.  He totally hooked me up with an awesome Padre team set!

1984 Mother's Cookies!  The year I was born, and the year the Padres went to their first World Series!  I love the Mother's Cookies sets, but I didn't know that they had done it for so long.  All of the cards look cool, but here are my two favorites.

Gwynn and Garvey.  Can't go wrong here.  This and Tony's '84 Topps card are the oldest Gwynn cards that I have.  I have a few Garvey cards, but I think most of them are in the same pose.

Thanks again for the sweet cards, Brian!  Can't tell you how stoked I was to see that team set in there!

Oh great, just got to #2 on the countdown: Matt Holliday scoring on a sac fly against the Padres in the 163rd game of the year in 2007. 

HE NEVER TOUCHED THE PLATE!!!

No, I'm not bitter at all...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What the H?

I bought a lot of 16 Padre cards off eBay for 90 cents, and they came this week.  The cards seemed to be organized alphabetically, since I got some Hoffman's, Hitchcock's, Hurst's, and Harris', along with a Hernandez, and a Hammaker.  A lone Joyner made it's way into the stack.  Stuck out like a sore thumb.

Here is probably the best looking card of the lot.

Hensley always seemed like a gamer for the Pads.  His best year was 2006, when he 11-12 with a 3.71 ERA.  That year, the Padres won the NL West, but lost to St. Louis in the playoffs.  He pitched in 2 2/3 innings over two games, a series which the Cards ended up taking.  He started 29 games that season, compared to just 19 in the six years since.

He pitched four years in San Diego, who didn't resign him.  He spent a year in the Astros system before rejoining the majors with the Marlins (2 years) and the Giants (where he still is today).

I often get Clay and Wade LeBlanc mixed up.  Both are former Padre pitchers who were starters for us, now used primarily as bullpen guys, and both spent time in with the Marlins (LeBlanc is still there).


Anyways, can't go wrong with the brown and yellow unis here.  Not my favorite of the Padres throwbacks, but still good looking.  Hopefully Clay will get a chance to prove his worth again with the Giants.

Speaking of teams heading towards the playoffs... I was thinking about who I'll be rooting for this year.


I'm a semi-Rangers fan, and I was a huge fan of the White Sox in 2005 (at the beginning of the year, I didn't just jump on the band wagon during the playoffs), so I like them.  But I also like how well the A's are playing, and it'd be great for a team besides the usual suspects (Yankees, Red Sox, Rays) make the playoffs out of the AL East, so I'd love to see the Orioles do well.  I'll basically be rooting for any team not from New York.

In the NL, the pickings are slimmer.  I don't really have anything against the Reds.  They have Brandon Phillips, who is fun to watch, and they have Mat Latos, the best Padre pitcher since Cy Young winner Jake Peavy.  I like the Nats, and despite the hype around Bryce Harper, I'm still a fan.  Of course, I can't root for any teams coming out of the NL West.  And the Cardinals have beat the Padres too many times in the playoffs to ever be able to root for them (plus the Rangers heartbreaking loss to them last year was almost too much for me to watch).

I'm torn on the Braves... It'd be great for Chipper to have one last great playoff run into the sunset... but it's the Braves! Their 90s dominance of the NL still seems fresh in my mind, so they're hard to root for.  Plus, Jones has been to three World Series (albeit, they were all in the 90s, but he does have a ring), which is one more than Tony Gwynn, so I'd be fine if they made an early exit.

I guess if I could choose... my NL representative would be... THE PADRES!  Still technically in the 2nd Wild Card hunt.

Ok, ok, realistically, my choice for a World Series matchup would be Oakland v. Washington.  A Beltway Series would be an interesting matchup, but I'd really like to see the A's get in.  I went on a baseball trip with my dad and brothers to see all of the California ballparks that we had never been to (San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles).  For whatever reason, I had the most fun at the A's game.  I remember them being pretty terrible at the time, but it seemed like a really good atmosphere.  I don't know if that's an accurate description of how it is now (or even how it was then), but I've always had a place in my heart for the Athletics.


Plus, I'm a fan of Cal State Fullerton alum Kurt Suzuki, and I'd like to see how he did against his former team, now that he's with the Nationals.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Night Owl Generosity

I've made the habit of stopping by our old place once in a while (our technical "move out" date isn't until the 15th, so we're still paying two rents, ug) to check the mail, something that I know I wouldn't be doing if I wasn't doing this blog.  Well, yesterday I found a surprise package from Night Owl!  Glad I stopped by.  I also got two packages at the new house, the first to make it to the new address, so those'll be up later on this week.

How sweet is this Gwynn card?  I've busted a few packs of this year's Allen & Ginter, but haven't been overly impressed by the cards that I've pulled.  Fortunately, Night Owl was generous enough to hook me up with this card of Anthony Keith, all decked out in his 80s brown and yellow.  Love this card.

He was also kind enough to go over my scant want lists and help me out with a few team sets.  First up is Topps Series 1.  I've been needing this Latos card for a while, glad to finally put Series 1 & 2 to bed.  Update is next, I guess, although there are still a few inserts I'm on the lookout for.

These two cards get me to within ONE of the Rangers 2011 Topps team set.  I'll be honest, I have no idea who Mason Tobin is, but that's the last card I need.  Last week I was listening to the Austin sports talk radio station, and they were talking about baseball (a rarity since Longhorn football season is in full swing).  This particular show knows so much about football that it boggles my mind, but when it comes to basic baseball information, they are completely clueless.  They were talking about the resurgence of the Angels, and it took them about three minutes to think of their big offseason pickups... Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.  Wilson even pitched for TEXAS last year!  Oh well, there's a reason there isn't a TV show about high school baseball in Texas.

There were also a pair of Hoffman's in this package, and this was my favorite.  I'm a big fan of this year's Heritage set, but some of the past sets I'm not too high on.  This is a great looking card.

After school yesterday, I was looking through the box of discarded Padre cards that I've been giving out to my students.  So far this year, they've been a big hit.  A series of posts by Night Owl on the best card backs of all time (I know it was written over a year ago, but I'm a slow reader, okay?) got me thinking about some of the Padres cards that I judged to be not worthy of keeping based solely on the card fronts. I started digging around and found a dozen or so that were pretty nice looking from behind (wait, that doesn't sound right) that have found their way back into my collection.  They'll get their day on the blog soon enough, but probably not until my camera gets fixed.  It's not too hard to find pictures of cards online, but card backs would be pretty difficult.

The note along with the cards from Greg was great.

"I don't even know why I'm communicating with a Padres fan right now."  Probably sent around the time the Pads took two of three from his Dodgers.

Thanks to Night Owl and the power of cardboard, building bridges between division rivals!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Microphone Fiend

The best music festival that I have ever been to is Fun Fun Fun Fest, currently in it's seventh year.  I won't be attending this year (due to my own financial limitations, and what I perceive to be a weak lineup), but I went last year and it was... definitely fun.  Got to cross a few bands off my "must see live" list (Spoon and Hot Snakes), as well as seeing some other bands that I wasn't really into, but don't usually make it out to central Texas (Ra Ra Riot, Youth Brigade, Childish Gambino), so they were cool to see.

The biggest bummer of the whole experience was that Rakim got injured just before the festival, so he had to cancel.  I had never heard of him before I got my ticket, but I downloaded some of his stuff and I really liked it.  Even though I don't listen to many (if any) other rappers, I was looking forward to seeing him.

Well, to make it up, he's performing there this year, but like I said, I have more important things to spend my money on.

The title of the song made me think of a card that I used to have from good ol' Upper Deck Collector's Choice.

If Ricky is indeed rapping here, he definitely seems to be a less enthusiastic than you would expect from Rakim.  I'm guessing he's answering some hard hitting questions, like "Why are you wearing a jacket and turtleneck in the middle of the day when I'm only wearing a t-shirt", or "Who is your barber?".

This Bones card (pronounced "bone-ess) is much more appealing to me.  I love the '92 Topps set, and you can't beat the Padre blue and orange uniform scheme.

By the way, if you are like me and are in search of the most awesome Tony Gwynn card you can find, search no further and click here.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

This Guy...

Just in case you were wondering who is leading the National League in RBIs...

it's this guy.

With a grand slam against the Diamondbacks today, he brings his total to 102.  He also happens to be the National League Player of the Month for August.  Last year's RBI total: 44.  His previous season high: 64 (2009).

He was also nice enough to sign a ball for me in Spring Training this year.  This is the same ball I've shown with other autos (Blanks, Denorfia, Spagenberg, Powers).  I started this blog a few weeks into the season, and I didn't want to post all the autographs from Spring Training all at once.  Now that it's September, I figured I should start posting them when it fit in.

Anyways, I'm stoked that Chase is having an awesome year, hope he factors in to the Padres long-term plans.  It'd at least be cool to have a Padre player lead the league in an offensive category, especially playing in "Petco National Park".

GO PADRES!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Affordable Hoffman

We've been living in our new rental house for about five days now, but it seems like work is never done at the old place across town.  Cleaning toilets, changing bulbs, mowing the lawn, packing up things we forgot the last time we were there.  I guess it might not sound like a lot, but throw in the fact that the house we're currently in is still being unpacked and is a small disaster, and I'm still trying to make it through the second week of school, and it's been... hectic, to say the least.

Never fear, however!  Colbey from Cardboard Connections finished an awesome "Affordable Group Break" at the end of last month, and my mid-90s Topps Stadium Club Padres are here!  One of the benefits of having to stop by the old rental so much is that I can check the mail, which is where most trade packages are still being sent (I think I've emailed a few trade partners, but if you don't have the new address, shoot me an email).I'll be showing off a few of the cards that came my way throughout the next few days (hopefully), but I thought I'd just do a quick post and say how awesome Colbey is, because in addition to having an awesome and affordable group break, he also threw in a Marlins card of a young soon-to-be Padre closer.

Man!  I know that the Padres uniforms aren't great, but no way are they worse than this!  Okay, to be honest, I don't really have anything against the teal, but I was watching a "Worst Uniforms" countdown on the MLB Network's "Prime Nine", and it was funny listening to how much the players hated wearing those, and how embarrassed they felt as professional athletes.

Glad Hoffy made it to San Diego.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

NFL Opening GWYNNsday


Quick post so I can get back to next week's lesson plans... not that I'll be distracted by the first NFL game of the year.  The cable won't be connected in the new digs until Monday.  Not sure that I'd watch it anyways, since I'm not a Cowboy fan, and ever since Eli spurned San Diego (the team that originally drafted him), I haven't been a fan of Peyton's little bro, either.

Just a boring old base card for today's GWYNNSday, from 1992 Fleer Ultra.

This was one of the first sets that I really "collected" as a kid.  I liked '92 Topps, but the gloss and foil won me over.  Plus, no boring borders, and full color pictures on the back?  Sounded great to me.  Looking at the set now, most of the pictures are pretty run-of-the-mill, not a lot of action, mostly guys standing around "about" to do something (swing, catch, throw, etc.).  Still nostalgic for me.

Anyways, I was glancing through Anthony Keith's wikipedia page and read that he said he was a baseball player with "a football player's body".  From looking at this card, I would say that he wasn't talking about playing quarterback.  Or punter.  I'm thinking somebody on the line, in the trenches, or maybe a between-the-tackles snow plow of a running back.

Well, enough of a break.  Back to figuring out how to planning lessons on literary foreshadowing and use of sensory language in writing.

Oh wait!  Can't forget, a special congrats is in order to my favorite current Padre, Chris Denorfia!  

Besides taking Clayton Kershaw yard on the first pitch of Tuesday's game against LA (a game which my Pads were able to take 6-3 after 11 innings), his contract was extended through the 2014 season!  He is currently the team leader in batting average (.290), even though Chase Headley is mere points behind him, and Headley has twice the ABs.  He's certainly earned the deal, as he epitomizes hustle and is a true gamer, everything you'd ask for in a guy who regularly comes off the bench.  My kinda player.

Plus, he was cool enough to sign a ball for me and my little brother during Spring Training this year.  His is at the bottom, starting with a capital "C", and ending with what I'm guessing might be the number "13" (it is his jersey number).  He signed just before a game against the Royals, and was super nice.  The sigs above his were from a practice that we saw earlier in the day from prospects Connor Powers and Cory Spangenberg (both in single A Lake Elsinore this year).

Hope the Padres can take the series from the Dodgers tonight!  Go Friars!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Trade with Nomo's Sushi Platter

Same story, different verse: Dodger bloggers hooking me up with Padres.  This time, it was Spiegel from Nomo's Sushi Platter.

Gun to my head, if I had to choose a Dodger that I liked, I would say... shoot me.

Ok, seriously though, before the Dodgers became public enemy number one in my book, I thought Hideo Nomo was pretty cool.  The hype that surrounded his rookie year reminds me of Bryce Harper this year, and I remember pulling a Nomo card and thinking it looked pretty sweet.  His was the first windup that I ever tried to emulate.  Then came 1996 and I learned to despise the boys from LA.

Anyways, I'm happy to report that the platter of cards I received from this trade was most excellent.  I wish I had more Dodgers to send him, but there's too many Dodger bloggers!  I will admit, though, that I haven't sent them out yet, but will be doing so this week (just moved across town, busy with school, yada yada).

On to the cardboard...

No, he didn't send me two Hundley cards.  He sent me the one on the left, and when I first saw it, I was a little confused.  I thought I already had the Hundley from 2009 Topps!  Well, it turns out that for some reason, Nick was included in Series 1 and Series 2.  Maybe they thought his "Hook 'em Horns" sign would alienate all of the Oklahoma card fans, so the went with a traditional catcher's squat for Series 2.

KOOOZ!  Always love getting Kouzmanoff cards.  Not sure what "Lucky 13" means from this Fleer Ultra set, but I'm lucky to get it.

He was awesome enough to help me finish off the Padres Heritage team set!  Excellent!  Maybin was the last one that I needed.  He also sent a Yonder Alonso from this set, which gives me one for the "Padre" binder and another for the "Player Collection" binder.  The Michael Young from the same set gets me to within one for the Ranger's team set.  Anybody have the Ron Washington card?  I love the look of these cards.

Are there people who have collected this set?  It seems like an impossibly ridiculous task.  I'm not really a fan of very many of these cards, but I don't have a lot of E-Cab cards, and the fact that he's turning two and the card mentions "the brothers Gonzalez help beat L.A." makes this a keeper in my book.

Lots of other Padres goodness to be had here, so it was definitely a good deal on my end.  There was a serial numbered Jeremy Owens card in there as well, a 2011 Topps Clayton Richard parallel with the old-school cardboard on the back, along with some cool Khalil Greene and Eric Owens cards that will probably make it on to another post in the future.

Thanks for the deal!  As much as I dislike the Dodgers, their bloggers are great writers and trade partners.  Stop trying to soften me up, okay?  We're supposed to be enemies!

Oh, you don't really care about the Padres?  The Giants are your biggest rivalry?

Ok, keep the cards coming then.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Music Monday: Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem


Besides being the most influential movie of my childhood (though I was born five years later), The Muppet Movie (1979) has what has to be one of the best soundtracks of any movie ever.  "The Rainbow Connection" is probably the most popular of the songs, but my favorite song is by Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem.

Aside from the awesome band name, this diverse group of musicians could really lay down some great tunes.  In college I was able to track down an mp3 of this and added it to my iPod, and got made fun of by my wife for listening to "kiddie music".  But don't let the puppets fool you, this is some sweet, sweet rock 'n roll.

The name of the song at the bottom is "Can You Picture That" (I tried putting it right here, but then it messed up the rest of the paragraphs below it).  Since we just moved and haven't gotten the cable hooked up, we've been doing some serious DVD-watching.  Our selection of children's movies is pretty thin, so yesterday during lunch, I popped in the Muppet Movie and watched my daughter bounce around in her high chair to the music.

Baseball tie-in: See that sweet looking Adrian Gonzalez card up at the top?  How can he make those sand-colored unis look so good?  It's a pretty difficult thing to do, but A-Gon was able to pull it off in San Diego (along with Khalil Greene).  To me, that just looks right.  It feels right.
This looks so wrong.  It feels so wrong.  Unlike the Muppets, I cannot picture that ever looking right.  Is this some kind of cruel retribution for all those years that Garvey and Valenzuela were in San Diego?  Or are they still bitter about giving Kevin Brown a king's ransom after his one great half-year with the Padres?

Fortunately, the addition of most of the Red Sox payroll doesn't seem to be helping the Bums win any games, and after a week plus of Gonzo/Beckett, they're only 5-5 and have fallen 4.5 games back of the Giants, although Adrian did have a walk-off double last night.  Seems like a team that has the potential to go on a tear.

Am I actually rooting for the Giants to win the division (shudders)?  Don't get me wrong, I really really don't like the Giants.  But I can't stand LA.

I'll probably root for San Fran and then hope that the Reds or Nats take 'em out.

Any other current players who you just couldn't picture in another uniform?  Last year I would've said Pujols or Ichiro in anything besides Cardinal red or Mariner... teal (is that what color they are?).  But the Angels uniforms are pretty similar to St. Louis, and it seems like so many stars are prone to spending at least a little time with the Yankees, so I guess it isn't that weird.  Jeter in Boston would be ridiculous, and probably a sign of the apocalypse.

As a kid, my favorite line was always "Aurora Borealis, shining down in Dallas".  A pretty creative rhyme for Dallas, although I later found that Texas isn't a great place to see the Aurora Borealis, or "Northern Lights".

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Picture Day with Hall of Famers


A recent post by a blogger who met Hideo Nomo made me think of a few pictures that I've been able to take with some Padre greats.

I don't know if they do this anymore, but in the 90s, they would occasionally have one day a season where you could go to the game early and go onto the field and take pictures with the team.  I've heard of minor league teams that do this still, but I'm not sure if it's still practiced in the majors.  Anyways, as a kid, this seemed almost too good to be true.

I wish I remembered more details of the day. It was early in the season of 1997.  The year before, the Padres had stolen my heart and won the NL West by sweeping the Dodgers in the final game of the season, so I had gone from "big fan" to "diehard".  At the time, the Padres were playing in Jack Murphy Stadium (now Qualcomm Stadium, home of the Chargers and Aztecs).  I remember that we walked down onto the field from the outfield tunnel, and there were players lined up all along the edge of the warning track.  A short, orange fence separated the players from the fans.  It was pretty packed, and being the height that I was as an eleven year old, I usually couldn't see the players past the push of picture takers, so my dad was in charge of finding the players that me and my two brothers would want pictures with.

This was (obviously) in the days before digital cameras, so you had to actually wait to get the film developed to see what your photos looked like.  I remember that not all of them turned out great, but the subject matter makes up for any problems with photography.  Since I don't have a scanner, these are pictures of pictures, so theres a little bit of a glare from the lights in these.  Anyways, enough blabber.

Trevor Time!  I'm guessing that there was a possibility of rain, based on the number of long sleeves in this picture.  Or it might've been a rare day in San Diego when the temperature dropped below 70 degrees.  Anyways, Hoffy is awesome.

Oh, I guess I should say who's who.  I'm the tallest kid in these pictures.  The kid in the white had is my brother Tyler, who's two years younger than me.  Sam is the littlest kid, who is seven years younger than me, and was five at the time.  The guy in the pinstripes is a Hall of Famer who leads the universe and in career runs and stolen bases.  The "Jackie Robinson 50th Anniversary" patch on Rickey Henderson's sleeve let me know that these were from '97 (at first I thought these might be from 1996).

As you may know, Steve Finley is my favorite player.  While I wasn't able to get any pictures of him that day, my Steve Finley impersonation was captured on film.  Wasn't quite tall enough to rob a home run yet.  Wasn't helped by the fact that I was wearing my dad's sweatshirt, a fashion that, in addition to not actually being fashionable, was big and baggy and not conducive to jumping.  Love the palm trees in the background.

One last look at the stadium on the way out.  The "Swinging Friar" cap that I was wearing is one of my favorite Padre cap designs, and I'm glad to see that the Tucson Padres are using that as their primary logo.  My brother Sam is still pretty goofy as a 20 year old, and he's a few inches taller than me.  I think Tyler's trying to act tough to make up for the fact that he's carrying a pink umbrella.

Why is there a Tim Worrell card at the top of this post, you ask?  Well, as we were about to leave and the crowd was thinning out, I was trying to wrangle one last picture with a Padre.  Tim Worrell happened to be closest, and was super nice.  For some reason, taking the picture with him was the thing that I remember most, but that's the one that didn't show up on the roll.  Stupid non-digital camera.

Oh well.

My family made the move yesterday to a new rental house across town, and looking through pictures as we were packing up reminded me that I had saved these on my laptop for a future post.  I guess today was the day I've been waiting for.  I should probably be unpacking stuff, but thought I'd take a walk down memory lane while my wife and daughter are taking a nap.  The wood floors here are creaky, so sitting on the couch with a laptop and being quiet is probably the most considerate thing to do, right?