A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Halloween GWYNNSday

Okay, so it's Wednesday and it's Halloween!

Tonight, I'll be out trick-or-treating with my daughter for the first time.  She's 20 months old, and wasn't able to walk this time last year (due to her development as a child, not a physical ailment or anything - but thanks for the concern).  She'll be dressed up as a cat (i.e. is wearing a black shirt, has some drawn on whiskers, and a black headband with cat ears on it), which is much less cooler than my first Halloween costume, which was...

A Padre uniform.

I'll have to have my mom send pictures so that I can prove it, because I still think it was pretty awesome, especially since I was born in Oregon (my dad was from there, but my mom was from San Diego, they both met during college in Utah).

Anyways, short post today.  There are so many awesome Gwynn cards that I can't imagine ever running out of cards to show for this feature. However, I was thinking about rummaging around and finding the worst/"scariest" looking Gwynn to post for today.

But, I'm too lazy to do that, so I decided to go with this from the 1991 Fleer set.  This set holds a dear place in my heart, since it was the first pack that I ever ripped.  It took me 21 years to finally get this Gwynn, out of a Padres team set from eBay.  When I started this blog, I had the idea that I'd try to collect every Padre card ever made, but have since abandoned that idea in an effort to salvage my sanity.  However, this is one team set that I treasure and always enjoy looking at.

Why did I choose it for Halloween?  Well, based on the color scheme of this card (yellow border with an orange and white subject), I thought it looked a little like the popular (at least for me) Halloween treat candy corn.  I've also heard some negative comments on the state of mind that the people who came up with the yellow border must have been in (mad scientists?).  Or, I could go with Night Owl's description of this set, which is the "yellow police tape" set.  Sounds spooky, right?

No?

Ok, fine.  Happy Halloween.  Hopefully your daughters aren't going to any parties dressed up as cats.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Padre Backstops: Mark Parent

 Haven't done a "Padre Backstops" feature in a while, and decided it was time to revive this feature.  After all, "backstop" is in the name of the blog.

Aside from Benito Santiago, Mark Parent probably has my favorite Padre backstop card, which is this one from 1991 score.  Gotta love the play at the plate shot, with Parent showing the ball to the ump.  If any of you Einsteins can prove that those are Dodger legs that are being tagged out, then I'll love it even more.

Mark Parent was drafted by the Friars in 1979, but didn't make it to the big club until late in the 1986 season.  In his five seasons with San Diego, he only played 178 games, having the misfortune of being stuck behind the aforementioned Mr. Santiago.

I guess "stuck" isn't really a great word to describe Parent's situation in San Diego.  When he left, he took a .197/.243/.333 slash line with him, and aside from the sweet cardboard, didn't appear to be missed.

He bounced around the majors for a few years after that, spending time with the Orioles, Cubs, Rangers, Pirates, and Tigers, before playing his final game on September 1, 1998 for the Phillies.  He was able to raise his batting average above the Mendoza line to .214.  Unfortunately, his pristine stolen base percentage took a hit after leaving San Diego, as it dipped from 100% with the Padres (2 for 2) to 50% (3 for 6) after a 13 year career.


Like his former teammates and Padre backstops Bruce Bochy and Terry Kennedy, Parent went into managing after his playing days were over.  He was the first ever manager of the Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League in 2007, and later worked his way up the chain of Philadelphia Phillie farm clubs at Lakewood (A) and Reading (AA).

He made his way into the majors this past season as Robin Ventura's bench coach for the Chicago White Sox.

ATWTTB salutes you, Mark Parent, and congratulates you on a face that deserves to be showcased, as it is on this 1989 Topps card, and not hidden behind the mask that usually protects it.

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Quartet of Finley's

As a kid, Steve Finley was my favorite player.  He was traded to the Padres in 1995, and he helped lead them to the NL West title the next season.  I loved the highlight reels that ran at the stadium between innings, which usually showed him robbing hitters of base hits.  The dude could also swing the bat (.276 average, 82 homers, 298 RBIs in his four seasons with the Friars) and had some speed on the base paths.

Although I was a hardcore baseball/Padre fan growing up, I fell away from baseball due to a few different factors that hit all at once:

* I stopped being good at baseball.  When I got to high school in 1998, more pitchers were throwing a curve, something that I was able to track well (defensively) as a catcher, but something that I couldn't hit to save my life.
* The Padres made it to the World Series and got swept by the damn Yankees.  My lovable small market team got beat by the evil, deep pocketed New Yorkers (despite the fact that they only out-spent San Diego by $12 million.  The payroll gap in 2012 was more of a chasm, at $143 million).
* 1998 was Steve Finley's last year with San Diego.  He left to sign with the Diamondbacks.  Ug.
* Girls.

Of course, I've since come back to the fold, a bigger baseball and Padre fan than ever.

TTG of Friars on Cardboard knows of my affinity for Finley cards, and sent me an envelope that arrived on Saturday, carrying a foursome of Finley's.

This SP card was my favorite of the bunch.  Being a lousy offensive player, I always prided myself in being pretty good at defense.  I always imagined what it would be like to rob somebody of a home run. Even at my physical peak, I'm sure there are very few walls in the majors that I would be able to leap, due more to the fact that I'm 5'9" than the fact that I've got no hops.  Anyways, love the action shot on this one.

This O-Pee-Chee card is also sharp.  The 1992 Topps set was a big one for me, as it was the first year that I got really into collecting baseball cards.  Even though I prefer cards of Steve as a Padre, his Oriole and Astro cards are still cool.  I feel much differently about his post-Padre career (as if the Diamondbacks weren't bad enough, he went to the Rockies, Giants, and... DODGERS?)


Of course, it wouldn't be a TTG mail day without some sweet artwork.  This edition did not disappoint.

Couldn't have said it better myself.
On Padres stationary, no less.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Feel-Good Sunday Post

After watching the Giants push the Tigers into a corner with a Game 3 victory in Detroit, I started thinking back to the things that I would remember about the 2012 season, my first as a blogger.

One of the stories that stuck out is the story of Jeremy Guthrie and Woody Roseland.

In case you forgot about it/weren't aware, Guthrie was looking to squeeze in some throwing on an off-day at Coors field, and sent out a message on Twitter to find a workout partner.  He ended up connecting with Woody Roseland, a fan with a glove who was already close to downtown.

After working his way around security, Guthrie was surprised to see that his workout buddy was a cancer patient who had just gotten back from the doctor's office.  He was bald and had no eyebrows or eyelashes, and had a prosthetic leg.  Despite his obvious physical challenges, he was very upbeat, positive, and very excited to be there.  They spent the day having a catch, doing some hitting practice and studying tape for the next day's game.  They've become great friends, Guthrie's been quoted as saying, "I went out to make a fan's day, and instead, he made mine."

(note: for a much better version of this story, written by one of my favorite authors, click here.)

Things haven't worked out perfectly for either since their first meeting.  Guthrie went 3-9 with a 6.35 ERA in Colorado before being traded to Kansas City for another pitcher having a disappointing season, Jonathan Sanchez (although arriving in KC seemed to be a needed change of scenery, as we went 5-3 with a 3.16 ERA in 14 starts).  Guthrie, a free agent this offseason, has expressed interest in remaining with the Royals for the 2013 season, but the Royals haven't made an offer to him as of yet.  Roseland is undergoing treatment again, and will be having surgery in a month or so.

But both remain optimistic.  And both provided a story that was a nice reprieve from all of the negative things that are so often associated with professional athletes.

Can't say that I'm in love with the photography of this card, but I did love this year's Heritage set, and I've become a fan of Jeremy Guthrie.  I know the Padres are looking for starting pitching this offseason, maybe he'll make it to the west coast.

To order a free copy of one of Mr. Guthrie's favorite books, click here.  Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Broken Lumber Score, pt. 2

A while back, Jeremy from Broken Lumber Blog struck up a trade with me.  I helped him with a bunch of his more recent set needs, and he sent me an initial return package, along with the promise of the Padres he was able to dig up as he rummaged through some other boxes he had recently obtained.

Thankfully, Jeremy remembered reading that my address had changed, so he emailed to make sure that he was sending them to the right address.  They made it here on Saturday.  Here are a few of the highlights...

I don't remember seeing these as a kid, but I would've loved this set.  The 1992 Upper Deck design is a good one in my book, and this "unique" shot of Holbert (a "Top Prospect" who went on to get 202 ABs with four teams in five years) is definitely a keeper.  Does that helmet look a few sizes larger than it should?

I love these black parallels from the 2009 Topps set.  Wouldn't have minded a more interesting manager shot of Buddy, but not a bad picture here.  Hey, if managers wear the uniforms like players, they should get cards like players, too, right?

    
Turns out that I already had this Sheffield card, but the McGriff was definitely a welcome addition to the PC.  These are from the "Atlantic Collector's Edition", which was (maybe?) distributed by a chain of gas stations?  I know that might not really qualify them as "rare", but I'll say that they're "not as easily found", which is always kinda cool.

I feel like I have so many Chase Headley cards, and then end up with one that I've never seen before.  Probably one of my favorites now.  1992 Topps is one of my favorite sets, due to the fact that it was the first set that I regularly collected (my first actual pack of cards was 1991 Fleer, but it must've been at the end of the season, because 1992 Topps was the one that was I ended up picking up the most).  In 1993, Topps inserted "gold cards" in every pack, but in 1992, they were much more difficult to find.  Regardless, I never pulled any Padres, so getting this one was super rad.

The last package from Jeremy had a Nolan Ryan patch card, and this time he included this sweet Tony Gwynn "Retired Number Patch" card.  I know that these kinds of cards aren't "real" relic cards, but I'll take any kind of Anthony Keith cards that I can get my hands on.  And it still looks cool, and that's what matters to me, so getting this was pretty sweet.

He also included three packs of these Topps UK Mini's from 1988.  The gum was an interesting shade of grayish white, and the cards were a little warped, but it was cool to open a pack that I had never ripped before.  Nothing super exciting, but I did score a few future-former Padres.

Thanks again Jeremy!  The dude is one of those super organized types who is on zistle.com, so he's a great trading partner for those who haven't made it over there yet.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sketchy Looking GWYNNsday

In my head, it seems like the only time you should see a sketch on a baseball card is if:

a) You are a Donruss Diamond King

b) You are on a team checklist in an early 90s Upper Deck set

However, there are many other cards that feature sketches on them.  That is fine, and I do appreciate the artwork (of most of the sketches).  However, it should be noted, that not all sketches are created equal.

For example:

 VS.

Possible caption for 2009 Goodwin Champions card:
"I wonder what my plaque will look like when I enter the Hall of Fame?  Hopefully something with a bit more of a smile than I'm showing right now..."

Possible caption for 2008 Goudey card:
"Man, I left my box of donuts on the end of the bench right next to Benito!  After taking my BP cuts, I'm going to come back to an empty box and he's going to pretend like he can't speak English and he doesn't know what happened to them... but I'll know.  I'll know."  

I think it's pretty obvious which of these is the better card.  Or does somebody actually like that Goudey card?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Affordable Group Break Loot: TSC '95-'96

When reading Colbey's blog about opening up ten boxes of early/mid 90s cards, he mentioned that some might not be interested, since back then there weren't the oh-so-valuable autograph-relic-refractor-serial numbered-parallels like there are now (I'm probably paraphrasing).  As nice as those are (seriously, if you're giving 'em away, I'll take 'em), I always enjoy the simpleness of a base card done right.

As much as I liked the '94 set, the '95 TSC boxes produced my favorite cards by far...


I was unaware of what these "Virtual Reality" cards were, but apparently the stats on the back show what could have happened in 1994 had the season not been shortened by a player strike.  I guess I should've shown the back of this card instead of the front.  Maybe next time.  Anyways, you may or may not be aware, but in 1994, Mr. Gwynn was bidding to be the first person to hit over .400.  Tony led the league with a .394 average in 110 games.  Oh, what could have been.  I also got a Scott Sanders card like this.

Some more "non-base" base cards.  You might not be able to tell from the photos, but the lettering in these has that "rainbow foil" effect, which makes these look pretty good.  Don't see a lot of shots with Tony in the "post-contact, full extension" pose, but this looks good.  Probably as "extreme" any shot of Gwynn is going to get.  This "Transaction" card of Caminiti was right on the mark: that trade is one of the biggest and best trades the Padres have ever made.

Speaking of the trade that brought Caminiti to San Diego, it also brought along the best center fielder that the Padres have ever had.  Can't have too many Finley cards.

This was probably the jewel of the box.  These cards were printed on acetate, so you can actually see right through it.  This is actually my second Gwynn "Clear Cut", so it'll be making it's way to the home of another huge Padre fan.

Last, but not least, the 1996 TSC...

Something about the '96 TSC just seems kind of boring to me.  I contemplated not even posting any of the base cards, but I'm contractually obligated to show a certain of Tony Gwynn cards per month.  Plus,  two Hall of Famers in one shot is pretty impressive, especially when it looks like Tony is stealing second.  Tony only had 28 swipes between '95 and '96, still not a bad number, but nowhere near his career high of (ahem56 in 1987.  Guess a decade of major league work will do that to a guy.

By 1996 I was already on my way out of the hobby, so seeing these inserts is a first time experience for me.  Glad to see that some Padres pitchers were being represented on the "TSC Team".  They made some moves to bolster their offense late in the season, but their pitching was what was winning a lot of games for them that year.  Ashby was an integral part of the 1996 NL West winning Padres, going 9-5 with a 3.23 ERA.  Hamilton was a factor for that division winning team as well, going 15-9 with an ERA of 4.17 while pitching 211 innings.  

I had some more detailed stats of the breakdowns for the different years of TSC that I got from this break, but I've since misplaced it.  Here's the abridged version:

Doubles: plenty
Gwynns: 7
Cianfroccos: 1
Non-Base Cards: 3

Satisfied Customers: me

Monday, October 22, 2012

Affordable Group Break Loot: TSC '93-'94

Now that my camera's working, I'm trying to catch up on a few things in the "To Do" bin.  One of the things at the top of the list was to show off what I got from Cardboard Collection's "Affordable Group Breaks".

This was the first break that I ever participated in, and as can be inferred by the name of Colbey's group breaks, it was too good and too cheap to pass up:  $12 for all the Padres from 10 boxes of Topps Stadium Club!

I'll break this up into two days worth of posts.  First up: TSC 1993

One thing that I will always love about cards from 1992 and 1993 is that there are always shots of the Padres showing off the 1992 All Star Game patches.  I remember going to the All Star FanFest and thinking it was totally awesome, so I can't get enough of cards like these ones of Greg Harris and Kurt Stillwell.

I'm pretty sure that the only reason that anyone (besides me and a small handful of others) voluntarily chooses the Padres in a group break is because they are Tony Gwynn collectors.  Can't say I blame 'em, but it'd be nice if they sent the rest of the players my way.  Anthony's awesomeness can't be contained in a vertical card this time around.

I think I already had this Crime Dog card, but this one was in better shape, so the upgrade was nice.  What was super nice was that Colbey threw in this awesome Trevor Hoffman card, since the Marlins were unclaimed.  Not a lot of "Pre-Padre" era Hoffy cards, so that was a cool bonus.

Onto the 1994 TSC...

One of the main reasons that I was excited about this group break was that I was hoping I could get my hands on this Archi Cianfrocco card.  I love Archi, but it's hard to come across him in many trade packages, and eBay has them a little overpriced for my meager budget, so I was glad to get this one.  Can't go wrong with a Padre in catcher's gear, especially a rookie-type card of Kevin Higgins.

Not sure how they got away with having a "ML Debut" card for Hoffman in a Padres uniform... when he made his debut for the Marlins.  Acquired by the Friars on June 24, 1993 (in the deal that sent Gary Sheffield to Florida), Trevor actually pitched the first 35 innings of his career in those snazzy teal ensembles the Marlins were known for in the early 90s.  Still, a pretty sweet card, glad to have it.

Not sure how to classify this "Quick Start" card.  It's not a base card, but not technically an "insert".  Nice recalling the days when the Padres had players that were worthy of multiple cards in a set.  Here's hoping that Topps does an "RBI Leaders" card next year, and that Chase Headley gets to double dip.

Having recently read a post by Night Owl about "defining the designs" of baseball card sets, I immediately thought of 1994 Stadium Club, being the "Extreme Labelmaker" set.  Never had label making been sooo edgy!  Not sure how I'd define the 1993 TSC set, but I'd label these ones... 

mine.

Tomorrow... TSC '95-'96.  Cue the suspenseful music.  Fade to black.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Painted Joyner

For those of us who don't have teams vying for a World Series trophy, this is the Hot Stove time of year, and things are already heating up!  The first former Friar in the headlines was Wally Joyner.  He was recently hired on as the assistant hitting coach for the Phillies, his first gig as a coach (in the majors) since he resigned as the Padres' hitting coach in 2008.  For some reason, he was also able to land a job as the hitting instructor for the Chinese team in the World Baseball Classic.

I got this card on my first trip to the most local LCS in my area a few months ago.  I remember having it as a kid, but it got a little beat up over time, and Lord knows where it is now.  There are some pretty ugly sketch cards that Donruss has put out over the years, but this is definitely a winner in my book.

Wally was a great Padre, being not only a member of my favorite incarnation of the Padres (1996 NL West Champs), but also the best incarnation of the Padres (1998 NL Champs).  When he first made it over to San Diego, I remember that he was ribbed a little for being bald, and he actually ended up doing a photo shoot for the team magazine in a "Friar Tuck" type robe, in the same pose as the Padres' mascot, the Swinging Friar.

To order a free copy of one of Mr. Joyner's favorite books, feel free to click here.  Have a great Sunday!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Two-Sided GWYNNsday

It's another GWYNNsday.  Is the week half empty, or half full?

I won't get into a philosophical tirade here, so let's go to the cardboard.

I'll say it again, I love the 1993 Leaf set.  Here are both sides of one of the "Gold Leaf Stars" cards.



I'm guessing that Jose Canseco and Tony Gwynn got paired up with each other for this one because they're both right fielders.

Maybe it's because they were known as some pretty bulky outfielders (admittedly for different reasons).  

Or maybe it's because they could both rock a pair of shades.

Either way, I think that it should be universally agreed upon that Anthony Keith got shafted by getting stuck on the back of this card.  I know that it's a "two-sided" card, but the MLB logos and stuff that traditionally go on the back of a card are plastered to the better side of the card.  I guess Canseco might have been considered a more "exciting" star at the time?  More interesting?

Regardless of logos, I think you can assume which way this card is facing in my Gwynn binder.

Have a GWonderful GWYNNsday.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Hall of Fame, "Defensive Gems"

When I started this blog, I didn't actually intend for it to be tied in to the Padres as much as it is now (believe it or not).  Yeah, I know that the color scheme screams "Padre fan", but I thought (at the time), "who would want to read a blog about just Padre cards?"

After a handful of posts, I realized that Padre cardboard was mostly what I wanted to write about, so I threw caution into the wind (okay, may be getting a little over dramatic here) and decided to dedicate it to my Friar fandom.  Props to the 60 (!) official blog followers.  Way more than I ever thought I'd have.

That being said, I actually do have a small binder of non-Padre related cards.  There are a handful of players who were never Padres that I like to collect, and other cards that I just think are cool.  To commemorate any cards that I deem praiseworthy, I've started a "Hall Of Fame" feature on the blog.  Requirements may vary, but I can vouch for the panel of judges; they're all completely crazy.

The inaugural inductees: the "Defensive Gems"

Starting off with some cardboard from this year's Topps flagship set.

This is easily my favorite non-Padre card of this year's main set.  Revere is known for his stellar "D", but to get the full extension dive - with the shades on, grass flying in the air - onto a horizontal card?  Can't beat that.

The next two entrants from 2012 are a pair of fence-climbers.  Fittingly, this awesome card of Ichiro is his last as a Mariner.  Ryan Kalish looks like he's trying to swim up the wall like a trout.  Don't you know you can only do that in Anaheim?

Not a lot of catchers get included in the "Defensive Gems" category (they have the "Play at the Plate" cards, which are amazing in and of themselves), but how can you not like the focus and balance that McKenry is displaying here?  Looks like a gymnast who stuck the landing.  El Presidente shows that not all great defense has to be played in the outfield.  You actually don't even have to have your eyes open to be able to make it.  With the true skill that it takes to be a great defender, when you're sixty feet from a guy with a bat hitting 90 mph leather right back at you, luck plays a part as well.

Next up, a blast from the past.  Like I said, catchers don't often make it into the "Defensive Gems" category, but when they do, it's pretty freaking awesome.  One of my favorite cards of all time, and a 50 cent LCS pickup as well.

C'mon, you didn't think there'd be a "Hall Of Fame" post without at least one Friar, did you?  Khalil Greene was a great Padre.  Well, not in the "he was a great player" sense, but in the "he's our guy, and we love him" sense.  I know it says "SI for Kids" on it, but hey!  I'm a kid at heart!  I can still enjoy this!

Last, but not least, the final inductee into the inaugural HOF class:  Tony Plush.  Just to show that there is no bias in the admittance process (unless you're a Dodger), I put a player in the Hall that I couldn't stand on a personal level.  But how can you not love this card?  Don't recall seeing the actual play, but I can guess that Mr. Morgan is in for a pretty rough landing after this catch.

Well, that's a wrap for the inaugural inductees.  There's a pretty big gap between when I stopped collecting as a kid (1996) and when I picked it back up again (2012), so that's why there isn't a greater representation of variety across different sets/years.  Congrats to those who got in, and stay posted for the next wave of inductees.  Any that I missed?  What other "defensive gems" do I need to include?

Monday, October 15, 2012

This Way To The Cardboard

Trading with new people is great.  There's usually a centerpiece to a trade and more things fall into place as it gets finalized.  I always enjoy seeing how things get packed and shipped, if there are any notes or special/oddball cards thrown in, etc.  It's all great.

Then there are "just because" packages that come from other collectors that you've established a "understanding" with.  My buddy Mark from This Way To The Clubhouse is one of those guys.

His most recent package took a long, winding road to my house, since I apparently forgot to tell him about the recent address change.  It was definitely worth the wait.

I usually try to end with the best card of the lot, but I love this card so much that I wanted to make it the headliner.  The Topps Black Gold subset from 1993 is probably my favorite insert that they've ever done.  I pulled a Fred McGriff when I was a kid, and it has been one of my favorite cards since then (and was even included in my first ever blog post).

I almost bought this online a week or so ago, and I'm now glad that I saved my dollars.  Once I get the Gary Sheffield from this set, I'll have the whole Padres "Black Gold" set.  Nine year-old me would be so psyched.  28 year old me would be pretty stoked as well.

Speaking of Mr. Sheffield, here he is from the 1993 Leaf Set.  Love this set, and the All-Star Game patches that most of the team is sporting in it.  Aki Otsuka was a fan favorite in his time in America's Finest City.  This is my first card of his where he's not sharing it with someone else (I have Topps Total card of him and Darrell May).  Gotta love Aki, the dude could seriously wield a bat.

A package bookended by Mr. Padre.  I'm unfamiliar with a lot of stuff that Fleer did after the mid-90s, but this 2006 Fleer card is great.  Looks like a vintage shot of Anthony Gwynn at... spring training?  Some sort of practice field?  Wherever it is, it's pretty cool.

Another great exchange in the books!  Thanks Mark.  Got a stash of Mets around here somewhere, if I can ever get out of work before 4:00, I'll get them out to you.  Lately, I've been leaving school around 6:00.  Mrs. All The Way To The Backstop is not stoked about that.

Ok, just in case you missed the awesome Aki Otsuka link from above, here it is again.  Do yourself a favor and watch it.  Satisfaction is guaranteed, or your 30 seconds of wasted time will be mailed back to you.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Magician.

Everth Cabrera has had a pretty decent year on the field.  He only batted .246, but had a .324 OBP and led the NL in stolen bases, despite the fact that he only appeared in 115 games.

At the end of the season, I was trying to dig up some Everth cards, but was coming up dry.  I was eventually able to scrounge up a few more, but then I busted a cheap re-package deal from my local Target, I found this waiting for me inside...

I certainly do miss the days of Upper Deck.  That 1993 set is one of my all time faves.  But what stands out here is not just the fact that it's Cabby's "Rookie Card".

I love that Upper Deck wasn't afraid to use "non-traditional" pictures on their cards.  I'm guessing that the ball is making it's way into Everth's glove, and he's about to use his other hand to secure it's place/get ready to throw again.  But from the angle that this was taken, it looks like he's holding it in his glove and saying "Tah-dah" like some kind of birthday party magician.  While the jazz hands look nice, it's the face that really seals the deal for me.

Here's a slight closeup.

There are plenty of times when I'm working on something and really focusing, and I'll catch myself making a weird face, usually with my brows furrowed or my tongue sticking out (my wife laughs at our daughter, who has the same tendency).  Fortunately, these images of me aren't captured and put on cardboard for the world to see.

Also, in case you glanced at the emblem on the front of the card, but weren't sure what a "rookie" was, you can see that it is someone with "NO MLB EXPERIENCE".  Plenty of blank space here, maybe I should start writing down some of his recent stats so it doesn't look so bare.

Anyways, congrats again to your NL Stolen Base champ.  Since he didn't get included in any Topps sets this year, here's a face you non-Padre fans can associate with the name.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thanks Mom!

My wife and I are expecting our second child in December, which will be my parent's third grandchild. Living over 1,000 miles away from them, they try to send packages when they can with goodies for the 19-month old and stuff that they think we might need for our negative two month old (not sure what to call a child who isn't expected until mid-December)

Well, I was surprised that mixed in with the goodies for the kiddos was a little something for her big kid - me.

Two packs of Allen & Ginter, to be exact!

I've mentioned that I've started collecting again, which I think she likes, probably because it makes her feel young to have an "oldest child" that's still young enough to collect baseball cards.  Anyways, I thought that was pretty cool of her.  I've already boxed the rest of the cards from the packs, but I posted the three that I liked the most.


CHASE!  Your National League RBI champ is now officially scratched off the want list for this set.  Only two more Padres to finish off this team set (Alonso and Maybin).  This is a pretty good looking card for Headley, much better than his teammate Edison Volquez' card, if you've seen it.  I already had this Rickey card as a mini, it looks even better as a 2" by 3".  Gotta love the green and gold.  I loved Rickey as a Padre, but this is what suits him best.

This card is already a little damaged since I let my daughter play with it.  The lady who used to babysit her when my wife was still working had some big huge dogs, who terrified her the first few days, but she came to love them.  Every time she sees a dog, she gets ridiculously excited, and she held onto this for a few minutes before going back to her dolls.  I have the "Man's Best Friend" card of Boston Terriers on my want list, since those were the first dogs that my wife and I got as a couple.  I loved those little guys.

Anyways, it was a nice surprise to get these from an unlikely source.  Moms are great.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Caught A Trout


Ok, ok, I'm sure that I can't be the first person to ever use the "caught Trout" angle when pulling a Trout card.  I'm just not that original, I guess.

Even though I kinda hate the Angels for spending Yankee-like money in the offseason to get Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson (although it was satisfying to see them miss the playoffs), how can you not be a Mike Trout fan?

Well, Mr. Trout in cardboard form has eluded me in all of this year's sets.  After picking up a rack pack of 2012 Topps Update, that has been remedied.


Not a bad pull for five bucks.  I've never pulled a jersey swatch from a pack before, so that was pretty exciting.  Kept wanting to look at it on the drive back home.

Thanks for the congratulations, Topps.  I do dig the powder-blue jersey.

The rest of the rack pack was pretty uneventful.  Only two that will be going into binders, the rest into the trade pile.

Glad to see that Deno made the Update set.  My favorite Friar had one of the best Padre cards in last year's Update set, and he's probably got one of the best in this year's as well.


Also keeping this Brian Bogusevic.  He was with the Round Rock Express the first year that I lived in Texas, back when they were still an Astros affiliate.  I went to a game on my birthday and he hit a home run, been a fan ever since.  Didn't have a great season for the Astros, but then again, nobody in Houston had a great season.

Last but not least, here are two other fancy cards that I wasn't really interested in (although I already know the Mets fan who'll be getting this Valdespin card).

Anyways, there's my obligatory showing of my first purchase of Update.  I had a lot of other All-Star Game cards, but the Padres' only rep, Huston Street, got shut out of that (didn't play, didn't get a card), and the ones I pulled didn't interest me at all.  Need to do a major update of my trade list so I can get these out of here.