As we all know, there's kind of a lull in the baseball world right now. No new cards for a while, and the Padres resolution seems to be to not add any talent to their fourth place team. Ug.
Anyways, it's in the middle of this lull that I'm happy to report that I've found some new Padres cards for 2012!
Well, they're digital cards, but still, images of my beloved Padres with a cool retro 1986 Topps design.
If you've been keeping up with the Cards From The Quarry blog, you've seen the "Quarry Unlimited" cards that have been posted recently. It's a pretty ambitious project, as each team set includes every player who made an appearance in the majors this season (!). Johnny, the author and designer (and Rockies fan), has been posting a half a team a day (breaking down each team roster into two posts) since the beginning of November. I've been waiting to see his take on the Padres cards for a while, but it's taken a while because he did the postings in order of how he likes each team. Not surprisingly, the Padres - division rivals - are very far down the list.
After emailing Johnny and getting permission to use the images he created (he was very gracious), we discussed some of our feelings towards the other's teams and our in-division rivals. It's not surprising that we have a shared animosity towards the Dodgers, Giants, and D-Backs, but we seemed to hate each others teams "less" than the rest. Not saying a whole lot, but it is what it is.
Anyways, here are my favorite Padre cards from the "Quarry Unlimited" set. Some were selected because of the image that was chosen, others I liked because the player didn't get included in any sets in 2012. Enough blabber; onto the Sweet Six!
6. Huston Street - Street was ranked as Johnny's favorite current Padre player, which probably wasn't surprising, considering that Street played in Denver in 2011. I'm apparently in the minority as one who likes the digital camo jerseys, which get ripped on a lot. Glad the Padres extended Street's contract, hopefully his New Year's resolution is to stay off the DL in 2013.
5. Dale Thayer - The Slayer has a 'stache that rivals the likes of fellow relief pitcher John Axford (Milwaukee Brewers), and even has it's own twitter account. That he stepped in for an injured Huston Street and shut it down for a pretty good stretch last year makes him one of my favorite guys out of the Friar bullpen.
4. Alexi Amarista - "Mighty Mouse" is another fan favorite. When the Pads traded away Ernesto Frieri (and he started killing it in
Anaheim, Los Angeles, Los Angeles of Anaheim, Orange County, for the Angels), I was skeptical of how well a player could do who is listed at 5'7" and all of 150 pounds. Even though he only hit .240, he had some clutch knocks, and five homers in his 300 plate appearances. From the dirt on his jersey, it looks like he is popping up from stealing one of his eight bases, or possibly from one of his extra base hits (15 doubles, five triples). The only cards you'll find of him are "prospect" cards from his days with the Angels. As much as I like this one, it's still only the second best custom card of Alexi that I've seen. Here's the link for #1.
3. Chris Denorfia - DEEENNOOO! This one might not match up to his last two cards from Topps, but it is still a great shot of my favorite current Friar. Johnny bashed the Padres uniforms for always changing and not having an "identity", and for the most part, I'll agree, they do look like the Brewers (boring). You all know how much I love the brown, but the away jerseys (gray with blue block lettering) are actually throwbacks to the original Padres of the Pacific Coast League. This isn't the best the Padres can do, but these aren't that bad.
2. John Baker - This was ranked as Johnny's favorite card, for obvious reasons. People might laugh, but Baker's eyes are actually always pretty intense. Or maybe they're just abnormally large. Or maybe he gets his crazy eyes from hanging out with crazy people. Either way, this might be the face that we have to get used to now that Yasmani Grandal has been suspended for the first 50 games of the season for using PEDs. Sheesh. By the way, there are a lot of cool images for Baker that I think would make great cards. Can't decide if I like this one better or this one.
1. Yonder Alonso - Yonder is one of my favorite Padres, but a lot of the cards I've seen of him aren't the most flattering, probably due to his Gwynn-like physique (not early-'00s Gwynn, but mid-90s Gwynn). This is a great shot of the Padres favorite Cuban, and the brown pinstripes from 80s night look great. The dude has got such a sweet looking swing. He's a doubles machine, and it'll be interesting to see if any of those turn into homers now that the right field fences are being moved in.
Seeing all 52 of the cards that Johnny created reminded me of how many bad players the Padres had this year. Hopefully the injury bug bothers another team this year, and they can have more consistency, especially in the starting rotation.
Here are the links for the Padres "Quarry Unlimited", part 1 and part 2. Check 'em out, and see how your favorite team looks. If I had a critique, it'd be that there are some photos look a little stretched out, but overall, there's a great mix of poses and uniforms, and of course, plenty of players. If this was an official release, it'd probably be my favorite of the year. I was hoping that next year's Archives set would use the '86 template, but since it's not, I'm glad to at least see these ones. Thanks Johnny!
Editors Note: If you Google search "Dale Thayer", "Dale Thayer mustache" is the first suggestion that pops up. Do the same with "Alexi Amarista", and "Alexi Amarista height" is the first suggestion. Just thought that was worth noting.