A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Thursday, February 28, 2013

For The Winfield!

I've mentioned before on the blog the not very original idea of creating a list of my favorite Padre cards.  One thing that's kept me from doing it so far is the fact that there are still so many good ones out there that haven't made it to my doorstep yet.

Here's one that can be marked off as signed, sealed, and delivered!

For my Padres collection to (eventually) be as complete as I'd like it to be, I decided that there were three main rookie cards that I'd need to have - Dave Winfield ('74), Ozzie Smith ('79), and Tony Gwynn ('83).  I've put in a few bids on eBay to see if I could score some on the "cheaper" end, and I'd get my hopes up as the auction went in to the remaining hours, only to see the price double and triple what I had been willing to pay.

But, I kept searching and searching and I was able to find a Winfield that was in "fair" condition for cheap!  I thought that it'd get snatched from my grasp at the last second like so many others, but it turns out that the market isn't as strong for Winfield's with fuzzy-ish corners.  Still, no creases, just your basic worn cardboard, and I'm a happy camper!

Just in case you were wondering what the back looked like.  The cartoon says that Dave was born the same day that Bobby Thomson hit the "shot heard round the world".  And he apparently arrived via stork.

The overall price I paid the seller was a smidge over $4.00, but it also included another purchase that I thought was very cool...

My first Nolan Ryan card in an Angel's uniform!

Pretty much all of the Nolan Ryan cards I have are from his Ranger days, which is how I remember him, and I have a few from his time in Houston.  I'll be honest, I am not really a huge fan of the 1975 Topps design (apologies to the offended masses), but the orange and maroon (?) border just works with the sleeves and classic pitcher's pose by Nolan against a beautiful, blue, (presumably) southern California sky.  

I kinda like the fake newspaper article on the back.  Doing a little research, in 1974, Nolan fanned 367 batters in 1974, a drop from the 1973 season, when he K'd a career high 383.  The next closest strike out total in '74 was fellow Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven, who was only 118 strikeouts behind him.

Anyways, I know that some people get down on eBay, and there are plenty of things that I don't like about it.  There are, however, "steals" to be had, so I'll keep digging to find them.  Spending less than four and a quarter on two cards of Hall of Famers (one being a rookie card of a player on my team) is a great buy any day of the week.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Nickel and Dimeboxed

When I’m putting a trade package together, I’m usually thinking a few different things.  Depending on the recipient, I might be wondering, “do they already have this?” or “do they think this is as cool as I do?”  Usually, though, if the person has a blog, the main question running through my mind is “what cards are they going to post and write about?  What cards do they see as great additions and worth sharing on their blog?”

Maybe I’m the only one who thinks that.  I’ve never asked anyone, because it seems like a strange question.

Still, even though I write for the pure enjoyment (of myself), a similar question runs through my mind when showing off the goods I get from an incoming trade.  What would they want me to show off?  Are my favorite cards that they sent the same as the

Anyways, this is a strange segway into a post about a stack of cards sent to me by Dimebox Nick yesterday.  One of the first cards that I found when opening a big mailer from Dimebox Nick was the above Ricky Gutierrez.  The unique shot of a lesser known player from the 90s seemed like it would fit right in on Nick’s blog, and was a good indication of what was going to be in store for me as I dug deeper into the cardboardy goodness.

Ok, before we get to the “great” stuff, here are some cards that Nick sent my way that I apparently “need”.

I apparently need to finish the 1992 Pinnacle set.  This Benji Gil card puts me within three of Series 1.  I don’t know if/when I’ll go after Series 2, but it’s low on the list of priorities.  I also apparently want as many Darin Erstad cards as I can get, and this is a great looking one.

I most definitely need more Padre cards from 1977.  Love the look of this set, and the Padres look great here.  Weird to think of Bobby Valentine as a Padre, though.  Merv Rettenmund was a hitting coach for the Pads in the 90s, so I guess his Friar roots go deep.  This gets me up to 14 out of 26 (haven’t you been monitoring the list on the right thrice daily?).

Nick sent me a bunch of cards that featured the Padres in their camouflage uniforms, enough to make me consider adding it as a section of my Padres binders.  Think I’ll hold off for now, though.  The Ozzie Smith card is sweet, and though it’s one that I already had, is a major upgrade (the other one was off-centered pretty bad).  I’m not sure if the Mike Scioscia card has made it onto Nick’s blog yet, but it would go great with his “Zero-Year” card series, seeing as how Mr. LA never played a game for the Friars.  Also one that I already had (along with the rest of the great Padres from the ’93 Upper Deck set), but worth showing here because of who sent it.

Onto the stuff that makes Nick who he is (here I am, talking as if we are old, familiar acquaintances, but I’m pretty sure that these are cards that Nick would appreciate).  Starting off with Mr. Padre himself…

Ok, so this is more of a paper disc than a baseball card.  I don’t know much about this one, and am too lazy to look it up, but this a cool and pretty unique addition to the Gwynn collection.  I haven’t put it away yet, and now I’m wondering if this will fit into a binder page…

There are times when a card is “awesome” because of who is on it.  Have you ever seen a lousy card of Tony Gwynn, Nolan Ryan, or Cal Ripken?  Me neither.   However, other times, it’s all about the photography.  A card of Brother Joyner that looks like he’s trying to protect himself from getting hit by a semi-truck?  I’ll take that.  A card where Jim Lewis looks like he’s working through some intestinal problems while on the mound?  Don’t mind if I do (by the way, this card features a similar expression for his 1992 Score card).

I can think of so many people who can appreciate a card like this.  But don’t worry; I’m giving it a good home.  Even though Ivan Calderon was (apparently) safe at home on this play, it’s still cool to see the sequence of events here.

Other great pieces of photography...

A very flexible Andy Benes, ready to bear down on a hitter.  I’m not sure that I have ever been this flexible, and am certainly not like that now.  Love me some Benes cards.

A contemplative Bip, perhaps wondering who the faces on his wristbands belong to.

Almost ready to wrap this up with some more cardboard that's a little more current…

I don’t know how many Padre oriented patch cards there are in 2013 Topps, but I have three so far, all from trades.  Glad to know that y’all are thinking of me when you pull these, it warms the heart.  This Konerko mini is sharp, love the green border with the gray and black uniform.

Last but not least, my favorite card of the package.  The one that made me say “wow” as I was sitting in my car eating a quick take-out meal with the kids while giving my wife a break at home (I know, father of the year, right?)…

If/when I decide to go the route of some popular bloggers (Nick included) and go for a big countdown of my collection (it will most likely be of my favorite Padre cards), you can bet you’ll see this one on there for sure.  Still plenty of cards to get before I start making that list, but this was a great addition of one of the all-time great Padres – and still franchise leader in home runs.

Thanks a ton for the cards, Nick!  There was a lot of other goodness in the package, but these were the ones I thought were great.  Glad that winning one of my few contests resulted in me netting some Padre cardboard from the Land of Lincoln!  May your Cubbies stay loveable and may your dime boxes be full of gems.