Sorry, this isn’t a review of the highly maligned film featuring Shaquille O’Neal (unfortunately), but this is a review of a bunch of cards that were sent my way by Mark Kaz, the author of one of my favorite blogs, This Way To The Clubhouse. On the real, I’d rank his as one of the best out there, though he isn’t as widely known as others.
Aside from being a good writer and not being a Dodgers fan, the dude can put together a mean trade package. Well, I guess “trade” might not be the operative word, since it seems that we just send whatever Padres/Mets/interesting cards we have to each other whenever the stack gets big enough.
It’s pretty fun that way, since it usually happens out of the blue.
He first posted that sweet Erstad you see above on his blog a while back and mentioned that he had a blogger in mind to send it to. So nice to be considered.
One staple of almost all of Mark’s packages are Non-Padre Benito Santiago cards. Most (if not all) of the Benito’s I have in other uniforms have come from him. Here are two more to add to the binders, one in his immediate-post-San Diego days, the other at the end of his career, in Kansas City.
This is the third post this month that features a card from the World Baseball Classic, but this is the first one that features a somebody from the good ‘ol Yew-Nited States! Go Jake! USA! USA!
Got some want list stuff scratched off as well, as this Yonder Alonso mini has now found a good home. The Latos is alright, but since he didn’t throw a pitch at all for the Padres in 2012, becomes slightly less cool. Still, the Alonso is pretty swell.
Here are three players who were great in their own right, but are featured here playing for teams they were on once they weren’t “as great”. Castilla always seemed strange out of a black and purple Rockies jersey. I’m pretty sure most Dodger fans cringe upon seeing Garv in the brown and gold (or maybe that's the human eye's natural reaction to that particular color combination). Of course, Hoffman will enter the Hall of Fame as a Padre, but I wonder if down the line, people will forget that he ended his career in Milwaukee? Probably not, I guess.
As I’ve stated on my “Want List” page, I’m pretty willing to accept all Padres. See something on my want list that interests you? It’s yours for some random Padres. I'm easy like Sunday morning.
However, it takes discerning taste to craft a deal so well that even if the Padres are only in the slight majority, I still love it.
Man, so wordy. What I'm saying is that even though the package wasn't as heavy on Padres as it normally is, it was still awesome; not an easy feat to pull off.
Here are four Non-Padres (even though two are current Padres). As much as I claim to be a Chris Denorfia "collector", this is only my first card of him in an A's uniform. I got a few other gold-shiny cards like the Yonder above, but this was my favorite one. Love me some Pinnacle Zenith, even if Erstad looks half asleep in this shot. And you can't go wrong with Paulie. Even though I don't try to collect every Konerko card out there, I am on the lookout for everything 2011 to present.
The "pieces de resistance" by far, however were a pair of Fancy Friars Mark included. How fancy were they?
They're so fancy, they're made of SILK!
My Padres collection can't officially be "complete" (well, as complete as I care for it to be) until I can get ahold of some key rookie cards - Gwynn, Smith, and Winfield. In the meantime, I can enjoy these Manufactured Rookie Card Patches, which are pretty freaking sweet. I've never thought very highly of any "manufactured" relic-type cards, but these are borderline incredible. The fact that I got two of these of PADRES in the SAME package is just ridiculous. Ridiculously awesome.
Did I mention that they're printed on silk? Most of my ties are thrift store quality polyester, so these cards are already nicer than parts of my wardrobe.
What do you do with cards like this? They fit into plastic pages (albeit slightly awkwardly), but between the silk and the cardboard frame, these look like bonafide pieces of art!
I'll talk with my wife and see where in the house she would like these to be prominently displayed. I'm sure that most wives with degrees in Interior Design would love that.
As always Mr. Kaz, thanks for the great cardboard. May your days be full of joy and may your Mets be full of wins in 2013.
EDIT: After emailing to confirm that everything made it to Texas alright, Mark informed me that there was a weekend where he got two blasters worth of 2013 Topps, and these cards came from those two blasters. Destiny? I think so.