Anyways, I felt a little bad because I missed the Valentine's celebration for my students. I was informed that the sub was mean and the "party" during lunch was pretty lame. I'm trying to think of a way to make it up to them today, since the next day we had to be in full test-taking mode and there was no school yesterday.
However, the purpose of this post is to show what one of my students got me... baseball cards!
How cool is that? Not that the huge Reese's heart wasn't appreciated either, but this was by far the coolest gift I've gotten from a student.
Of course, being the impatient person that I am, I couldn't wait until I got home to rip it open, so I did it during my lunch break. The package said that there would be four packs as well as 50 bonus cards. Let's check out the top five from the loose cards first...
#5 - Can't go wrong with a Wally Joyner card that I didn't already have. Not the toughest looking pose for Wallace, but I suppose that "tough" isn't what they had in mind when they named them the "Angels".
#4 - 2001 Fleer "Greats of the Game" featuring Catfish Hunter. This is the first card from the set I've seen, and I like the simple design of this sharp looking card, so this is my first Catfish card into the binders.
#3 - Maybe it's just because I'm a schoolteacher, but this would be a great setup for an article on comparing and contrasting. I think it's funny that Nolan was considered a "Super Veteran" in 1983, but didn't actually retire until a decade later.
#2 - I've seen this Dustin Hermanson card before, but it's seems pretty appropriate for this package, since I felt like a kid in a candy store. Or, maybe a kid in an adult's body in a candy store.
#1 - A Steve Finley card that I didn't already have! And he's bunting! If you've read this post or this post, you'll know how unsurprising that is. Would've been tough to top this one.
Here were the runners-up. Cal and Omar are two of my favorite short stops, so they're always fun to see. Rich Batchelor makes his way into a binder just for his name alone.
Onto the packs! We'll go ahead a take a look at the best card from each pack, and then at the ones who were only honorable mentions...
Best of the 2008 Upper Deck First Edition Update goes to Mark Prior! I received a few Padres in this package, but this was the only keeper; they'll be back in the classroom to some great students. Prior never played a game for San Diego, as he got injured again after signing with the Padres. We also have my favorite current Redleg, Brandon Phillips, the best of the 2009 Upper Deck Series 2 pack, who was awarded this card for winning a Gold Glove. Apparently, they thought it a good idea to show a Gold Glove winner... with his batting gloves on. Gotta love the camouflage uniform, I thought the Padres were the only ones who did that.
Rounding out the last two packages are two New York boys. David Wright was a better card than the other three in the pack of 2007 Upper Deck Future Stars. The Mantle was a pretty good pull from the 2011 Topps Lineage pack. I don't really "get" the Lineage set, since it seems like the word "Lineage" might hint at a "retro" theme, but the design is decidedly modern. Still, can't go wrong with the shiny.
We'll finish with a trio of other noteworthy cards. The man in the middle is Dave Roberts, and he is currently the Padres first base coach, as well as currently being cancer-free. Everybody loves Dave Roberts. The Freddie Freeman card is from the Lineage pack, and has a cool throwback design to the late 80s/early 90 Topps Rookie cards. The first ever Freeman into the binders. I added the Mike Greenwell, which was from the other loose cards as well, because it has a 3-D/texture effect that you can't see well here, but I haven't seen any other cards like it. Also, one of my favorite books is Something Missing, by Matthew Dick, and in it, the main character begins his career as a petty thief by stealing his stepfather's autographed Mike Greenwell card.
Anyways, this was super fun to rip, especially on a lunch break at school! Thanks to all of my awesome students, and especially those who think that their teacher is great enough to give baseball cards to.
Still, this might be the highest praise of all...