Well, okay, I wouldn't exactly call the packages of cards that Mark (This Way To The Clubhouse) and I exchange a "trade", but I'm a sucker for alliteration. I've been surprised with the number of Mets that I've been able to come across and send Mark's way, and I've been floored by the amount of Padres that he's been able to ship out to Texas.
This particular batch of cards came my way this week, and had a way of fitting into some topical things that have been happening around these parts lately.
I already have this card, but this is an upgrade in condition. On top of that, if there was an award given to the blogger to send me the most packages of cards, Mark would be the Champion.
One of the highlights of my week was asking my students how many Padres they could name off. Since I've been passing out Padre cards since the beginning of the year, I was sure they'd name a few, but they had a little trouble getting some of the pronunciations right. The most hilarious attempt was from a girl in my class with a thick Southern accent (Alabama-born) try to say "Benito Santiago". I can't remember it exactly, but it was something like "Benito Saniallalgo".
I've mentioned before how much I love the Santiago's that Mark's been able to find for me, even if they're not from his Padre days. This Royals card looks better in hand, but because it's a "Chrome" card, looks weird in the photo. I love the playing card that uses the 1991 Topps picture of Benito, in case you couldn't tell by my Blogger avatar.
There were five new Erstad's that made their way into the binders, including these three. The one on the left is a gold-refractor-thingy that's numbered to 449. Pretty sharp looking. I chose these three because they showed the progression of the Angel's uniforms during Darin's tenure there, but I guess I put them in order from newest to oldest. Speaking of Angels, my son Foster has started getting into a semi-regular sleeping pattern, making my life - but especially my wife's life - a little more heavenly.
Along with Archi Cianfrocco cards, it definitely seems hard to come across Steve Finley cards in trade packages. Not hard to find them here though. The card in the middle is from 1991 Topps Traded, since Steve's base card from the main set featured him in an Orioles uniform. Speaking of "seconds", my daughter Harper's second birthday was last week, and she is about as goofy as the Finley card on the left. She's wonderfully awesome, I love that girl to pieces.
This trio of cards is from the 1995 Collector's Choice set. Aside from featuring Friars and having gray borders, these cards all have another thing in common - fancy silver signatures. Tip of the cap to Edgar Martinez for having the most legible signature, and a wag of the finger to Raul Casanova, who's signature looks like a seismograph reading. I have five students in my class who are in Student Council, and one is the Student Council Treasurer. He has to sign a lot of papers, but since they don't really teach cursive in school anymore, he's had to practice making his signature look decent. It's still not bad, but he's no Michael Cuddyer.
By the way, I'm pretty sure that this is the only card I've come across where Trevor Hoffman is at the plate. Showing off some of that .114 batting average (4 for 34), no doubt. The dude did have a pair of doubles and five RBIs to show for his efforts at the end of his career, though that probably still seems a little low if you take into account that he was originally drafted as a shortstop by the Reds.
Last but not least, this is the last week before Spring Break! Since my in-laws are flying us out to California (first to Sacramento, then making our way down to San Diego), I'll be missing South By Southwest for the second consecutive year (kind of a bummer) and will instead be going to Spring Training for the second year in a row (totally worth missing SXSW). Last year, I was able to get a few Padre autographs, including Cory Spangenberg, Connor Powers, Chase Headley, Kyle Blanks, Jesus Guzman, and the man pictured above, Chris Denorfia. It'll be a day trip instead of an overnight trip like last time, but it'll be great, hopefully they can do well in the split-squad game against the Dodgers.
Thanks for the cards, Mark! So kind of you to go out of your way at the monthly card show to pick up some cardboard for this humble blogger.