I'm not sure how many Padre card bloggers there currently are, and I'm not sure how many were before me. I do know that the first one that I was aware of was Padrographs. Rod, the author and huge Padres fan from Oregon, has a massive amount of autographed Padre cards, the majority, if not all, of the "through the mail" variety.
Though he hasn't been as active on his blog as he has in the past, he had a post a while back about trying to save up some money for his first ever trip to Petco Park. To do so, he was selling some of his cards on eBay. Well, I have "Padre autographs" as a saved search on my eBay profile, so when there was a sudden influx of on card autos from the 80s and 90s, I knew that the sale was in full swing.
I was only able to nab two of the autographs, which I saved for the end of the post. However, being the awesome guy that he is, he tossed in a few "bonus" cards. I can't remember exactly, but I believe it was about 15 or so. Whatever it was, as the title of the post indicates, it doubled my autograph collection. Here are some of 'em.
My favorite of the "bonus" cards was this Andy Benes card. Benes is one of the best starting pitchers in Padres history. He's 6th in all-time ERA and wins, 5th in innings pitched, and second in strikeouts. I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure that he was the pitcher for the first game I ever went to. He was pitching in the first game that I remember, at the very least. I'm a fan of 1990 Fleer, and the blue signature a classic pose really pops.
I am not a fan of 1988 Fleer design. However, I can never have too many cards of Mark Parent in his catchers gear, and Mark Davis was a Cy Young award winner. These are definitely keepers.
Garry Templeton and Bruce Hurst are always cool in my book. The Hurst is from the Traded Set, not always easy to find.
I have a ton of Greg Harris cards. You may or may not know that I'm not trying to track down all the Padre cards that have ever been made, so there are plenty that I don't have that I still send off to other bloggers or pass out in my classroom. But, for whatever reason, I hold on to all the Greg Harris cards that come my way. Very cool to have his autograph. And, of course, if you've ever listened to a Padres TV broadcast, you've probably heard Mark Grant calling the game. He's not the best, but he's goofy and entertaining, most of the time. Hey, we can't all be Vin Scully.
Here are a couple of guys who were probably better known on other clubs. Calvin Schiraldi went to high school in Austin and later became a Longhorn, and later became the losing pitcher of games 6 and 7 in the 1986 World Series for the Red Sox. And he played for the Padres. Man that sounded really negative - I'm sure he is a great guy. Kevin McReynolds also went to the World Series, once in '84 with the Padres, and in '88 with the Mets. Spent most of his career in New York, but man, he looks sharp in that yellow.
Jerald Clark is another Texas boy, born in Crockett. Autographed rookie card! Score! I had never heard of Eric Nolte, but one of my buddies as a kid had the last name of Nolte, and they were pretty athletic; pretty sure they aren't related, though.
Alright, onto the two cards that I bought, still saving my favorite for last.
TONY GWYNN SIGHTING! Yes, an autographed Gwynn card from 1985 Fleer. Sweet card, sweet autograph. Brian from 30 Year Old Cardboard did a sweet post on the "ever changing signature of Tony Gwynn", but he posts so frequently that I wasn't able to find it. This doesn't look like a "classic" Gwynn sig, but still matches some other ones that I've seen. Obviously, knowing Rod, I know it to be authentic. I've mentioned before that my family got a Tony Gwynn autographed ball when we saw him at the Little League field when I was a kid, but very cool to have his sig on a card.
The Gwynn was awesome to get, but this was easily the crown jewel (in my opinion) of the cards that I saw for sale (though that Benito that got away was right behind it). First of all, if you collect baseball cards, chances are you've come across Bip Roberts' name. From having a term named after him to appearing on some pretty awesome cardboard, the dude is already a mainstay in the collecting community. Aside from sporting some awesome brown and orange on this card from '90 Fleer, the signature says it all.
If your signature begins with the word "The", I think you've made it.
Thanks again Rod, these were all awesome. Wish I had the means to make a bigger contribution to the trip fund, but at least these great deals will be going to a good home.