I almost titled this post "Mini-Collections?" since this is a trade post from the master of the mini-collection, Nick at the Dime Box blog. If you're not familiar with him (are there people who read this blog that don't?), to say that the guy has an "eclectic" taste in baseball cards would be an understatement. In tribute to him, I'll try to find ways to include the cards that he sent into some made up mini collections, though most of them will go into either my Player Collection binder or my Miscellaneous Padres binder.
Starting off with a Brian Harper card in his catchers gear would fit nicely into my "Mustachioed Catchers With The Same Last Name As My Daughter" mini-collection, if such a mini-collection existed. A little wordy, I admit. Plus it might be misunderstood as being that Brian and my daughter share the same last name, when in fact, his last name is the same as her first name.
Okay, we're not starting off great, but hang in there, it gets... well, different, at least.
Mini Collection: "Left Handed Pitchers Wearing Brown and Yellow"
I'd like Randy Jones to be the most remembered pitcher in Padres history, though he will probably lose out to Jake Peavy (but hopefully not to Kevin Brown). I had never heard of this "Arms Race" subset from Upper Deck, but props on including Mr. Jones. Speaking of being overshadowed, Lefferts' mustache might've been the most remembered mustache in Padres history had Rollie Fingers never played here. Is it at least the best mustache of any left handed pitchers during the brown and gold era? Maybe.
Mini Collection: "Pitcher Face" or "Baseball Gang Signs"
The "Pitcher Face" is commonly seen on baseball cards, wherein the pitcher is straining to throw a pitch when the camera clicks, and the results are usually less than flattering. This Benes card is quite attractive (sorry Andy, didn't mean to creep you out there), and works really well with the horizontal design. Gotta love Pinnacle. The "Baseball Gang Sign" collection would be referencing Benes' right hand. While perhaps one of the more simple signs out there, it might still qualify.
Mini Collection: "Heads Are Gonna Roll"
I suppose that "Floating Heads" might be a shorter title for this group, but I'll give a nod to one of my favorite Rocket From The Crypt songs. Phil Nevin also led the team in doubles (34) and Owens led the team in hits (171) in 2000. Nevin would've taken the strikeout title that year as well, had it not been for one of the worst players in the history of the Padres, Rueben Rivera. Would've been interesting having a "HAGR" card of four Phil Nevin heads. For what it's worth, I was a fan of the "HAGR" cards from last year's Heritage set.
Mini Collection: "Padres Gold Glove Third Basemen" or "Remember The Good Years"
There are only two Padres who have been Gold Glove third basemen; Ken Caminiti and Chase Headley. As of right now, neither one is looked upon very highly, Caminiti for his steroid use and substance abuse issues, and Headley for having a miserable 2013 season after getting MVP votes and leading the NL in RBI in 2012. Still love 'em both, but mostly because I'm able to remember the good years.
Mini Collection: "I Though I Already Had This Card"
I have gotten cards similar to these in many, many packages. I'm a huge fan of '92 and '93 Topps, so no real complaints there. However, there are a few things that make these different from their "regular" '92 and '93 Topps counterparts. The Gwynn card is actually from the O-Pee-Chee brand, and the McGriff card has the Rockies inaugural season foil stamp. Do I normally put my favorite cards from a trade in the middle of a trade post? I just did.
Should I keep the mini-collection theme going? I feel like I'm running on fumes here. I'll take a break and show an addition to my Emerald Padres team set. This brings me down to just six that I need to finish Series I & II. Can I finish it off before the packs of Update hit the shelves? Probably not. The Carlos Hernandez card actually fits perfectly into my already established "Padres Catchers In Gear" mini-collection. I almost feel weird calling it a "mini-collection", since the overwhelming majority of the cards in my collection are Padres cards, but since they have their own spot in a binder, I'll count 'em. Also had to toss a picture of the Hernandez card since Nick is such a fan of the Pacific Online brand.
I had considered having a mini-collection of all of the "Original Padres", but I decided that since I already have complete team sets of the '71 and '73 team sets (the third and fifth years of the Padres MLB existence), and I'm closing in on finishing the '69 team set (four cards left), that there wasn't much of a point, since I'd have to start getting doubles of vintage cards. But this Ollie Brown will fit nicely between Kevin Brown and Homer Bush into the Miscellaneous Padres binder, giving that particular page some nice vintage variety. The "Padres Leaders" from the '86 Topps set is extra fancy, given that it's one of the glossy "Tiffany" cards from that era. You know, back before everything was glossy.
Assuming that the majority of Nick's purchases come from dime boxes, it was no surprise to me that this package included some Darin Erstad cards. Judging from the pure volume of Erstad cards that have come to me via trade, Erstad must be the king of the dime box. So many late 90s/early 00s shiny, sparkly inserts, each one from one of the kajillion card brands of the era. These were my favorites. Not sure why that one in the middle is named after that Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman movie, but maybe I'm just having a hard time focusing after being put into a trance by the one on the left.
How good was the stack of cards that Nick sent? Even the doubles were good. Someday I will make a countdown of my favorite Gwynn cards, and you can bet that the Pinnacle "The Naturals" card will be on there somewhere, easily Top 50 (he's now passed the 300 card mark in the collection, so that's not too shabby). More impressively, he found one of my favorite Archi Cianfrocco cards, a minor league card during his time in the Expos farm system. His early minor league cards had all kids of different spellings for his first name, and this one has him listed as "Arcie". Add that to the sweet bat/glove combo that reminds me of peddling to the Little League fields on my bike, and you've got something special.
Thanks again for all the Padre cards Nick! And also for all the ones that weren't.