For you acronym junkies out there, these aren't five cards from the National League Championship Series, rather, they are five cards from my Not Local Card Shop. Unfortunately, the one that was nearest to me (about a 40 minute drive) shut it's doors recently. Mostly unfortunate for them, since I only went there twice, and wasn't too impressed either time. However, yesterday my wife had an appointment in Austin to get her haircut (she's been growing it out for a while and wanted to get a lot of it lopped off, so she wanted to go to someone who would do it right), and with a few extra minutes and a few kids, we stopped by the card shop in Austin.
For those of you who aren't in the know, Texas is football country, and Austin is no exception. While there was a decent selection of baseball stuff, it was not the dominant represented sport. I asked if they had any packs of Pro Debut and they told me it wouldn't come out until after baseball season. When I told them that I'd heard about Yasiel Puig's card (that's a name they had to know, right?) they realized that I was talking about baseball, and then rummaged around before concluding that they didn't have any.
Anyways, since I had both kids with me, my time was short, and at one point, I was trying to shuffle through cards with just one hand. Not easy. While I was hoping to leave with a lot more, I snagged some semi-decent trade bait and some plastic team bags, and these five cards.
Paul Konerko was my favorite current player for a while, but has since been usurped by some of the new talent on the Padres. Still, I became a fan forever during the 2005 season when he led the Sox to their first World Series victory in... well... a long time. Here is his mini card from last year's Gypsy Queen set. While I don't make an effort to track down many cards of Paulie, I try to get the ones from sets that have come out recently.
There were a few boxes of base cards organized by teams. This was the only Padre from the stack that I didn't already have. Travis Jankowski was drafted in the 1st round of last year's draft (44th overall) after helping lead Stony Brook to the College World Series. Let's glance at his stats for Single A Lake Elsinore this year, shall we? Hmm, .286 average is decent. 37 RBI and a lone home run makes it sound like he's got no power. Oh here we go! 71 stolen bases and an 84% success rate! Dude's got speed! When MLB.com listed the Padres 20 best prospects at the beginning of the year, he didn't make the cut, but he is currently listed at #20. And this card is very shiny.
On my way out, I was scouring the "discount" box, which had cards that were either 50 cents or five dollars. Whoo boy. Still, I wanted to double the number of Padres that I was walking away with. Boom. Greg Maddux. The greatest pitcher that I ever saw pitch in person. When Mike Piazza joined the Padres for a year towards the end of his career, I didn't embrace him because he was still a Dodger to me. With Maddux, I never really saw him as a Padre, he will always be a Brave to me. Still, I loved that he spent time in San Diego. Everybody should love Greg Maddux. Except hitters.
My favorite pickups of the day were from 1969 Topps. I had hoped to knock off any of the four cards that I needed to complete the Padres team set, but it wasn't meant to be. However, since I already had the box of '69s out, I flipped through the beat up ones (the guy who runs the shop is apparently big on condition when giving the price for everything) and picked up these beauties.
I'd seen Randy Hundley's card previously on the blogosphere, and thought, "Man, that is a sweet looking catchers card." Though I've since strayed from the "get every card of catchers in their gear" idea that I had at the beginning of Backstop Cards, when I saw this one, I knew it'd be leaving with me.
While I've been working on finding different cards of players named Foster (after my son of the same name), I haven't really been working to track down any players named Harper (after my daughter, although I have a few pages of Brian Harper cards). Wanting to take home some more goodness from the '69 set, I snagged this Tommy Harper card. My first Pilots card, BTW. Very cool.
I'll show some trade baitey stuff up here later, but these were the five cards that I took home for myself. Not sure that I'll be itching to go back by any means, but fun to look at lots of cards all at once.