A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Monday, September 30, 2013

Vintage Monday

Well, the season is over.

I suppose that technically there are still teams playing.  For the Rangers and Rays, the regular season isn't over yet.  But as far as I'm concerned, it's done.  Stick a fork in it.

The Padres lost yesterday, moving them into a tie for 3rd place in the NL West with the Giants, and giving them the exact same record as last year.  Ten games below .500.  For some reason, I guess I feel like if they had won the game yesterday (they led 6-5 going into the bottom of the ninth, but Huston Street blew his second game of the season), the year wouldn't have been so bad.  They would've finished ahead of the Giants and improved from last year.  But it didn't happen.  That's baseball, I guess.

I suppose that if the A's or Pirates work some magic, I might hop on a bandwagon.  Maybe.  But I don't have cable, and even though I am a baseball fan, I'm not sure I'll be going out of my way to watch games from my laptop (though it wouldn't be as bad if the games were being played Eastern or Central time - Pacific time slots kill me on school nights).

Anyways, enough whining about the Padres season.  I have no way to connect it to the cards I'm showing.

Here is my fourth vintage Jerry Coleman card.  A pretty sizable discount off eBay due to the light writing on the bottom, being a little worn, and having a pinhole near the top.  Still, this is a sharp looking card of The Colonel.  1957 Topps was a good set.

Here's the back, where you can see the hole a little clearer on the right side.  Oh, and in case you were wondering, Jerry's given name is "Gerald".  I'm not quite sure what a "danger spot" is or how it happens in an infield, but it sounds like Coleman was a good defender at second base.

Here are a pair of Washington "Nat'l Lea." cards that I picked up on the cheap as well, a buck and change for each one, free shipping.  There are 15 cards total in this error set, and these are #s five and six in the collection, so maybe there's a shot at completing this team set.

I suppose that I should just be glad that I even have a hometown team to root for, since the Padres almost got shipped off to Washington.  Thanks Ray Kroc.

I'll have the 2013 Padres Season Retrospective up soon.  Or at the very least, before the 2014 season.  I know you guys are already antsy to see my analysis, but you'll have to wait.

Until then, go A's and Pirates, those are the team's I'm hoping meet in the World Series.  My preseason prediction of Baltimore and Washington seems a bit off now, as neither team made the playoffs.  Guess I'll keep my day job.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Classy Farewell

I suppose that in the grand scope of the 2013 MLB season, the retirement of a journeyman outfielder who played 17 years with seven different teams might not cause much of a blip on the radar.  Not when you have two guys who spent their entire careers with the same team who are also riding off into the sunset.  But here in Padretown, TX, Mark Kotsay's retirement was at the forefront on Friday, the last game at Petco Park in 2013.

He's not a first ballot Cooperstown talent like Mariano Rivera, and he's not a five-time All-Star like Todd Helton, but he's had a solid major league career.  With two games to go in the season, he has a career average of .276 with 1,784 hits and 127 homers.  More than that, he's been filling the "veteran clubhouse leader" role in his last few seasons.  While he was a pretty productive guy off the bench last year, he has seriously struggled, with one homer and a batting average below the Mendoza line.

Having recently joined twitter (MarcusSDTX, if you feel inclined to follow), its been a little disheartening to see so much criticism of him by the fans.  Can't say that it's not accurate, but still a little more mean-spirited than is really necessary.  Such is the internet, I suppose.

Anyways, Kotsay's last home appearance was on Friday, and manager Bud Black gave him a rare start.  Before the game, he was presented with a custom made surfboard by Trevor Hoffman and a few other former Padres.  When the game started, they had Kotsay lead them out onto the field, but when he got to left field, he realized that the rest of the team had stayed in the dugout, giving him the whole field to himself.  Goose bump inducing standing ovation.  Later in the game, he had the chance to play the hero, as he batted in the 8th with the go ahead run in scoring position, but he struck out on three pitches, swinging and missing at each one.

Asked later about striking out in his final home at bat, Kotsay said 

"Even striking out, I went down swinging.  I've always been told you can't get off the island unless you swing; I just couldn't make contact. To win, collectively as a group though, that's what I love about baseball."

A classy guy as always.

Here is a page right out of my Miscellaneous Padres binder, showing all nine of the Kotsay cards that it holds.  Coincidentally, they're all on the same page, but if I add any more Casey Kelly, Terry Kennedy, or Ryan Klesko cards, it might push these apart (the MP binder is organized alphabetically).  If I had to choose my favorite out of these nine, I'd have to go with the Upper Deck First Pitch card at the top row in the middle.

I'd be surprised if Kotsay made the 2013 Topps Update checklist, and if he doesn't, this will be his "sunset" card, from last year's Update set.  Can't say that it's great, but not too shabby.  

Here's the back, showing the stats from his the first 15 years of his career.  Last year at Spring Training, just after the national anthem, he stopped by to sign autographs and chat up a few of the fans in the front row.  One of the fans had a book that was divided up by team names (e.g. all the Braves signed in a section, all the Red Sox signed in the same section, etc.), and when Kots saw that, he said that he'd be able to sign in a few different places.  He went on to joke with the fans, talking about what places he liked in and other that weren't so great.  I guess it's not as funny sounding as I'm making it out to be, but the fans were laughing and he was being real with them.  Something I'll remember for a while.

Today, being game 162 of the season, Kotsay has got the start in right field, playing his last game as a big leaguer.  It's not the  most important game on the docket (though it will decide third place in the NL West), but it certainly will for Kots.  Best of luck to you, Mark!  Thanks for everything.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Flip It

Remember that time in the 90s when cards had pictures on the front and the back?  That was pretty awesome, right?  I mean, check out the collage on the back of this 1994 Fleer Ultra card!  Sure it's low on stats, but who needs stats when you've got three Archi's running, hitting, and catching all over the place?

1993 Leaf is still one of my all-time favorite card backs, but this one is definitely up there.  Don't have very many '94 Ultra cards to judge from, but if they're all as awesome as this one, it could definitely be up there.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Goods

I've read a few posts by Night Owl in which he states that the main reason that he follows so many blogs and (and keeps writing his own) is to connect with people who will hook him up with Dodgers cards.  He says it in a much more eloquent way, of course, but this is the gist of his statement.  Of course, there are other reasons he writes, I'm sure, but people sending you cards of your favorite team is a pretty decent bonus.

Such has been the case with an awesome collector named Jason.  I've showed off cards from Jason at least four separate times, and each time the cards have been varied.  Oddballs, cards for player collections, team sets, you name it.  On Monday I got two more packages to add to the collection.  The first one had a theme to it...

There's probably a better word to use than "fancy" but all the cards in the first package were pretty fancy.  In fact, of the four cards in the first package, this was probably the one I was least stoked about, and this is a pretty sweet card.  As I uploaded this image, Heath Bell was actually pitching against the Padres, and he hit our short stop in the head, so time has not been kind to Heath, but I loved him as a Padre.  This is my first, um... quad relic?  I'm sure there's a better word for it than that, but I'm not that fancy.

Trevor Hoffman rookie card!  Coming in at #3 in the package!  Normally this would be higher, but that's how good everything was.  Digging the Little League look here, as there is no name on Hoffy's jersey and it looks like the cap he's wearing is a snap back, not the "pro fit" like all the cool kids wore in LL.  I kinda figured Trevor for an "out of left field" prospect, not a "top" prospect, mostly because he bounced from Cincinnati to Florida before finally landing in San Diego.  But it looks like the geniuses at Upper Deck thought he had the goods early on.

Oh Yonder Alonso.  My pre-season favorite player has had a rough year, putting up some subpar power numbers and being injured for a few months.  Not sure if he's still "the future" at first or if we'll be seeing somebody else in that spot in the next couple of years, but for now I still like him and hope he can stay healthy next year.  Freak hand injury from a hit by pitch, nothing chronic like an arm or a leg.  Anyways, I'm not big on this year's Gypsy Queen, but there is no denying this card.  Flat out awesome.

My favorite by far, however, was this Khalil Greene autograph.  This is my first Greene autograph, and the dude's got a decent signature, looks good here.  After a mini-autograph spree the last few months, it might seem like that's all I'm after, but I think having one of each of the Padres that I really like is good enough for me.

The second package had a complete set of 1992 Fleer.  While I have another (somewhat neglected) blog dedicated to the 1991 Fleer set, 1992 Fleer is a set that I ripped a lot of as a kid.  I'm guessing it was because it was cheap, as I wasn't a big fan of the green border, now or then.  Still, there were some cards I wanted for my binders, including these three.  I already had the "big" names from the set (Gwynn, McGriff, Benes), but I like the angle of this Jose Melendez card, and who doesn't love Bruce Hurst.  Turns out that I already had this Bip card, but it's great too.

Thanks again for the great haul, Jason.  Very awesome stuff all around.

EDIT: After putting this together, I flipped the Hoffman card around to check out the back...

and I might need to reevaluate the list again, because Hoffman jumping rope in those short shorts is just too awesome.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Junkiest of Wax

While sifting through my unfinished drafts, I found this discarded post about a box of 1994 Score "Rookie & Traded" cards I got at City Wide Garage Sale in Austin last month.  Obviously, I was a little less than enthused with the contents, or I would've finished this much earlier.

The set is a pretty small one (165 cards), and with 360 cards in a box (10 cards per 36 packs), I thought it'd be a sure bet that I'd be able to complete the set.  No dice.  There were a decent amount of Padres in the set, but most were of the "rookie" variety, and very few of them actually actually panned out.  

The best base card of the lot would have to go to Bip Roberts.  The Bipper has some good cards out there, and this one is sharp looking as well, despite the garish red border... along with the yellow and turquoise touches.  Can't have too many cards of Bip.

There were non-Padres additions to binders, in the form of Chris Gomez and Brian Harper.  I'm pretty sure that Gomez has more cards during his days in Detroit than he does in San Diego, so he's one that I toss into the "keeper" pile when I come across him.  And I'm a sucker for cards of Harper in catcher's gear.  Pulled so many of them as a kid, so I like when it still happens now.  Also, here's the difference between the "rookie" and the "traded" cards: the rookies have the little rookie logo on the bottom, and there are two pictures of them on the front.  The backs aren't too bad, even with two pictures on the back, they still manage to have a decent amount of space for stats, etc.

Probably The coolest cards out of the whole set are the "Gold Rush" cards.  They come one in every pack, and I was able to nab this pair of Padres.  Though I still hold more of a grudge than I should against Melvin Nieves, there's no denying that this is a sweet looking card.  Scott Sanders probably had the best career of any of the "rookies" in this set, so this was a nice grab as well.

Overall, if I could do it again, I probably wouldn't.  The box was cheap enough ($7) to not have any major buyers remorse, and the gold cards are ones that I might never have snagged otherwise.  Still, the design is pretty downright ugly, and the amount of duplicates was staggering.  They'll be good for padding trade packages, however, which was one of the purposes of picking it up, so it'll serve it's purpose there.

If there's an outside chance that somebody has needs from this set, lemme know.  I've already mailed out a few packages with these in them, but I have to think that I still have the majority of this set up for trade.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Gettin' Off My Duff

I don't know how you Dodger bloggers do it.  You know - trade amongst yourselves?  Crafting a trade package for a Royals fan is easy, since I seem to have a bunch of those laying around.  And it's not hard to throw a package of duplicates together for a Padres collector either, since I have those in spades.  But creating a good trade package for a blogger with the same team affiliation?  It can't be easy.

Usually with other Padre bloggers (the handful that are out there), I tend to go with quantity over quality.  "Hey, none of these are great, but look!  There's a bunch of them!"  Haven't had any complaints so far or anything, but it makes me think - how do those Dodger bloggers do it?  Making quality trades with each other.

Well, whatever they do, they must've taken a page out of my buddy Duff's book.  He runs the Bleedin' Brown & Gold blog, which is always a must-read for me.  Here are some of the latest gems he's sent my way...

There are some years that I'm not crazy about the Studio brand.  But whenever they can capture a little piece of my beloved hometown on the card, I'm in.  Even though I'm not crazy about the monotone background, this is still a definite keeper in my book.  That it's a Jake Peavy card is a bonus as well.

Here's a sweet trio of Friars.  I think the Kevin Kouzmanoff section of my Miscellaneous Padres binder is now about three pages long, so finding cards that I don't already have of him is great.  The cards of Josh Banks and Max Fried are both firsts for me.  I like how the Upper Deck Timeline design works well with the Padre uniforms here.  Fried was the first pick of the Padres last year, and according to Bowman, he is the 67th best prospect in the minors.  Not sure that I'd be crazy about having the number "67" written in bold on my baseball card, but then again, I'd be stoked just to be on a baseball card.

Oh, this is a serial numbered card, I forgot to snap a picture of the back.  Oh well.  I don't have many cards from Topps Unique, but I've liked the ones I've seen.  The color of the border for Mat Latos' card here is pretty appropriate, given his current team affiliation.  

All told, these were probably my favorite cards out of the whole package.  I will never have enough cards of Aki Otsuka.  Never.  Even if the painting of him they used for this Diamond Kings card is a little scary looking.  Greg Maddux falls into the same category (except about the "scary looking" part).  It's still a little weird to see him as a Padre, when in my mind he's either a Brave or a Cub.  But seeing him in a throwback Padre uniform?  Super weird.  And it's awesome.

Duff also included the complete Padres team set from this year's Bowman Platinum (I think - haven't glanced at the checklist).  Very cool, nice to be able to add that one to the list of packs I won't be buying this year.  Here's my second Fried card.  I don't follow a bunch of prospects, but Austin Hedges is a guy that I'm big on.  Fortunately, he's been included in a decent number of sets before ever making it to the bigs.  Unfortunately, they recycled the image on this card with the one they used for his 2013 Heritage Minors card, the only difference being that this one is photoshopped with Padres gear, while the Heritage card shows him in his Lake Elsinore Storm uniform.  I've already talked about how awesome this Jedd Gyorko card is, and it wouldn't be the Year of the Chase Headley card without his inclusion into another set.

Well, alright, even though I love the Otsuka and Maddux cards, on card autographs of Padres might just trump all.  This is my third Will Venable autograph, all coming through trades.  Even though he's cooled off a bit since going on a hot streak in August, he's been one of the few shining stars on the team this year, and this is a sweet looking card.  Very glad to have it.

Looking at this collection of cardboard sent from Duff leads me to two possible conclusions:  He has an impossibly awesome set of doubles, or he is just a flat out awesome person.  I'm assuming that it's more of the latter than the former, but regardless, I'm glad that I'm the beneficiary of this trade.  Thanks Duff!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Signed & Delivered

I mentioned in an earlier post that I've been on a bit of a "bargain autograph" kick lately.  If it could be bought and shipped for under five bucks (and it was a player that I was interested in), I was watching it.  Of course, now that it's the end of the month, my mini-spree has cooled off, so here's the spoils of about a little over a month's worth of budget auto searching.

After seeing a handful of decently priced Gyorko cards last year, the prices skyrocketed once he started mashing in the majors.  I became determined to find one, and after about a dozen cards slipped over the $5 threshold, I finally snagged one.  From last year's Bowman set, and it's just a sticker auto, but still a sharp looking card of one of the Padres best players.

Gyorko has been steadily becoming one of my favorite Padres, and may have even eclipsed my pre-season #2 favorite Friar, Yonder Alonso (Chris Denorfia is still my #1 guy).  Brought over in the Mat Latos trade, Alonso has gotten a decent amount of love from Topps, as I've seen him get plenty of autographs and relics in various sets.  Like Gyorko, these have always been just a little out of my $5 ceiling, but this one from 2012 Topps Chrome was a one day auction, and I was the lone bidder.  Very nice.

Plus, it's serial numbered 31/100.  Fancy, right?  Alonso came over in the Mat Latos deal, which seemed great at the time, and is now slipping into the "decent" range, since Edinson Volquez was a bust and Yasmani Grandal is a PED user.  Seeing Latos deal as a Red is a little tough to swallow, though not as painful as seeing Adrian Gonzalez in Dodger blue.

Speaking of serial numbers and autographs, here is a card that I am a little in the dark about.  The back of this Kyle Blanks auto is dated 2007 from the Just Minors brand.  But the auction title says that it's a 2013 Leaf Just Vault card.  I can make guesses and assumptions about this set, but if anybody else is in the know, lemme know in the comments.  All I know is that I got this Kyle Blanks card for pretty cheap, even though it's a sticker auto and the picture on the front is the same as the one on the back.  Plus it's numbered to 25, which is pretty low.

Normally, I'm not big on minor league autographs, regardless of team affiliation.  However, I had a chance to watch Yeison Asencio play during my trip down to watch the San Antonio Missions.  He won the league batting title last year in A-Ball, and got promoted up to AA this year, where he hit .261 in 74 games for the Texas League champs.  Seems like he could be a long shot to make it stick in the majors, but a cool card nonetheless.

Not all the cards were from the past few years.  This blast from the past auto of Chris Gomez made me smile.  I must've slipped out of my baseball card phase right when autographed cards were hitting the market, as I never remember ripping a pack hoping that I'd get a "hit" (just hoping for Padres).  Anyways, this is from 1999, and my dad and I were big Chris Gomez fans, so this is a nice pickup.

Here is the lone "in person" autograph.  I can't really imagine that Archi Cianfrocco has a ton of autograph requests, so I could probably try some "through the mail" autograph requests without spending any "real" money, but since this was so cheap, I picked up this one as well.  Despite the fact that Cianfrocco is shown here as an Expo, I really like his '93 Topps card, highlighting the outfield wall of Jack Murphy Stadium in the background.  The Murph is dead.  Long live the Murph.

Last but certainly not least, an autograph that I've been eyeing for so long.  Unlike most of the other autos in this post, this one is almost always sold for under $5.  I guess I was just looking to see how cheap I could get it.  This was mine for $2.99, and as far as I know, it's the only certified autograph card that Archi ever appeared on.  The '96 Leaf Signature Series had a bunch of Padres on the autograph list, and I've snagged a few (the indispensable Brian Johnson and Scott Livingstone), and since Archi is an all-time favorite, the Cianfrocco collection seems a lot closer to completion.

Here's the back, which lauds AC as being an "extremely versatile performer" who hit .400 as a pinch hitter and .452 with runners in scoring position.  As if the world didn't already know of his greatness.

Can't really say that I'm an autograph hunter by any stretch, since these were accumulated during the span of more than a month, but when there's a deal to be had, I'll check it out.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Los Padres

It's late September, which means that the Padres are back to playing "meaningless" games for the last few weeks of the season.  Of course, now that there is no pressure (and no possibility of the playoffs) the Padres seem to be as close to firing on all cylinders as they have been all season.

Though their current record sits at nine games under .500 (they'd need to run the table the rest of the year just to finish with an even record), they have been on a tear in the month of September, going 12-6 since the 1st of the month.  In that time, they've won all but one series, sweeping the Rockies and taking 2 of 3 from the Braves and 3 of 4 from the Pirates.  The play against Pittsburgh was the most impressive, as it featured a one-hitter from Andrew Cashner and a 9th inning comeback against Mark Melancon, which improved the Padres all-time record at PNC Park to a ridiculous 31-11.

Jedd Gyorko has been improving a lot since going on the DL earlier in the year and struggling when he got back.  He's currently the league leader in home runs for all rookies, tied at 20 with Evan Gattis.  Though his average is low (.251), his defense is great and baseball-reference.com's projections over a 162 game average compare favorably to a more promising rookie of the year candidate; Yasiel Puig.

162 Game Projection for Puig: 199 hits, 35 doubles, 29 homers, 66 RBI
162 Game Projection for Gyorko: 158 hits, 35 doubles, 28 homers, 74 RBI

Of course, Puig's OBP, SLG, and average are much higher than Gyorko's, so I'm not trying to sell Jedd as a player of Puig's stature.  But the chasm might not be as big as the Rookie of the Year voting will lead you to believe.

Of course, since it's the end of the year, there have been a decent amount of September call ups for the Padres.  Most notable has been Tommy Medica, a first baseman/catcher who was called up from AA San Antonio (just before the last few games of the Texas League playoffs, which the Missions won).  The 14th round pick of the 2010 draft has filled in admirably for the injured Yonder Alonso, going 9 for 36 in his first ten games, while belting 2 homers and a double and notching 6 RBI.  Haven't seen many Medica cards online, hopefully he makes the Update set, though his call up might've been a little too late.

One rookie that I do have a card of is Robbie Erlin.  He's been bouncing back and forth from Tucson to San Diego, but he's making a big case to be in the starting rotation next year.  He was sent back to AAA after having a meltdown in Washington in July, but his ERA since his most recent call up is a very impressive 1.44, going 25 combined innings against Arizona, San Francisco, Atlanta, and the Dodger B team last night.

The unsung... um, well, I hesitate to say "star", so I'll go with "performer" has been Huston Street.  He was the subject of trade talks after giving up ten homers early in the year (most were in non-save situations, so his conversion ratio has still been good all year), but he's definitely settled down.  Last night against the Dodgers, he gave up a lead off double and then a one out single to super-pinch hitter Adrian Gonzalez.  He went on to retire the last two batters he faced, more super-pinch hitters in the form of Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, each swinging strikeouts.  Clutch.

Though I know the Padres fan base is a rather small contingency, I figure that it's not news that you're going to read in many corners of the internet, so there's your Friar update for the year.  Probably a little premature, since I'll be ready to do the "year-end retrospective" post relatively soon (only nine games left).  Here's hoping that the Padres continue their other-worldly dominance of Clayton Kershaw tonight.  Though he's a lock for the NL Cy Young, three of his nine losses have been against the Padres (0-3 in three games, posting a 4.73 ERA, with the Padres hitting at a .292 clip against him with 5 homers).  Until tonight, of course, as I totally jinx the Padres.

Friday, September 20, 2013

I Recognize That Guy!

A while back, I recieved a Jake Peavy "Prospects" card from 2001 Topps.  I can't remember what trade package I pulled it out of (if you were the sender, go ahead and state your claim in the comments), but there were a few different things that stuck out to me when I checked it out.

The most obvious should be that Topps misspelled Peavy's last name, adding an unnecessary "e".  I understand alternate spellings of first names (my Archi Cianfrocco collection includes one "Arcie Cianfrocco"), but a last name?  C'mon, man!  The other thing that stuck out to me about Mr. Peavey was the sweet blue and orange uniform, despite the fact that he looks like a little leaguer wearing it.  I've always associated Peavy with the "sand" colored Padres, but I forget that very early in his career, there was still a little orange in the Friar uniform.

The main thing that made this card stick out to me, however, were Jake's cardboard neighbors.  I had never heard of Derwin Cubillan (trust me, that's a name I would've remembered hearing about), but the name Phil Wilson was ringing bells big time.  But where did I recognize the guy from?

Oh yeah!  We went to the same high school!

I guess I could've shown the back, but since it only states that Wilson was born in Charleston, West Virginia, it didn't really give me any clues about his high school days.  But sure enough, baseball-reference.com shows that he was a graduate of Poway High in 1999, the same year that the Angels took him with their third round pick.

Can't say that I knew Wilson that well, or even at all.  Not sure where I heard of him, since he was a senior when I was a freshman, and I definitely wasn't in any advanced classes in high school.  But somewhere I must've seen him and heard that he was good at baseball, because I definitely recognize him and like I said, the name was ringing bells.

Anyways, kind of a cool card to come across, even though he'd never make it to the majors.  He'd spend seven seasons in the minors racking up a 5.09 ERA between A ball, AA, and an independent league.  He's not quite up there with "the best" Poway High graduates, of which there are four that made it to the majors (80s All-Star pitcher Dave Smith, current Padres hitting coach Phil Plantier, son of a Hall of Famer and current Dodgers minor leaguer Anthony Gwynn Jr., and a guy named Thomas Neal who I'd never heard of but is currently on the DL with the Cubs), but he made it onto a baseball card, which is more than most of them can say.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


I've been getting mailers from Jason, an awesome Red Sox fan and card collector who has been graciously donating Padres to my collection at a pretty decent clip recently.  I mean, I've sent him a small stack of Red Stockings in return, but that balance is still heavily tilted in my favor.  

It almost makes me feel bad, I feel like I'm taking advantage of somebody and their charity, but Jason assures me that it is not a problem in the slightest.  Because he is awesome.  So awesome, in fact, that he says he's making a move to the Lone Star State in the near future, though still not in my neighborhood (it's a pretty large place, Texas).

Anyways, one of the packages that he sent had this Tony Gwynn tin (or Gwynn tynn, as it will be called in my collection), from 1997 Donruss Preferred.  Which got me thinking about things that I prefer...

I prefer my cards to have logos on them.  In some cases, I make exceptions for things like early 90s oddballs (think about the stuff that came with cereal boxes and cupcakes), but for the most part, I need a logo, because I'm a team collector, not a color collector.  I mean, did they have to completely airbrush Chase Headley's jersey?  I'm pretty sure that the Padres have no solid blue jersey, there's gotta be at least some piping or trim or... something else on the jersey, right?

Still, even more than I prefer cards with logos on them I prefer Pinnacle.  1992 Pinnacle Series 1 was the first set I ever completed (with 1991 Fleer being the second, and last), and that was a great set.  This episode of Pinnacle is pretty similar in design, which I can appreciate.  The backs of the '92 set were way better, though I guess they wanted to avoid more airbrushing on the second photo.

I also prefer gold.  Usually of the Topps variety, since those '92 and '93 gold cards were so hard to come by as a kid.  I had never heard of Score's "Hall of Gold" parallels, and while I can't say that they make the base card look that much better, I also prefer adding to my Player Collections, which is what I did here with Tony and Andy.

Despite my feelings towards the Archives brand, I do prefer modern cards with throwback designs.  In this case, these 10th Anniversary Upper Deck cards with Tony Gwynn and Ken Caminiti look slick.  Very shiny, and I can never get enough of the orange and blue 90s Pads.

I definitely prefer adding to my Khalil Greene player collection.  While there are still a zillion and a half Gwynn cards to chase after, I passed the 300 mark a while back, so I feel like that's a sturdy pillar in my binders.  Khalil, however, despite being a rookie during a time that tons of cards were being produced, seems pretty underrepresented in my Player Collection binder.  If my records are to be believed (I can't say that they're the most reliable), this is #45 into the binder.  Not too shabby, but still work to be done.

If you've read the blog, you'll know that there are an extremely small number of Dodgers in my binders.  So when it comes to Fernando Valenzuela cards, I prefer that he be wearing Padre blue and not Dodger blue.  Even better, I prefer Fernando cards as a Padre with captions on the back written in Spanish.  I knew that Pacific was good for something!  Especially appropriate that the even that's written about on the back is when he got the win for the first regular season game played outside of the United States/Canada.

I prefer my card backs to inform me with stats, but also use the space for more pictures.  The 90s were a great time for this.  In this instance, we see a bunting Benes and a sweet swinging Wally Joyner, who looks better on the back of this card than he does on the front.  

When it comes to uniforms, it's hard to get more boring than the Padres current look.  Basically a copy of the Brewers, though I prefer the Padres slightly more than the Brew Crew.  Still, looking back at these '82 Donruss cards, it's hard not to prefer the yellow.  While I'm a big proponent of the "Bring Back The Brown" movement in San Diego (something that current ownership seems to be turning a deaf ear to), the yellow is what stands out most to me with these.

My wife commented on the amount of packages that I've been receiving lately, and she said "Do you always know that these are coming to you, or are they surprises?"  Well, sometimes I know they're on their way, other times they just show up, but I'll tell you one thing - it's a much preferred way of adding to the collection.  Better than busting packs or relying on eBay.

You guys are great.  Thanks again Jason!