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!