I thought that it was going to be tough to top Carlos Quentin's "play at the plate" card for the Best Padres Card of the Year. Seeing him about to plow into Josh Thole, both wearing throwback uniforms, is a pretty cool shot. I think that we might have a new leader in the clubhouse, however. I love this card of Alexi Amarista.
There have got to be plenty of great action shots of Amarista, who has made plenty of great defensive plays as a Padre, and I tend to prefer action shots. However, the image of Amarista, who is 5'7" leaping to be able to give a congratulatory high five is a pretty unique one. If they had managed to get one of Amarista next to Kyle Blanks, who is 6'6".
After declaring about a week ago that I needed this card, it was the impetus of a trade with Chris of the Raz Card Blog. The dude hooked me up big time, and I wasn't prepared for the onslaught of awesomeness - I might need to keep a lookout for some more things to send his way to try to even this trade out.
Anyways, here are the top five cards that Chris sent my way...
#5 - Austin Hedges 2012 Bowman #/500
Austin Hedges is a name that everybody will be hearing about sooner or later. Probably later. He is currently in the Arizona Fall League, and while his bat has been considered the weakest part of his game, is hitting .310 with three doubles, a triple, and six RBI in eight games. The best part of his game is his defense - at last count, he had thrown out 9 of 14 potential base stealers. I'm always a fan of catchers in gear, and this one is serial numbered to 500. Great start.
#4 - Chase Headley 2013 Topps Opening Day #/2013
I've said it before, this is the Year of the Chase Headley Card. I'll have a post at the end of the year with the dozens of Headley cards I've accumulated this year. Big fan of the blue shine in this year's Opening Day set.
#3 - Paul Konerko 2013 Topps Archives gold foil #/199
As fortune would have it, the first three cards on the countdown are all serial numbered. This one is the lowest. It's been a while since I got a Paul Konerko card in a trade package. He's my favorite non-Padre player, and I was big on collecting his cards when I first got back into collecting. He's kind of taken a back seat in my collecting habits, but I still try to grab new cards of his that come out. This is my second gold foil card from this year's Archives sets, and I'm a fan.
#2 - Tony Gwynn 2013 Topps Archives "1972 Basketball"
Despite the cool gold foil cards from this year's Archives set, I can't say that I'm a big fan of the set as a whole. This is one of the inserts that I'm not really big on. Still, a new Tony Gwynn card that I didn't already have - that has an image that I don't immediately recognize - is always a great pick up. Tony's got some crazy looking eyes here.
#1 - Wally Joyner 2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Autographs
The one area that I can concede that Archives got right is their autograph list. This year they had former Padres Fred McGriff, Benito Santiago, and Bob Tewksbury. Last year, the one that I was dying to get my hands on was this one of Brother Joyner. I had kind of given up on ever having one, and didn't feel too bad about it since I snagged his auto from this year's Allen & Ginter set from Rod at Padrographs. Very glad to have this one. Joyner's got a great signature and looks more natural in an Angels uniform than a Padres uniform.
On top of all those great cards, there were a few others that were worth noting...
I don't have many Dodgers in my collection, but I will probably add this one to the "Former/Future Friar" section of my binders... along with the note that he added to it. Go Poway High Titans!
He also included a pair of Topps Chrome base cards for my Player Collection binders. I only have PCs for a handful of current players, but tracking down all the parallels for these guys is kind of a pain. Getting these in the mail is definitely preferred, even if it's just the base card, since I had neither one of these yet.
To round out the package, here were a few miscellaneous goodies. I forget which state flag is behind Casey Kelly, but it's not California's or Texas'. Only 48 more to guess. Don't have many Clayton Richard cards, and the same goes with Mark Davis. Given the small number of Padres pitchers who have won the Cy Young, I figured he should be allotted some more space in my binders as well.
Thanks a lot Chris!