As you may or may not know, Chris Denorfia is my favorite current player. There are many reasons whyHe most recent recipient of the "Heart and Hustle" award, which is given to a player from each team who "demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit, and tradition of the game." He also won the "Wilson Defensive Player of the Year" award for the Friars, as he led the team in outfield assists with 13.
The guy is gutsy and gritty and all those other adjectives that you use to describe a guy who doesn't always get a lot of playing time (he usually platoons in right field with Will Venable and comes in to face lefties) but still gives his all when he gets a chance. He's also a hard working, humble guy who is a fan favorite, and my brother and I got his autograph a few Spring Trainings ago.
Well, the past few years, he's been a little snubbed by Topps. In 2011, he got a very awesome card in the Update set, and also appeared on the Padres team card (picture from the same game, rocking the throwback uniforms). In 2012, he appeared in the Update set as well, and even made it onto the Heritage set as a Short Print. Lots of people were after that Denorfia card last year, and I managed to pull one from a pack. Very cool.
This year, he only got featured in the flagship set, once again... in the Update set. I'm not sure if the Update set gets the same treatment as far as the mail-in "blue shiny" parallels, but since it's his only card for 2013, I decided to chase the parallels. Here's what I've managed so far...
The Camouflage Parallel, numbered to 99
When it comes to parallels, this is my favorite one, especially for Padres players. Seeing as how their Sunday uniforms look almost exactly like this, it seems very fitting. I've already nabbed a few other Camo Padres, but seeing as how they're serial numbered, putting together a set would be way too pricey and not at all necessary. Still, I'm digging the look of this card.
As far as serial numbered cards go, this is the "largest" of the set, not counting the Gold Parallels, which are serial numbered (to 2013), but not with the fancy foil that you see here.
The Black Parallel, numbered to 62
The black border here really makes it seem like this is a "night shot". Digging around, I found out that this was taken after Deno had homered in the 5th inning of the July 26th game against the Phillies. I'll assume that by the 5th inning, it was getting dark. The game would actually go to 13 innings, with the Padres losing on a pair of errors. Go Padres.
Numbered to 62 because that's how long Topps as been around. Probably?
The Pink Parallel, numbered to 50
Hmmm... the photo of this one doesn't do justice to just how pink it is in hand. Seems kinda red in this photo, but trust me. Seeing the pink borders reminds me of how much I'm sure the Ladies Love Cool Chris. He was rocking a long, Fabio-inspired mane last year, which would later feature a beard, but moved to a cleaner look for 2013.
Guess I haven't commented on what the backs actually say. Thought it was interesting that in 2013, Chris made the stat null and void, since he hit a walk off, two run homer against the Reds, giving them a 2-1 victory. Did not think that I'd be seeing Mark Parent's name on the back of a baseball card ever again, good to see a Padre backstop get some love.
The Emerald Parallel
I know that I've already shown this one before, but here is the last parallel that I'll show. It's not numbered like the rest of the ones shown today, but it's still Deno and it's still awesome. Almost finished with the emerald team set, just four more to go.
You may have noticed that I didn't post the base card - that's because I don't have it yet! Crazy right? I'm looking to finish off the rainbow of parallels, since I think I've got the most difficult ones taken care of (minus the Sapphire #/25 and the printing plates). Hoping to score the red and blue parallels on the cheap, but who knows.
For inquiring minds, here's the original, uncropped photo, taken by Denis Poroy, culled from the Getty Images site. Not a bad photo at all, but it would've been even cooler if the boys had been working on their Top Gun high-five. Someone needs to bring that back.
To wrap up this Deno-centric post, here are a few videos of Denorfia that might help to illustrate why he is so awesome, since there are probably a few who don't even know who he is.
Walk off homer against Aroldis Chapman.
Heart and Hustle.
Makes another pretty sweet catch.
Home run on a high chopper down the third base line.
Happy weekend to everybody! If you get the chance and haven't voted yet, Nachos Grande is running the Blogger Bracket Challenge and the race is tight right now - head over there and vote. Preferably for me, but if you go with someone else, I won't hold it against you. Voting ends sometime today.