At the beginning of this countdown, I had a contest of sorts to see who could guess a few things about the countdown. One of the things that contestants had to guess was how many Tony Gwynn cards there would be. After two whole posts and fourteen consecutive cards without a Gwynn sighting, the big man is back into the countdown a couple of times.
#20 - Tony Gwynn 1992 Topps Stadium Club
As I've been adding comments to these posts, I've had quite a few second guesses about the order of some of these. This is one of my all-time favorite Tony Gwynn cards, and #20 seems like it might be a tad bit low. I'm a big fan of '92 Stadium Club, and when I think of the best cards from this set, this extreme closeup of Mr. Padre is the one that comes to mind (well, and Lance Johnson's).
#19 - Jack Murphy Stadium 1994 Score
There's already been one multi-player card, and I guess that this might be considered one as well. Can't really make out exactly who those players are, or any of the other tens of thousands of people in Jack Murphy Stadium, but this is a beautiful shot of the Padres' old stomping grounds. I spent quite a few nights in the top rows of the Murph. I will always love it, and cringe when it's called it's current name, Qualcomm Stadium. Oh, this is also a checklist card.
#18 - Greg Vaughn 1997 Pinnacle
Spoiler Alert! This is the only Greg Vaughn card that will be on the countdown. Whenever I think of "big trade deadline deals", I'll always think of the summer that the Padres snagged Vaughn from the Brewers. This isn't a super unique shot or anything, but there's something to be said about great action shots, and in my opinion, this is a great one. The blue and green background makes the image of Vaughn and his smooth followthrough really stand out. Great shot, Pinnacle.
#17 - Steve Finley 1997 Topps Stadium Club
This might seem a little high for this Finley card, but I remember this being my favorite card of Fins when I was a kid. Stadium Club was one of my favorite packs to rip as a kid, regardless of the year (well, with a few exceptions, I guess), and I really dug the '97 set. Like the Vaughn card before this one, Finley is admiring his handiwork.
#16 - Tony Gwynn (checklist) 1994 Donruss
This is the second checklist card in this post, and there are only two checklist cards on the Top 50 countdown. Why do I love this card so much? Well, many of the checklists from '94 Donruss celebrated milestones reached during the previous season, and Gwynn was one of the handful of guys who got his 2,000th hit in 1993. I happened to be at the game, which was the second game of a doubleheader against the Rockies. It was also my birthday, so it was pretty much awesome. While there are a decent amount of cards that celebrate Tony's 3,000 hit achievement, this is the only one that I'm aware of that does it for his 2,000th. Fun fact: He accomplished both feats on August 6th, which is also his mother's birthday.
Well, looking back at it, I'm not sure that I like any of these cards more than the Gwynn at the top, but there aren't enough cards of Jack Murphy Stadium or that celebrate Gwynn's 2,000th hit, and the Finley and Vaughn cards are still pretty sharp, so I'll keep it how it stands.
Two checklists, two Gwynn's, three posts left in the Top 50 Padre cards of the 90's countdown.